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Lifehack Product Review: The ScanSnap S1500

Lifehack Product Review: The ScanSnap S1500

Disclaimer: This ScanSnap S1500 was sent to me free of charge to review. Also, I’m coming at this review from a Mac-centric angle as that is the platform I used while testing. Enjoy.

If you want to get your act together and get closer to a paperless lifestyle, you are going to need a good scanner. I’m not talking about one of those flatbed $99 jobs. I’m talking a full fledge, duplex, sheet-fed scanner.

Fujitsu makes some of the best scanners in the industry and when I had the chance to review the infamous ScanSnap S1500 ($449.99 retail) I jumped at it. Here are my thoughts and impressions of the S1500.

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Design

    The ScanSnap S1500 is designed extremely well and you won’t feel like you received an inferior product when you pull it out of the box. It’s made of a “Apple-esque” gray plastic (not aluminum) and is built well. The S1500 is extremely compact, much more that you can tell from photos and doesn’t take up too much space. In fact, I simply put it on top of my Mac Pro’s case on the side of my desk and it fit well.

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    The S1500’s document feeder has several different adjustments to handle paper sizes of letter, A4, B5, A5, and standard business card sizes. These are the “supported” sizes, but you can really scan anything up to letter size. What’s also great is that if your paper is a tad misaligned with the scanner, the S1500 will take care of it for you and realign it.

    One thing that I truly love about the design of the S1500 is when you “fold” it back up to compact it and the different pieces sort of snap back together giving you some sort of acknowledgement that the pieces are in the proper place. This nice little touch makes it feel more of a high quality product. It’s almost the same experience that you have when you close a MacBook lid.

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    Software

    There is a decent amount of software that is included with the ScanSnap S1500. You can easily call this software a “suite” of tools that enhance the S1500. Installation of the software was simple and the defaults seemed to be pretty well thought out. After you have installed the software and want to start scanning, it’s as easy as loading up the scanner with a stack of papers (supposedly up to 50 pages), hit the scan button and wait until they are finished. Once your paper is scanned the ScanSnap Manger kicks off and gives you options to scan the documents to a folder, email, print, mobile device, Evernote (JPG or PDF), Google Docs, SalesForce Chatter, Word, Excel, iPhoto, or even use the included Cardiris tool for business cards.

      ScanSnap Manager

      I tend to scan PDFs to file and then manipulate my PDFs with PDFpenPro, but it’s great to be able to send this documents to some very popular services. When scanning to folder you can choose the path, either local or network folder, and even pull up a name history for keeping your documents named in some sort of organized fashion. I was highly impressed with ScanSnap Manager and used it almost primarily rather than using the built in Apple scanning service (which you can use if you are so inclined).

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      Cardiris is a great little add-on that pulls contact information out of business cards and syncs them with your contacts. If you get a lot of business cards, this thing is a total time save and is quite accurate. What’s nice about Cardiris is that you can set it to format your contact information to match it up with Apple’s address book or even Exchange. It’s versatile and powerful.

      Performance

      What can I say more about the ScanSnap S1500 other than it is a total workhorse. Mind you, it isn’t as fast as some of Fujitsu’s higher quality scanners, but for just under $400, you are getting a highly capable, fast machine. I did notice that there were some jams here and there, but mostly due to my over-zealousness and excitement of using the S1500 (paperclips won’t work and staples sometime get stuck). But about 99% of the time the S1500 just works.

      I would say I scanned nearly 1000 sheets of paper over the 30 or so days I reviewed the product and it held up fantastically.

      Conclusion

      If you are trying to live the paperless lifestyle that I talked about at the beginning of the year and you want a high quality scanner that won’t kill your pocket, this is the scanner to get. You could purchase a Doxie or some other cheaper scanner, but if you want high performance and a great software suite for going paperless, do not look further than the S1500. The out of box experience is all you need to get rid of the paper in your work and life.

      More by this author

      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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      Published on September 17, 2020

      10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100

      10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100

      Are you looking for the best monitor under $100?

      Whether you want it for your home office, editing photography, or gaming, you don’t need to spend big bucks on a display screen because a low budget one will certainly do the trick.[1]

      We can almost hear you having second thoughts about the picture quality, but you don’t have to worry at all.[2]

      Our list of the best monitors under $100 will be more than enough to cover you. Just go through it now, and you’ll find yourself a bargain.

      Why You Should Trust Us

      Our list incorporates some of the best low-budget monitors available in the market. Their efficiency and distinctive traits enable them to stand out from others.[3] The hand-picked ones below are incredibly slick and have a high refresh rate, fast response time, high resolution, and built-in speakers.

      1. Acer Ultra Thin Frame Monitor

        Our first affordable computer screen is Acer’s 21.5-inch ultra-thin frame monitor. It has a refresh rate of 75Hz using an HDMI port and offers a full HD widescreen display.

        Its brightness can be maxed out at 250 nits. It has a slight tilt angle ranging from -5 to 15, as well as Radeon free sync technology.

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        Buy this computer monitor.

        2. Sceptre Ultra-Thin Display

          Sceptre is another company that provides excellent displays for your CPU. The screen size is a little smaller at 20 inches, but it’s made up for the slightly lower price than Acer. It also comes with two HDMI ports and built-in speakers and is wall mount ready.

          Buy this computer monitor.

          3. ViewSonic LED Monitor

          best monitor

            If you want the best monitor to set up in your office or around the house, ViewSonic’s LED screen is another good option to buy. The resolution is full HD and has a broader tilt ranging from -5 to 23 degrees.

            On top of that, the product comes with a 3-year warranty. Included in the bundle are a VGA cable, monitor, power cable, and audio cable.

            Buy this computer monitor.

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            4. ViewSonic Gaming Screen

              While we just covered a ViewSonic monitor, this one is specifically built for gaming in mind.

              Overall, this computer screen provides the same specs as the previously mentioned item. The key differences are that this one is slightly longer, comes with pre-set customizable visual modes, and offers a maxed out contrast, delivering a dynamic contrast ratio for sharp and crisp images. It also comes with a DVI cable.

              Buy this computer monitor.

              5. Asus Back Lit Monitor

              best monitor

                If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can get an Asus Back Lit Monitor for your PC. A lot of the focus is on image quality, particularly having a strong contrast ratio and smart video technology for straight viewing. That feature also helps in reducing blue light since you’ll have more flexibility with the colors and brightness.

                Buy this computer monitor.

                6. Asus Back Lit Display

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                  Another alternative to the previous Asus monitor is this one. It has a smaller contrast ratio, though it still delivers a smooth video display. You also have aspect controls, so you can adjust its display.

                  Buy this computer monitor.

                  7. Dell Ultrasharp Panel Monitor

                  best monitor

                    If you’re looking for the basic features, look no further than Dell. There’s nothing particularly fancy about this panel screen, but it does the job well for any computer.

                    Its response time is 8ms, which is typical for a monitor. It can come in either silver or black.

                    Buy this computer monitor.

                    8. ViewSonic Frameless Monitor

                      If you liked ViewSonic’s LED monitor but wanted a little more features, we suggest looking at their frameless display. While it boasts similar specs as the brand’s other monitors, it offers color correction and dual built-in speakers, making it ideal for office and home use. It’s also 22 inches long.

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                      Buy this computer monitor.

                      9. Dell Mountable LED-Lit Monitor

                        For a dependable display with a good frame rate, Dell has a mountable, LED-lit monitor in the market. It measures 18.5 inches, has an adjustable arm, and has been through rigorous testing for long-lasting reliability. You can’t go wrong with this best monitor either.

                        Buy this computer monitor.

                        10. Sceptre Monitor

                          The final screen to cover comes from Sceptre. Compared to the ultra-thin version mentioned above, this one is available in 22 inches. Beyond that, it’s your standard display that provides decent tilting at -5 to 15 degrees, wall-mounted capabilities, 5ms response time, and built-in speakers.

                          Buy this computer monitor.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Finding one of the best monitors around can be tricky. If you’re looking for an affordable one that can last for years, consider picking a computer screen from this list.

                          Featured photo credit: Sebastian Bednarek via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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