Fujitsu Scansnap S300 scanner - Review

Fujitsu Scansnap S300 scanner - Review

A sheetfed scanner small enough to fit in a briefcase

Pros: Capable of fast speeds. Effective PDF creation and supplied software.

Cons: Not Twain compatible. Only scans to PDF. Quality isn't great.

Bottomline: The Scansnap S300 is expensive considering its restrictive nature, but if you’re only looking to use it for its intended purpose it is capable.

Price: £220 approx

Fujitsu has created an incredibly small automatic document feed scanner in the Scansnap S300, which offers a 10-sheet paper tray capable of handling sizes from A4 right down to business cards.

Powered by either AC or USB, it’s compact and stylish, and while not nearly as small as manual feed scanners, it should fit in most briefcases. We see this being used more in the home office, though, and both its design and provided software orient it at digitising documents to try and establish a paperless environment.

Indeed, the S300 is only capable of scanning to PDF format and isn’t Twain compatible, so you won’t be able to use it with other image applications you might have installed. This sounds like a big drawback, and could put some people off, but if you’ll only be digitising documents it's not too much of a problem. The scanner starts up as soon as you open the lid and is ready to use almost immediately.

All quality and configuration settings are managed via the software, and once everything's set up you can simply place a wad of paper into the ADF tray and hit the scan button. At default quality settings it ploughs through an A4 page in just a few seconds. Documents can also be turned into searchable PDFs on the fly.

If you’re looking for high-end performance, perhaps in scanning images, and expect sharp results with accurate colours, you’ll be let down. Even at optimum quality, at which scanning takes a just less than a minute per page, we noticed that lines weren’t very sharp and colours weren’t particularly solid or vibrant.

The S300 is squarely oriented at the office environment and, although it’s effective, we’d have liked it to be a more capable all-rounder, particularly as it costs more than £200.