The Xerox Mobile Scanner is rather more special than the usual turgid grey lump of scanning plastic. Read more scanner reviews.
For a start, there are those looks. Yes, the Xerox Mobile Scanner is essentially still grey (albeit a sleeker and glossier pretend silver-metal version), but its nicely sculpted exterior allows it to stand out from the usual crowd of scanners. Whether your office is modern or classic, the Xerox will meld with the scenery.
At 638g, the Xerox Mobile Scanner a good deal lighter than the likes of the Canon DR-C125 and DR-M160 – although, in terms of true portable scanners, this weight isn’t particularly low. More significantly, the Xerox offers a few extra features that make it portable in a way that those Canon models cannot match.
Truly computer free, the battery-operated Xerox can be used in almost any situation. The battery is rated for 300 shots, which will give you plenty of scanning time before the juice runs out.
Included in the bundle is a 4GB Eye-Fi card. This neat device doubles as both storage card and as an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi adapter, allowing you to connect to a laptop via a wireless network.
In fact, using Direct Mode, you can connect the Xerox wirelessly to the laptop even if you don’t have an available wireless network. This being the age of cloud computing, Xerox is keen to allow you to send your files through the ether, and you can wirelessly divert scans to sites like Evernote, Picasa, Shutterfly or Facebook.
The device can also communicate with most mobile devices, and an Airplane Mode button allows you to switch off the Wi-Fi radio.
For traditionalists, the Xerox can still be hooked up with a good old-fashioned USB cable. In truth, Wi-Fi proved unreliable and erratic, and for the most consistent performance you’ll probably want to stick with USB 2.0.
Not that the Mobile Scanner is without any more faults. In return for the portability and connectivity, you have to give up features like ADF. Instead, you insert one page at a time, which can make it a chore to work with large volumes of products.
A button on the scanner lets you cycle through different output formats, and the process of feeding in pages is very convenient. Nonetheless, high volume users should look elsewhere.
The software bundle is nicely designed. Nuance’s PaperPort takes care of the general organisation, while the excellent OmniPage Pro 17 works very well for OCR.
Xerox Mobile Scanner: Performance
In truth, the Xerox works best of all as a text scanner. Its 300dpi resolution is a little limited for detailed graphics, although it should prove sufficient for web-destined content.
As a text scanner, the Xerox is extremely adept, and it handled most of our test documents without any flaws, turning them into PDFs.
Business cards were also reproduced without any problems, giving the Xerox a big thumbs up for accuracy.
For once, the manufacturer’s speed claims pretty much held up too. Xerox claims 10 seconds a page, and we found sheets took no more than 11 seconds with the USB 2.0 interface plugged in.
If you want to use the full wireless experience, you can expect it to take almost a minute to complete the entire process, so you’ll probably want to use USB even when the Wi-Fi is working.
Single page feeding is less convenient than having an ADF, although the process isn’t as inconvenient as you might think. Insert a new page within a few seconds of the previous one, and the Xerox will automatically add each new page to the existing document, rather than creating lots of separate files.