When your office resides wherever you've parked your suitcase for the night, lugging paperwork along with your laptop can be a real drag. Visioneer's $200 (list) RoadWarrior mobile scanner can help reduce your load by allowing you to scan field reports, receipts, business cards, and other paper documents while traveling.
I found RoadWarrior a breeze to set up and use. The USB-powered scanner weighs less than a pound and is about the size of a rolling pin. A single button on top of the unit launches Visioneer's OneTouch scanning software. With this simple utility, you can select or customize a host of preset configurations--such as scan type and output file format--prior to scanning. The RoadWarrior senses when you've inserted an item into the paper feed, and automatically starts scanning.
The lack of a paper tray proved a minor challenge. I took a while to get the hang of keeping documents straight as I inserted them into the scanner's autofeed mechanism. When some scans were slightly crooked, however, the scanning software's autostraighten and autocrop features did a fine job of correcting the final images. You can turn off the autofeed mechanism; doing so can make inserting sheets in a straight manner a bit easier, since the scanner isn't pulling it out of your hand. The trade-off is that you have to take an additional step to activate the scanner.
In my hands-on tests, the RoadWarrior took just 11 seconds to scan a black-and-white document at 200 dpi, and a respectable 38 seconds to scan a color document at 150 dpi (both 8.5-by-11-inch pages, archived in TIFF format), a reasonably fast performance for a USB 2.0-powered scanner. The RoadWarrior was also proficient at scanning documents into PDF files, including searchable PDFs.
In addition to thorough documentation, the RoadWarrior comes with a carrying pouch, sheets for calibrating and cleaning the scanner, and a bundle of software that includes applications for document management (ScanSoft PaperPort 11), optical character recognition (ScanSoft OmniPage Pro 14), and business card conversion (NewSoft Presto BizCard 5). All in all, the bundle provides an excellent set of tools for organizing and managing your scanned documents.
For anyone who wants to leave paper behind when out on the road, the Visioneer RoadWarrior is a welcome traveling companion for uploading printed or handwritten items on the fly.