Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A scanner the size of a pen

When I heard about the Docupen RC800, I thought it was a no-brainer. Trade in my flatbed scanner for one the size of a small cigar? Gladly! As the owner of American Roof Preservers (cedarcare.com), a firm that cleans and preserves cedar-shake roofs in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, I could see using the DocuPen to scan documents or collect helpful news articles on the go.

Manufacturer PLANon Systems Solutions (planon.com) advertises the RC800 as a full-color scanner capable of recording 100 pages, each in as little as four seconds. I was excited to test it.

I removed the DocuPen from the box, loaded the bundled software CD onto my computer, and charged the pen for 50 minutes. Then I set DocuPen to scan at its highest resolution with full color, figuring that even though I was scanning a black-and-white document, I wanted the best possible quality. I set the scanner on the page, pushed the power button and rolled the pen toward the bottom.

About three-quarters of the way down the page, all the lights on the scanner began flashing, and it shut off. I repeated the test, but each time the results were the same. Oddly, the software help menu offered only technical specs on the software itself. (Later I realized that there was a second help menu in the separate Paperport document viewer - all a bit too complicated for my taste.)


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