The VuPoint Magic Wand scanner would be my top recommended portable scanner for students and researchers. For people who spend a lot of time in the reference section or rare book collection room, where you are not allowed to borrow or even photocopy the documents, carrying one of these hand held scanners in your briefcase or knapsack will be a huge timesaver. It is easy to use- just position the wand on the page, hit the start scan button, and roll the wand over the page.
As soon as the little rollers on the bottom of the scanner start to roll across the page, the scanner light comes on and starts to capture. It will capture a crisp 300DPI (600dpi ay high resolution setting) jpeg format image straight into it’s internal memory. The device is designed to roll from the center of the book’s binding to the outer edge of the page, but you can place it sideways as well, if your book is a non-standard shape.
Note: If you do use yours in a library, be sure that you ask the librarian for permission to use a scanner. The magic wand scanner does use a high intensity light that can contribute to decay of older archival printed materials.
But the Vupoint Magic Wand is a handheld document scanner that can work well in other uses too. If you have a cramped home office with no room for a desktop flatbed scanner, it’s perfect. It is easy to grab for a quick swipe across a magazine page to save a new recipe, or for keeping receipts and business cards where you won’t lose them, on your hard drive. It even has external storage using the optional microSD card, of up to 1280 black and white images. Oh, did I mention it works great with MACs, too? It is one of the few portable scanners that is MAC compatible.
Another cool use for this scanner, if you are into home improvement, is take it along to the big box hardware store when you are shopping for tiles or wallpaper or veneer patterns. Swipe it along a sample tile, for instance, then take it home and print it out to compare how it will match the rest of your decor. Works great for fabrics, too.
VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP) Specs and Features:
- Scans color & monochromatic images
- File Format: JPEG (one of few negative points. Would have been good to save in the much smaller PDF format)
- Size: 10 x 1.1 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 7.5 ounces (less than ½ pound!)
- Scanning Speed: A4 Size: high resolution with color ≤ 28Sec; High resolution with mono ≤ 14Sec; Standard resolution with color ≤ 8Sec; Standard resolution with mono ≤ 4Sec.
- Power Source: 2xAA Batteries (battery life is around 200 min)
- External Memory Support for Micro SD cards up to 16GB
The Magic Wand scanner is bundled with the optical character recognition software package ABBYY Screenshot Reader. Optical character recognition (OCR) software extracts text from images. ABBYY’s program is a screenshot reader type, one which lets you select an area of your computer screen, then extract text from the area and paste it in your clipboard. What this means is that when you scan an image of a book’s page using the Magic Wand, you are able connect the scanner to your computer with a USB cable, (it will appear on your desktop as a USB memory drive) then open the image in a picture viewer and use Screenshot Reader to capture all the text.
I would also recommend buying a microSD flash memory card when you order this scanner; you can buy a 4GB one for around 10 dollars, and it will hold hundreds of page images. Default resolution scans in color average around 500k each; higher resolution 600 dpi scans will be double, around 1MB each, so even a 1GB MicroSD card will hold plenty.
Another accessory to consider is the VuPoint Portable Magic Wand Travel Case. It is stronger than the cover that comes in the box, and has enough space to carry a usb cord, Micro SD card adapter, or even extra batteries.
Where can you buy the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner?
Strangely enough, Bed Bath and Beyond stocks this scanner, as do numerous office supply and electronics stores. If you don’t want to run around looking for the best price, you can’t go wrong with Amazon.com, prices there are always competitive and shipping is almost always free. Click here to check the scanner’s pricing at Amazon