This week Fujitsu released its latest desktop ScanSnap, the iX500. I was provided an early review unit and I've been putting it through its paces for the last several weeks. This is a really nice upgrade.
When I first heard there was going to be a new desktop ScanSnap, part of me wondered how it would differ from the successful S1500. I've been using an S1500 for years and that scanner is a real trooper. The iX500 is not an iterative improvement. Fujitsu made some big moves with this new scanner. To begin, The iX500 works on both the Mac and the PC. Fujitsu is now officially off the separate Mac and PC product trains which makes things easier for multi-platform users.
Mobile Scanning One of the best new features is the ability to use an iOS or Android app to scan directly to your mobile device. The iX500 includes a built in WiFi radio and, once mobile scanning is enabled and you've got it on your network, you can scan to your iPad, iPhone, or Android device by setting in the paper and pushing the button. To enable this you first need to install the ScanSnap to a Mac or PC and download the mobile app but after that, you can go completely mobile. Your Mac doesn't even need to be turned on. Fujitsu made a nice video showing off mobile scanning.
More Reliable The ScanSnap has always been good at detecting when it grabs more than one sheet. This newest version improves upon ultra-sonic sensor technology to make it even more reliable. The new ScanSnap also does a better job with long documents and plastic cards.
The ScanSnap also got upgraded software. The newer software makes it easer to set up custom scanning projects and send data to local and cloud storage services. In short, the Quick Menu is better and more customizable. It includes all of the usual suspects like Dropbox, Evernote, Google docs, and SugarSync. There is also a new card scanning app for Mac, CardMinder. I've always appreciated how Fujitsu supports the Mac. The software works great, is fast, and doesn't feel like an afterthought. (I can't say that for all third party hardware makers and the Mac.)
If you've got an existing S1500 should you be upgrading? Probably not unless you want the mobile scanning. If you have been on the fence, however, now is the time to buy a new Fujitsu scanner. Learn more from Fujitsu.
Disclosure: Fujitsu is a sponsor of the Mac Power Users. That does not color my opinion of their ScanSnap scanners. If they were junk, I'd tell you. I gladly paid $450 of my dollars to buy my personal ScanSnap many year ago and it still works great.