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Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Document Scanner

5 Stars
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500

I began my quest to go paperless several years ago. Whenever possible, I signed up for electronic statements and preferred paying bills electronically. It wasn’t long before I realized that scanning documents with my all-in-one printer was plain tedious. If I wanted to get serious about efficiency, I needed to find a better solution –– a dedicated document scanner.

PROS

  • Extremely fast and convenient
  • Scan to searchable PDF
  • Scan to Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Docs
  • Scan to mobile (iOS & Android)
  • Very good document management software (ScanSnap Organizer)
  • Good software bundle that includes Adobe Acrobat X Standard
  • Sharp-looking hardware
  • Compact size

CONS

  • Price might exceed the average home user’s budget

Even before I began my research, I’d heard of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 and knew that it’d long been considered the cream of the crop. After having spent a few weeks with the S1500, I’ve come to understand why it’s the standard by which all other document scanners are judged by.

IN THE BOX
The ScanSnap S1500 comes with a power adapter, USB cable, Getting Started guide, and a carrier sheet. The software bundle includes, ScanSnap Manager (driver), ScanSnap Organizer (file management), CardMinder (business card manager), ABBYY FineReader (OCR), and Adobe Acrobat X Standard.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 box

HARDWARE
The S1500 is fairly compact in size at only 11.5 inches wide, 6.3 inches deep, and 6.2 inches high. It’s small enough to fit in almost any desk corner without looking like a huge appliance. Though compact in dimensions, it weighs a hefty 6.62 pounds and feels solid.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 front

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 side

The power connector, USB port, and Kensington lock port are all located at the back of the S1500.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 back

The only button on the S1500 is the Scan button. There’s no power button, because it automatically turns on when you lift up the ADF paper chute. The ADF paper chute acts as a cover that protects the scanner’s internal hardware from dust and debris. It’s a brilliant design. The ADF paper cute can be extended for longer documents and has a paper guide to keep documents properly aligned when being fed through the scanner. For quick scans, you can pop open the ADF paper chute, then push the Scan button. That’s it. When you’re done, just close the ADF paper chute and the scanner automatically turns itself off.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 scan button

For bigger scan jobs, you can lift out the stacker tray to hold all your documents after they’ve been scanned. The stacker tray is attached to the main body of the S1500 with the use of a couple of magnets.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 all open

I scanned about a hundred or so documents with the S1500 and found it much quieter than others I’ve tried. It’s certainly much quieter than a flatbed scanner and much, much faster. The included carrier sheet allows you to scan odd-shaped documents or multiple smaller documents at the same time. For example, if you want to fill out an expense report and want to scan all the receipts from a business trip, you can put all those restaurant and taxi cab receipts in the carrier sheet and scan everything at once.

SOFTWARE
The ScanSnap S1500 comes with a selection of useful software applications, including Adobe Acrobat X Standard. Fujitsu’s own ScanSnap Organizer is a joy to use. It uses a ribbon-style menu and makes editing and organizing your scanned documents a breeze. Going over every feature is way beyond the scope of this review, but suffice it to say, it’s very powerful and user-friendly.

ScanSnap Organizer

The ScanSnap Organizer also supports sending documents to the cloud, like to Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Docs. You can even send documents to your iOS or Android device. It’s a good piece of software that has many options and allows you to crop your scans, delete pages, enter keywords, and rename your scans. The best part of it, for me anyways, is that it doesn’t use a proprietary databases to store your PDFs. Scans are kept in a folder of your choosing, and the Organizer just reads them off of your hard drive. If you need to back up your files, just use your preferred backup solution and you’re good to go.

ScanSnap send to mobile

CONCLUSION
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is a crazy-good document scanner. It handled every kind of document I threw at it and did it with speed and efficiency. The S1500’s hardware is perfectly done; it looks great on any desk, doesn’t take up much room and has built-in dust protection. The ScanSnap Organizer software is full-featured and offers a lot of options for editing and organizing your scans. The ScanSnap system works so well, you can take a hands-off approach to your document scanning tasks or dig deep into its many options; the choice is yours. The S1500 is one of my favorite pieces of hardware on my desk and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Available from Amazon.com.

* Review unit provided by Fujitsu

Ed Rhee

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ed is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He reviews new gadgets at Techdad Review and his tech tutorials can be found online at Lifehacker, CNET, and eHow.