Plustek revealed their OpitcSlim M12 Plus sheetfed scanner just two weeks ago, this USB powered portable device is capable of scanning documents up to A4/Legal size, and at a blazing fast speed. We were able to get a hold of the very first unit, and from my tests I can say this is a tool no mobile executive should be without.
The most useful feature is what I would call the Fax killer, it gives you the ability to scan a document and have it sent immediately to email. Now how useful can that be? I can’t tell you how many times I had wished I could send something over to someone, but was just too lazy to warm up that old flatbed, edit the file, compress it, etc etc etc…
This thing is very efficient, say you need to send a hard copy of some doc you have on file, an article clipping, a signed agreement, or just about anything else that needs to be transformed to the digital world. In just 17 seconds you can have an 800kb PDF. You can all thank USB 2.0 for this. And the fact that I can toss it into my notebook bag and take it with me anywhere I go is a huge bonus.
Plustek designed the Scan Master application and PDF tool, these with another $250 worth of bundled software makes it very capable to anything you need it to. The file formats in standard scan mode can be JPG, TIF, PCX, BMP (100 to 300dpi). Under custom scan mode you can save files as a PDF, or you can OCR the text to an RTF or TXT file (100 to 600dpi). Scanning attributes can be True Color, Greyscale or Text.
The design of the OpticSlim M12 Plus is well, very slim, and compact. Measuring only 10.5-inches long and 1.25 inches thick. Just big enough to scan a all your documents without the need of a power adapter, yes, its USB powered.
The M12 Plus was really designed for documents and OCR, but I had to test it to the limits. I scanned an image taken with a Nikon D70 that was printed out on cheap staples photo paper. This staples paper is much thicker than your average sheet of 20lb copy paper, more like 80lb. I’m not sure what the M12 is designed to handle, but it messed up a couple times on the 600dpi scan, that was the only problem I encountered. Any other resolution was fine, but at 600dpi with this particular paper, it could have been the gloss or thickness, it stalled a couple times and took me finding the “sweet spot” to keep it rolling through.
The times below are from the moment the scanner grabs the paper, to the time you see the actual file on your desktop. You can download the files to see the quality; none of these have been manipulated in any way.
JPG 200dpi true color 36 seconds (Image0002.JPG, 268KB)
PDF 300dpi true color 80 seconds (Text0001.pdf, 196KB)
TIF 300dpi true color 75 seconds (Image0001.TIF, 23.5MB)
TIF 600dpi true color 232 seconds (Image0002.TIF, 94MB)
PDF 300dpi text 76 seconds (Text0003.pdf, 200KB)
BMP 100dpi greyscale 17 seconds (Image0001.BMP, 884KB)
BMP 300dpi greyscale 25 seconds (Image0002.BMP, 8.3MB)
Other document scans
OCR RTF 147 seconds (Text2006228_25942734.rtf, 8KB)
PDF 100dpi true color 72 seconds (Text0002.pdf, 376KB)
PDF 300dpi greyscale 36 seconds (Text0005.pdf, 4.6MB)
PDF 300dpi true color 85 seconds (Text0006.pdf, 5.6MB)
47 seconds to scan and email a 300dpi text-based page (Image0003.BMP, 861KB)
The most difficult task using the OpitcSlim M12 Plus is installing the software, this took a good 15 minutes of clicking next, next, next, next… After all that, it was smooth scanning from here on out. It sells for $149.99 from Newegg.
Note: The specifications on the web say this is USB 1.1, however it is USB 2.0. The box shipped says USB 2.0 and the speeds are there to prove it, nothing can be done in 17 seconds with USB 1.1.
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