Neat Scanner Review: NeatDesk & NeatConnect

For a number of years, a Neat scanner was a decent option, including the NeatDesk and the NeatConnect. Neat seems to have discontinued its hardware business to focus on cloud-based scanning and document management software, so we definitely can no longer recommend Neat scanners and suggest you get a Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 instead.

That said, if you’re still shopping Neat scanners for some reason, here are our NeatDesk and NeatConnect scanner reviews.

NeatDesk Neat Scanner Review

I can’t help comparing the NeatDesk to the ScanSnap, mainly because a ScanSnap has been sitting on my desk for many years. ScanSnaps are easy to set up, easy to use, come with simple scanning software, and include Adobe Acrobat, a ~$250 value.

But I have always wanted to try the NeatDesk, so I was thrilled when Neat gave me a test unit to try out. It feels like the NeatDesk has been around forever, in part because I see it in the SkyMall catalog whenever I travel. The hardware is attractive, and the NeatDesk promises to help users get organized, not just convert paper to bits.

That turns out to be more or less true—if you have a fair amount of patience. It’s a very good scanner for the typical consumer, but a poor choice for a law office.

NeatDesk form factor

Closed up, the NeatDesk is pretty. With all the paper supports extended, however, it strikes a pretty awkward pose. Still, it looks better sitting on my desk than the ScanSnap. The ScanSnap is more compact when closed up (which means you could toss it in a duffel bag if you don’t have a ix100), but that’s not really important, since both scanners will sit on your desk 99% of the time.

One of the NeatDesk’s distinguishing features is its document feeder, which has specially-sized slots for business cards, receipts, and regular-width paper. The idea is that it helps prevent paper from moving around. In practice, it means you can’t fit very much paper into the automatic document feeder without removing the guide. If you do try removing the feeder insert, though, you can fit plenty of pages.

The NeatDesk document scanner has just two buttons on its face: Scan and PDF. The Scan button is for scanning into the NeatWorks software, while the PDF button, more intuitively, is for scanning directly to a PDF. Since I don’t particularly like NeatWorks (more on why below), I found that button useless, and would have preferred one configurable button, like the ScanSnap uses, instead of two that I cannot customize.

Since you can generally use the NeatDesk without pulling out the extensions, I’m giving it the edge over the ScanSnap in the looks department. Of course, if you are buying on looks alone, you don’t need this review.

Scanning with the NeatDesk

The NeatDesk is both fast and slow. It pulls documents through the ADF really quickly. I’m not sure what the default resolution is, but if it’s scanning documents at the same resolution as my ScanSnap, it’s way faster at running through a stack of paper.

Once the the ADF is empty, however, you can take a nap while the NeatDesk Quick Scan utility processes the data. Need to make a quick copy for a client? Not happening, because you cannot change this process; there is no option to turn off OCR. In fact, there are few options at all. Basically, you can decide whether to scan in black-and-white or color, single-sided or double-sided, and whether to scan each page as a separate file or many pages as a single file.

Contrast this with the ScanSnap, which has a highly-customizable scanning utility. Don’t want to use OCR every time? Easy. Want to ratchet up the quality for scanning photos? Easy. Want to scan each page as a separate file, automatically named, and automatically saved in a folder you choose? Easy. None of these are possible with the NeatDesk. Which is fine, I guess, if you love the default settings.

I don’t love the default settings. Let’s say, for example, you want to scan a thick pile of documents produced by opposing counsel. With the NeatDesk, the best you can do is create a separate file for each ADF load, then combine them using the NeatWorks software. It doesn’t have an option to just scan multiple sets of pages to a single file. With the ScanSnap, however, you can keep adding to the file easily, and create a single PDF out of many ADF loads.

You do have one option with the NeatDesk that you don’t have with the ScanSnap, though: TWAIN. TWAIN is a scanning protocol that lets other software talk to your scanner. For example, you can scan from Acrobat, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Photoshop, and pretty much anything else that has anything to do with images. Whether this matters to you depends on how you like to scan things. I don’t think it is very important, and if you don’t know whether you want TWAIN, you probably won’t miss it.

The scanning experience with the NeatDesk is decent, but the ScanSnap wins on scanning, in my book.

Bundled software: NeatWorks

The NeatDesk document scanner comes bundled with Neat’s NeatWorks document scanner software, which you have to install in order to use the scanner (along with 6 or 7 drivers, for some reason). This is annoying. Scanning companies have this idea that you will want to keep all your documents tied up in one piece of software, instead of organizing them into your client folders. For example, NeatWorks will help you scan business cards—which is nice—but who wants to try browsing contacts in their scanning software instead of say, Outlook or Google Contacts?

Or client files. Do you want them locked into NeatWorks’s proprietary database, or do you want to be able to easily navigate files on your computer, sync them across computers, access them on your phone, and so on? (I’ll take the latter.)

Further, NeatWorks is slooow. When you scan something like a business card or a receipt, it ends up in your inbox. You can categorize it and add other information, and then you are supposed to “file” it. Which means you watch a progress bar for a few seconds before you can move on to the next one. It’s easy enough if you only scan a few pages a day, but if you have a paperless office, it feels like walking in mud.

Neat may think NeatWorks is somehow worth $99.95, but I think that is just to make buyers feel like they are getting a great value with their scanners. I wouldn’t pay zero for it.

Once again, let’s try to compare with the ScanSnap. The ScanSnap Organizer is similarly useless bloatware, but at least you have the option not to install it. Plus, the ScanSnap comes bundled with the hugely useful and valuable Adobe Acrobat, which actually is worth a couple hundred dollars, and substantially increases the value of what’s in the box.

On software, then, the ScanSnap is the clear winner.

Conclusion: get the ScanSnap

I think the NeatDesk would be a nice document scanner for the family computer at home. It is simple, gets the job done, and has a fairly flat learning curve.

For business, however, the ScanSnap ix500 is the clear choice. It isn’t as pretty as the NeatDesk, but that hardly matters. Plus, you could tote it to a document review if you wanted to. Scanning with the ScanSnap is better in nearly every way, and I didn’t even get into all the integrations (Evernote, Google Docs, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) you get with the ScanSnap. On software, the ScanSnap is also way ahead of the NeatDesk; a better value by far.

About the only advantage the NeatDesk has for business users is TWAIN support. Although if that is a requirement for you, get the Fujitsu fi-6110 Sheet-Fed Desktop Scanner (PA03607-B005)Fujitsu fi-6110, instead. It has TWAIN, is built for heavy-duty business use, and since it includes Adobe Acrobat, the fi-6110 makes more sense than getting the NeatDesk and spending another $250 on Acrobat.

NeatConnect Neat Scanner Review

Over the years, we have heaped accolades on Fujitsu’s excellent line of ScanSnap document scanners. And they deserve every bit of it. But none of the ScanSnaps have enabled users to cut the cord and go all-cloud, all the time. That’s the promise, at least, of the NeatConnect.

What is a “Cloud Scanner?”

Neat calls the NeatConnect a “cloud scanner,” and it explains what it means in its slick marketing video for the NeatConnect:


Basically, according to Neat, a cloud scanner is a scanner that sends your documents straight to the cloud-based file storage instead of going through your computer. For a cloud scanner, no computer is necessary — the NeatConnect even encourages you to leave the USB cable in the box. There is a label covering the USB port on the scanner, and “optional” appears everywhere the USB cable is mentioned in the packaging. All the NeatConnect needs is a wireless Internet connection.

A regular document scanner, on the other hand, is meant to scan to your computer or mobile device. The ScanSnaps, for example, need a computer, smartphone, or tablet to scan to. It is easy to get your scanned documents into the cloud from there, but not straight from the scanner itself.

In the end, you can accomplish the same things on both. The NeatConnect works great as a desktop scanner, and the ScanSnap has no trouble uploading documents to the cloud. But the strengths of each are pretty clear when you use them.

Setting Up the NeatConnect

One of the nice things about a cloud scanner is that you do not need to plug it into your computer at all. Just plug in the power cord and use the scanner’s touchscreen to set it up. The screen will walk you through setup, and it’s very straightforward.

In fact, the only difficult part of setting up the NeatConnect is the onscreen keyboard, which you have to use to enter your wi-fi password and either sign into your NeatCloud account or create a new one (I did not see an option to skip this, even if you do not want to use NeatCloud). Typing on the NeatConnect’s keyboard is a bit of a challenge. It may look exactly like an iPhone keyboard, but it does not respond like one. I mis-typed just about every other letter, even after I thought I was getting the hang of it. Fortunately, the keyboard is primarily for setting up the scanner. After you complete setup, you may never use it again, and the rest of the buttons in the interface are nice and big and easy to hit.

Scanning with the NeatConnect

Scanning is simple: put paper in the scanner, select the options you want, and touch the big orange SCAN button on the touchscreen. You can tweak all the scanning settings right from the touchscreen, like whether you want to scan in color or grayscale, and decide where you want to send the document.

The NeatConnect can do all the tricks you would expect a good document scanner to do, like scanning documents of different size, removing blank pages (essential for duplex scanning), and not jamming (granted, it’s a new scanner, but I didn’t experience a single paper jam).

The NeatConnect is not quite as fast as the ScanSnap iX500 (24 pages per minute for the NeatConnect versus 25 ppm for the iX500), but it is close enough, and plenty quick. Once the scan finishes, the scanner will assemble the PDF (or TIFF, if you prefer) and wait for you to confirm the destination. Shortly after the upload completes, you will see the new file in your cloud storage.

There is one problem, unfortunately. While you can combine multiple pages into a single PDF while you scan, you have to scan those pages all at once. There is no option that I can find to keep scanning more pages to the same file after the NeatConnect finishes the scan in its feeder. That means you are effectively limited to scanning 50-page sections of longer documents. The Neat software is no help, either. It does not support merging documents. You can use your own PDF software for that, of course, but it would be nice if you didn’t have to.

If you regularly need to scan documents of more than 50 pages, this may become an annoying hassle. If it does not come up very often, you probably won’t mind at all.

By the way, the NeatConnect supports TWAIN, which you will want if you also want to use the NeatConnect for scanning to your desktop scanner. That’s because NeatCloud and the Neat desktop software (the “digital filing system”) just aren’t very good.

Using NeatCloud, the Neat Desktop Software, and the NeatMobile App

Neat didn’t figure out how to make better scanning software; it just made the software unnecessary.

NeatCloud is sort of like Dropbox, but clunkier. The Neat desktop software is basically the same. If you don’t decide to use another web service like Dropbox, your files will end up going to NeatCloud by default, to one of the five (pointless) subfolders in the inbox:

  1. From Email
  2. From NeatConnect®
  3. From NeatMobile®
  4. From NeatScan®
  5. From Web Import

All those folders are silly, and feel like they are just an excuse to push the brands in front of the user. I can’t think of a single reason why segmenting an inbox by which kind of scanner, app, or input method you used would be relevant.

The software does try to help you organize your receipts and business cards, and it does a decent job if that’s what you want it for. The desktop software is essentially identical to the cloud software. Everything syncs up quickly and easily. But it doesn’t add any of the functionality you would want from desktop software.

There is also a NeaMobile app for iOS and Android that lets you browse your documents and “scan” documents using your smartphone’s camera. Using your smartphone as a scanner is a neat trick, but there are other apps, like Scanner Pro, that do a much better job of it.

If you want it, though, NeatCloud starts at $59.88/year, which is especially reasonable considering there don’t seem to be any limits on how much data you can store. Although you will have to bump up to $119.88/year if you want the mobile app, too.

If you want to use the Neat to scan to your computer, you should probably look at third-party scanning software like PaperPort. Neat didn’t figure out how to make better scanning software; it just made the software unnecessary. But if you want to scan to the cloud — just not NeatCloud — the NeatConnect gives you options. Fortunately, it does not see to care whether you use NeatCloud or not.

Using Other Web Services with the NeatConnect

The cool thing about the NeatConnect, and the part that transforms it from a neat toy for SkyMall shoppers into a neat scanner for anyone, is that you can connect it to other cloud services, including OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, OneNote, email, and FTP. You can even remove NeatCloud as a destination, if you don’t want to use it at all (I did).

I could not connect the NeatConnect to my Dropbox account. I suspect that’s because I have two-factor authentication turned on for Dropbox, because I didn’t have any trouble adding my Box account (I don’t really use it except for testing, so I don’t have two-factor authentication turned on for Box).

The only downside I noticed if you want to use a different file storage service is that the NeatConnect does not perform OCR on your documents before uploading them. I’m guessing NeatCloud handles the OCR processing, so that if you don’t use NeatCloud, you don’t get OCR. I can think of some ways around this, but none as convenient as built-in OCR would be.

OCR aside, there is just one option I think is missing from the NeatConnect’s support of third-party web services: the ability to select a folder for my scans to be uploaded to. The NeatConnect just drops them in a From NeatConnect directory in each cloud service, which is a little bit clunky. I can live with that, but I would prefer to be able to choose the destination folder.

Who Should Buy the NeatConnect.

I was not a fan of the NeatDesk, so I’m a little surprised to say that I really like the NeatConnect. I actually wish I could keep the review unit. I don’t love NeatCloud or the Neat software, but I am impressed that Neat does not lock the user into its own ecosystem. If you don’t want to use NeatCloud, you don’t have to, and it won’t even bug you about it.

Most will want to know if I would recommend the NeatConnect over the ScanSnap iX500. And actually, the answer is maybe, for some.

First, if you are a Windows user and you do not already have an up-to-date copy of Acrobat, I think the ScanSnap has the advantage. The included copy of Acrobat Standard means the ScanSnap is just a better deal. But if you already have a newer copy of Acrobat, or if you use a Mac, it’s a closer call.

If you are not a heavy cloud user, I would get the ScanSnap. That means you are primarily using your scanner while sitting at your desk, plugged in, to scan straight to your computer. For that, the ScanSnap is slightly better. The ScanSnap Manager software is just way better than the Neat desktop software.

If you are a heavy cloud user, though, I would favor the NeatConnect. That means most or all of the things you scan will end up in the cloud, anyway, and you like to work from a smartphone and tablet as well as a laptop or desktop PC. Users like this would be perfectly happy with the ScanSnap iX500, but I think they would also be delighted with the NeatConnect.


The NeatConnect is an excellent document scanner for heavy cloud users, and a pretty good scanner for everyone else, too.

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

NeatConnect, reviewed by Sam Glover on .


  1. Avatar Greg Lam says:

    Interesting review on the two scanners. I wish I would have seen this months ago when I was deciding between multiple scanners and document management software.

    I actually did end up seeing some stuff written by our mutual friend Brooks at, so I luckily ended up with the Scansnap and have been a happy camper.

    The only thing that I could see that I liked about neatworks was the ability to transfer receipt data to Quickbooks. Unfortunately, the software, even at $99, isn’t available by itself for the PC crowd.

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      Also, when I tried to export receipts to QuickBooks, NeatWorks broke it, and I had to uninstall and reinstall both NeatWorks and QuickBooks to get things working again. I’ll assume that’s not typical, but for me, it ruined the one feature of NeatWorks I thought I might actually like.

  2. Avatar Bruce Kleinberg says:

    Question: I would like to purchase the SnapScan but I want to be able to create a mirror image of a paper file i.e. a tabbed pleadings file so I can just electronically “flip” without having to open and close each document. The same for correspondence. I want to be able to read as I would a paper file. I have seen a product called flip page and of course I know that Kindles apparantly let you read books this way. Can I do this with a Snap Scan?

    Thank you

  3. Avatar Dave S says:

    I know this is an older post, but just came across it… I have had a ScanSnap for the past 18 months. I really like it, good speed and reliability, easy to use and scans almost any size.
    One problem I’ve had is that the feeder has a tendency to get jammed and you have to sometimes ‘finesse’ the pages in or start with a few to get it going. If it jams, it’s usually on the first page. Also, Fujitsu should think about making the sidewalls on the feeder a bit bigger- sometimes the pages waiting to be scanned get misaligned because the sidewalls don’t keep them in line and then the scanner jams.

    Overall, for the price and my needs, it’s a really good desk top scanner.

  4. Avatar BILL STOTT says:

    Will one of you very knowledgable users of Scan Snap answer a few questions for me please;
    If I am buying a unit primarily for to scan receipts and save for tax purposes, will the Scan Snap 1500 do the job well? Does its software somehow have the capability to store and save them in different catagories or folders? (i.e entertainment, labor, office supplies etc). Also, is it possible to somehow transfer the receipt info to a program like quickbooks? Either within the Scan Snap software or by using some other external software I might possibly buy in addition to the Scan Snap unit/software. If possible via the latter, what software would you recommend?

  5. Avatar Becky says:

    I use the Scansnap S1500 at work and love it. Now I would like to buy a scanner for home use but don’t like the pricetag of the Fujitsu. Your review has saved me a headache and the cost of the Neat desk. I will fork out the extra money for the Fujitsu.
    Thank you

  6. Avatar Becky says:

    Will the Fujitsu Scansnap S 1500 work on a MAC and PC and separate the receipts like the Neat Desk?

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      It works on Windows or OS X, yes, but there are obviously different versions of the software for each. It doesn’t do receipts, no. Neither does the NeatDesk—at least nowhere near as well as it advertises.

  7. Avatar Christine says:

    If a person wanted to use the NeatDesk software on OS X to organize receipts, could they use the Neatdesk software, but with the Scansnap scanner?

    I have the ScanSnap at work and really do prefer the scanning capabilities and options, but at home I have a mountain of receipts and bank records, that I would like organized for easy retrieval. For regular document storage, I like Yep, where no library is involved.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  8. Avatar Marsha says:

    What I’m looking for only is to scan all my personal recipes that I have accumulated over 30 years into the software and be able to put each in different folders to search by the food I want to make or by different features that online recipe web sites have to find a recipe. Does the ScanSnap organizer have these capabilities? I have not found ANY scanning software that will read the recipe and “file” it under the recipe name like TryNeat. Also can I edit it with this software and be able to print it off for a friend? I don’t want to purchase a product that doesn’t do what I want it for. If not do you know of any other scanner and software for what I want?

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      Scanning and recognizing the text is easy with the ScanSnap. I don’t think it will automatically sort the scanned files for you, but with the text recognized, it’s a simple matter to find what you want by searching.

      • Avatar Marsha says:

        Three more questions. With either software program can I edit my recipe and print them off? Will either recognize hand written print and change it to text? What about OCR software?

        • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

          It just scans them to PDF files, so of course you can print them off.

          If the handwriting is clear, the OCR software may recognize the text, but it’s iffy. That’s a general truth of OCR software, though. It’s not necessarily going to be better with one scanner or the other, although I’ve found that Evernote (to which the ScanSnap will scan directly) does the best job at recognizing handwriting.

  9. Avatar cthetruth says:

    As I type this, my fiancee and I are on the phone discussing these scanners. He’s insisting that, (according to what he saw on an infomercial), NeatDesk is better. So… lol… I’m reading portions of your review to him this very moment. :p

    We both have careers that involve shifting tons of paper. He can go with NeatDesk, if he likes, but I’m choosing ScanSnap S1500 according to your recommendation. I have a feeling he’ll be borrowing my purchase before long. LOL!

  10. Avatar H Payne says:

    Dear Sam,

    I just got ScanSnap S1500. Now I am trying to learn how to use it. It came with a trial offer of Rack2-Filer to manage scanned documents. Is Rack2-Filer the way to go? Or should I just use the ScanSnap features to scan and store my docs? I dont plan to do a huge number of scans daily. Is there a ScanSnap for idiots or other training aid? I am not the sharpest knife in the draw when it comes to computers. Thanks for your help.


    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      The ScanSnap is pretty much Luddite-proof. Pick a method of storing your files and see if you like it. I prefer just storing files in my filesystem, instead of in a proprietary document management system.

    • @Harry There is really nothing to learn. Just scan the docs, hit “save to file,” name the document, choose a folder for it, and hit “save.”

      How you organize your files has very little to do with the scanner. There are all kinds of document management programs out there. I don’t use any of them. I just give the documents good names and put them in folders. If you are not going to scan very much, you could start with that and adapt later.

  11. Avatar Cyndi says:

    So, after reading your review, and the other comments, I think Neat may do what I (or my pastor) needs it to do. Let me give you the low-down, and you tell me what you think.

    My pastor has about 200+ pages of article clippings (newspaper, magazine, and hardcopy emails printed) in a hardcopy folder that he has to manually go through to look for a certain topic or story or situation. Many times he uses these as illustrations or references in his sermons. He wants to scan them and be able to search by keyword and/or subject. Altho’ I may have to manually add a subject or topic that the software may not pick up in keywords, the fact that it can pull the magazine/article name out, a date (if available), etc. would save much data entry time on my (or his assistant’s) part. To then have to go through and add some topics or other comments is easy if the main information is already done. Then he can search easily, etc. It would be only for his personal use, and for this specific task. What do you think?

    As a former paralegal, I understand your negative review on it, but for this limited (and timely) project, it seems it may be the ticket. Any thoughts??

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      The Neat will work fine, but I think the ScanSnap will make the job easier.

      • Avatar Cyndi says:

        In what way? I need it to scan it and pull that major info automatically into a database for me. I don’t want to have to create a new database, and I’d like the documents to be stored in as little room as possible. And really, like someone else said, he doesn’t necessarily need the scanner as much as the software. Does ScanSnap have the same type of software – and automatically pull keywords, etc. into a searchable data form / database? I haven’t done as much research on the ScanSnap… I honestly don’t care, but I want it to be as easy and fast as possible – this is a one time job, and once those docs are scanned in, he probably won’t keep many hardcopies after that anyway.

        • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

          The ScanSnap Organizer is similar software, yes. Or you can just save the files to his hard drive, where they will be just as searchable using the regular Windows search function.

          Here’s the deal. Of the two, the ScanSnap is objectively a better scanner. It also comes with objectively better software. But if you think you want the Neatdesk, go ahead and get it. It will still do what you want, and you may be happier with it, since you think it’s the right one for your need.

          • Avatar Cyndi says:

            Well, after some research I see more clearly the pros/cons. They have a heavy-duty scanner with document management at the church, but since these are his personal documents, he’d like to keep them separate, so I’m trying to find the more cost effective way to do that (without creating something from scratch)… I’m worried also about the amount of hard drive space scanning that many documents (with OCR) will take. I need to maybe take a different tactic and look for software only… the scanner is not really the issue… *sigh*… I don’t know…

            • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

              Scanning 200-ish documents to PDF will probably take up less than 500 megabytes, if that. That’s pretty negligible storage space.

              You don’t really need software, actually. It’s quicker, easier, and much simpler to just scan everything to a hard drive (or flash drive). But if you want to use software, I suppose you can.

  12. Avatar Patsy D says:

    This is probably dumb question but hear goes. I want to scan & save financial/tax documents by year. However, can I scan & save to disk. Laptop will no way hold all the items. I have years worth of genealogy files on it that I work with….many not complete yet. I’ve made backups but working files still take lot of space. Plus I have gazillion files on antiques, craft projects, home designs, etc.

    Can documents be saved to disk in various files/folders? Thank you.

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      You can save files wherever you want to. It’s a little cumbersome with the Neatdesk, but you can do it. I’d get the ScanSnap for that.

      However, unless you have a really tiny hard drive, I find it hard to imagine that you would run out of space. I’ve got 8 years of scanned client files that take up just under 7.5 GB. I could fit all of that on the Micro SD card in my phone.

  13. Avatar Ken Whent says:

    We operate a building management company. Each building has multiple tenants. All of our commercial leases are triple net which means that each of the tenants share the cost attributable to the building they occupy on a prorated basis. Our tenants always want copies of the bills that are paid by us. Will the Fujitsu scan the receipt and store it in 5 different tenant filles and allocate them to a specific building for later retreval and remittance to each tenant? We do this manually and what a job at year end.
    Hopefully I have explained the “challenge” adequately.

  14. Avatar Mary Loi says:

    I’m guardian for a nephew and have many reports and papers to keep yearly. Which scanner would work for me and would the courts accept the print out or would I still have to keep hard copies.

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      As you can see from the comments, most of us think the ScanSnap is the better option. As for whether the court will accept printouts, that will depend on the rules for your court. In general, probably, but sometimes the courts will require originals.

  15. Avatar Dennis Mathews says:

    I’m pretty much sold on purchasing the ScanSnap. Deciding on PC or Mac version. Any differences on document management between the two. Thanks

  16. Avatar Jasmine says:

    I was planning on getting the NeatDesk for my dad because at our office it is a paper swamp! I wanted to get the NeatDesk because of the different filing options, however from what I was reading it seems like once I scan the documents I am able to categorize it myself. Is this correct? Is it similar to when I scan documents from the printer? I understand that ScanSnap is better all around, is there a warranty in case it breaks?

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      Both scanners come with software that lets you organize scanned documents, yes. And both have warranties, although I’m still using a five-year-old ScanSnap, so I’m pretty sure that’s reliable, at least.

  17. The NeatDesk seems like good news for Mac Users, but I was very disappointed when I got in touch with them a while back and they said they were not shipping any of these gorgeous machines outside the US.NeatDesk can easily have a huge market in EU and Asia but I am guessing it will take them a while to get there.

  18. Avatar Camille Engel says:

    This was very helpful, thank you! I am a fine artist and need to go paperless before I go crazy! I am misplacing my artist agreements, inventory, etc. and plus searching for a desktop organizer. Camille Engel, contemporary realist oil painter

  19. Avatar Victoria says:

    It’s post Christmas 2012. I wanted to buy a scanner to help me get organized for 2013. I have a small business, and then of course, personal bills, etc. and a high schooler. My main purpose is to get all my bills in an organized and easily retrievable manner, then shred paper files. I also want to scan tests and quizzes for high schooler so they can manage their papers through the semester and prep for future quizzes and finals (some teachers don’t give back homework in time to prep for quizzes, etc.). After all this inputted, volume will be very low monthly. Since I pay bills online and then am given a receipt that I can print out or store electronically, I would want to transfer receipt to the scanned file directors.

    With the information above, which system would you recommend? I’m thinking NeatDesk, but since I work in the legal field too, I really enjoy the speed of the scanners we have in the office and the ability to name and place into our document management directory. Being spoiled with that hi-end technology at work, will I be disappointed with NeatDesk or tack the financial plung with another scanner?

  20. Avatar Dan Fitzgerald says:

    H i Sam
    I have 7 rental properties. I need to seperate bills/ receipts into each property. I also need to seperate repairs, taxes, utilities, interest etc. bills for tax forms for each property. Some contractors will put 2-3 different property repairs on one bill, each one is seperated on the bill, can this be divided when scanned, or scan twice to show in up in 2 files? Can I manually adjust the dollar amount when scanned when one bill is to be divided between 2-3 properties? What is your suggestion? Thanks

  21. Avatar Dan Fitzgerald says:

    Can I manually put in amounts when I don’t have a written receipt that I write a check for, such as cleaning crew, etc.
    Is there any way to keep track of mileage on each receipt?

  22. Avatar Lisa Bell says:

    Thank you for your research. I am totally overwhelmed and think a scanner might help but not sure which one and if I need other programs which hopefully you can suggest as well or someone else I can contact. My daughter has been involved in raising awareness and money almost $180,ooo to help fix kids hearts. She has been doing this since she was little (now she’s 15) Over the years she has met soooo many people that want her to stay in touch with them and she has literally a roomful of business card and people she would love to stay connected to. We have never figured out what database to set up to do this for her philanthropy work so that she can send emails that are personalized but wont take a ridiculous amount of time. She also routinely gets tons of emails and contacts from twitter and facebook that she also would like to stay connected to in an organized way. Scanning cards would be helpful but we need a way to organize and as her mom, I am overwhelmed and have no idea what to suggest to her at this point. We have a Mac if that makes a difference. Any and all suggestions would be so very much appreciated. Thank you,

  23. Avatar Denise says:

    Whats the difference in the 1500M and the s1500 bundle. do you have a recomendation? Its for home use, but lots of stuff. Can you use the cloud on both?

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      The bundle includes software you probably don’t need. The difference between the S1500 and the S1500M is that the “M” stands for “Mac.”

      I’m not sure what you mean by “use the cloud,” but you can put your scanned documents anywhere you like, including the cloud.

  24. Avatar Bonnie Treiber says:

    I have been lazy, and have piles of receipts, statements, letters from businesses, etc all over. I only want something for home use, and am wondering whether ScanSnap or Neat Desk is better at scanning things that have both typed and handwritten text. I put in a paper, scan it, and it goes to my computer, into an already created file??? Is this how it works? I see words like software, etc….does that mean a lot of ‘hookups’ to my computer? Is there a ‘xxxxx for Dummies” to read before deciding on which to purchase? and, how about the negative online reviews/comments about getting charged even if you send the unit(s) back, etc? [PS why would you ‘modify’ a comment?]

  25. Avatar Dione von Hein says:

    Hi. Appreciate your review and all other’s comments but am still confused. I don’t have much money so can’t afford the SnapScan. All I want is to scan receipts and paid bills to get a handle on my personal spending. Even the NeatDesk is expensive for me but does or does not their software have the capabilities of reading and catagorizing receipts, etc. automatically (I guess by store name or some other key word?). Their advertising (tho I’m always skeptical of advertising) seems to indicate that it does. Can you clarify please? I don’t have a printer/scanner so am unable to scan any other way. Thanks!

    • Sam Glover Sam G. says:

      In theory, the NeatDesk lets you scan and categorize receipts. However, it doesn’t let you do anything useful with them, and in my testing, the QuickBooks link doesn’t work well, if at all.

      • Avatar Dione von Hein says:

        Thanks so much for your quick reply! So, if I understand correctly, I wouldn’t be able to run reports with totals of the different categories and see that I’ve spent more money for my cat’s food than I do for my own :-). (Which I already know I do, unfortunately). Anyway, I guess there isn’t anything out there for my simple needs (and financial limitations) I do appreciate your time, though. Thanks again!

  26. Avatar jennie says:

    trying to decide which scanner I need , I have piles of paper i want to scan like power bill , water bill, expense paid, eatting out,bill of sales, titles , ect and I want to scan this stuff and put it in its own file so at the end of the year it will have them all together so all i do is pull it up and print it out and give it to my accountant like a spread sheet of all the certain bill i paid for the whole year even if i have to total it my self as long as i have it all in the right group that would be a big help plus if i have a doctor bill i paid and they say i havent i can go to medical bills and pull it up. would tha scan snap or the neat scanner which one that is user friendly that would work ? . I tryed quick books and it was so complacated i gave up. So now I thought a scanner may be what I need what do yall think? please help I spend most my life looking for paper is for stuff i have files in my box or paper i have lost

  27. Avatar Matt says:

    Ran across this thread and wanted to chime in. As a former Neat customer I switched to
    a ScanSnap S300 and for software I use Paperless from Mariner. The combo is head and shoulders above the Neat solution in terms of ease of use and receipt/document management. Any they even answer their support inquiries (something Neat never did)!


  28. Avatar Ric says:

    Do either scanner have wireless capabilities with MAC?

  29. Avatar June says:

    I was looking into the neat for my compaq pc. How many gb’s will I need.
    I want to scan all the info on my property to show all the improvements inc case I sell.
    I will need this for Capital Gains Tax. I enjoyed all the comments and I want the easiest scanner to use. Where do I purchase a Scan Snap. Neat is sold at Staples.
    Thanks, June 6/8/13

  30. Avatar Deborah H says:

    I have 50+ years of family photos (two heavy suitcases!) I wish to save to flash drive, plus 3 file boxes of documents (late husband’s VA docs, artwork, medical records, medical bankruptcy & tax docs I still have to save, etc) . The photos are both B&W and color, and various sizes. The photos are more precious to extended family than my files. I saw the TryNeat ad on TV and it looked tempting, but perhaps the SnapScan or another choice might do a better job?

  31. Avatar Stephen says:

    Mr. Glover, thanks very much for a good review. This has been very helpful as I’ve considered how to go paperless.

  32. Avatar Screwed says:

    Just keep in mind you don’t actually get to TRY their system, you ARE going to buy it. I did the trial and sent it back, they are still taking from my account. I have sent several emails and called in when you go to (2) for customer service you wait 45 minutes for someone to come on the line and say, no we only have sales people via phone, you must deal with customer service via website only, nobody here can help you. Complete BS

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