Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Produces Good-Quality Scans, Albeit Slowly
At a Glance
The $295 (as of February 1, 2011) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is a small, 600-dpi portable scanner that handles up to ten pages in its automatic document feeder, performs double-sided scanning, and provides good-looking images from a variety of documents. The S1300 is one of the few portable scanners available that offer the productivity advantage of a built-in ADF that's designed to travel along with the scanner itself. As such, the S1300 is an excellent choice if you need a home or office document scanner that's also mobile.
This compact scanner weighs only 3.08 pounds and measures 11.18 by 3.9 by 3.03 inches (width by depth by height), or roughly the size of a small Duraflame fire log. Outfitted with a single start button that launches easy-to-use scanner software, the S1300 can run on either USB power or a wall outlet. Its cover lid also serves as a paper-chute extension for holding a stack of pages, and it easily folds up when not in use. A power cord and power supply, a USB cable, and a USB power cord are all provided; you'll need your own carrying bag for toting the scanner and cables on the road, however.
The S1300 earned a Very Good rating for its overall image quality (using its default settings). It generally reproduced accurate color, monochrome, and grayscale documents with clear text and fine details in both shadows and highlights. Although some scans were slightly lighter in overall appearance than the originals, it was a very subtle distinction that didn't really detract much from an overall good impression.
In our speed tests, the S1300 received an overall rating of Good; however, it was the second-slowest scanner among the five models we tested recently. It took approximately 7.5 minutes to scan all 13 of our test documents (an assortment of color, monochrome, and grayscale single- and double-sided pages), versus about 5.5 minutes for the next-fastest model (the IRIScan Pro 3 Office). It achieved its best scores when scanning short one- or two-page documents, but its slower page-per-minute speed became more evident when scanning lengthier documents. Tested as a USB-powered scanner, the S1300 was the slowest performer of the bunch. It required a total of 97 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both single- and double-sided) pages, as opposed to 67.5 seconds for the next-fastest model (the Visioneer Strobe 500) to finish the same USB-powered tests.
In addition to its speed limitations, the S1300 has the least amount of scanning software among the models in our latest roundup. What it does offer is extremely easy to use, though. The main scanning software (ScanSnap Manager 5.1) provides simple choices for scanning to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other destinations. Additional options are fairly limited in each case, however, and most settings are already determined (or recommended) for you. Other software includes ScanSnap Organizer 4.1 for document management and CardMinder 4.1 for business-card recognition; the latter worked fine but didn't seem to capture as much information as other BCR apps we tested. The S1300 lacks a separate optical character recognition application, but its scanning software uses a built-in OCR engine (ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap 4.1) to create editable files. In our tests of the S1300's OCR capabilities, it produced reasonably accurate results in a variety of test documents, but we also found more typos that required manual correction than we did with competing models that have more full-featured OCR functions (such as proofreader and text editing tools).
Ultimately, the lightweight Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is a well-designed portable scanner that's capable of producing good-quality images, but its speed is mediocre and its software has limitations.