The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100: An ultra-portable paper clutter reducer

Yesterday at CES, Fujitsu released its latest model in its ScanSnap scanner series. The S1100 is a mobile color scanner, smaller than my shoe:

ScanSnap sent me a model to test a couple weeks ago, and I think it’s a great little machine. (It’s weird how I drool over scanners and their paper clutter-reduction powers … I may have a problem … ) It works with the same dependability and quality as other ScanSnap products.

It took me about four minutes to install the software, and I was able to use the scanner instantly after that. The software works with both PC and Mac.

My only complaint is that it doesn’t scan both sides of the paper you feed into it. However, since I have a desktop scanner that does duplex, it’s not such a big deal to me. This device is really built for lugging around in your briefcase or suitcase, so its compact size and convenience outweigh the lack of duplex scanning. If you attend a lot of conferences, you want a small scanner like this that weighs next-to-nothing (my home scale said it weighed half a pound) and quickly processes all the paper you collect. You could easily leave an event without a single piece of paper cluttering up your travel bag.

When ScanSnap contacted me to see if I might want to review one of the S1100 models, I asked if they might be interested in giving away a few units to our readers in celebration of Unclutterer’s fourth birthday (assuming I liked the unit). They were generously game (the units are currently retailing for $199 a piece), and later today we’ll provide details about the giveaway. Stay tuned if you’re interested in winning one for yourself. I think a lot of Unclutterer readers could use an ultra-portable scanner like this.

26 Comments for “The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100: An ultra-portable paper clutter reducer”

  1. posted by Kevin Fusselman on

    I can vouch for the quality of the Fujitsu ScanSnap product line. From a technical standpoint, their software is a bit hokey, but it does work well.

    A few months back, I bought the S1300 (instead of a new file cabinet), and haven’t looked back. It’s a bit bigger than the 1100, but is also quite a bit faster (when on optional AC power) and scans both sides of documents simultaneously.

  2. posted by Kevin on

    I own the canon p-150 ultraportable scanner. It’s a little bigger, but it does duplex and has great quality. $250, highly recommended.

  3. posted by Mat on

    Same here… I have a 1500, and it’s excellent.

  4. posted by Beverly on

    I do not have a scanner at all, and would love to try to break into the paperless world! Keeping my fingers crossed I might win one!! :)

  5. posted by MJ Ray on

    Sounds good. Does it work on GNU/Linux?

  6. posted by Kate on

    @ Erin — I am looking for a scanner that I could easily use to scan in old family photos — would this work for something like that? Does it only scan into PDF format or can I set it to scan into JPEG or some other format?

  7. posted by Mercedes on

    I’ve been wanting to scan all of my important documents but it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list because of how cumbersome i think it will be. Maybe somethign liek this would make it faster? At least it’s a little more convenient to move aorudn thatn my desktop printer/scanner combo!

  8. posted by neatdesign on

    I have the ScanSnap 1500 at work and it is a total lifesaver. It saves me SO much time and has made my work much more efficient. It fits right on my desk (most people hardly notice it’s even there) and scans things quickly, in color, and double-sided. I also love the scan-to-email capability.

    I work at a university, so we have a lot of paperwork and records to keep. We’ve taken advantage of the ScanSnap’s efficiency to move away from hard-copy paper records whenever possible. Instead, we scan the documents and save electronic copies of them, then shred the originals. It’s saved time, filing space, and practically eliminates misfiling the documents. Because they’re saved on a shared network, everyone has access to them. So if I’m on vacation, someone doesn’t have to go into my office to fetch a document they need; they just get it online.

    What this scanner isn’t good for: Scanning photos. I suppose it could, but a flatbed scanner is probably easier for that purpose. Also, if you are a USAA member and like using the Deposit@Home option (where you can scan your checks and deposit them electronically), the ScanSnap does NOT WORK. The Deposit@Home system only recognizes flatbed scanners. This was a huge disappointment because I really loved that banking feature.

  9. posted by Astrid on

    Ooooh, that thing is gorgeous! I’ve been thinking of going paperless – I am still a sucker for how paper feels and how easy plain black letters on plain white paper read, so it’s a tough decision – this thing may just be what pushes me towards making the right decision. Hmm… I may just go ahead and get myself one!

  10. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kate — I wouldn’t use this scanner for photos. I’m sure it would work fine, I’m just of the opinion that it’s more efficient for an outside vendor to scan hundreds of photos. I used scanmyphotos.com … but there are many companies out there who do it, and you probably have at least 10 within a 20 mile radius of your home. It’s inexpensive, and most of all it saves an incredible amount of time.

  11. posted by Kate on

    @Erin – Thanks for your response. We’re all feeling a little hesitant to send out our family photos for scanning, so we’re all willing to pitch in the time… any suggestions for a scanner that would be good for that?

  12. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kate — This scanner would work fine, and it has a nice price point. Whatever scanner you decide to pick, though, DON’T get a flatbed. You will quickly tire of having to lift the lid. I learned that lesson the hard way :)

  13. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kate — My friend Don just suggested going to Kinkos and taking advantage of their HUGE scanners. Lay out all of your images in just a couple scans. I haven’t done it, but it sounds awesome. I have no idea the price or the process of cutting up the huge image into smaller images … but it seems like it could work, too.

  14. posted by Kate on

    @Erin — Thanks so much for your help! I will let you know what we decide and will be happy to come back with suggestions post-project.

  15. posted by OogieM on

    @Kate I would invest in a decent Epson flatbed scanner, Photoshop software and do it right. Yes, you have to lift the lid but your precious photos are not at risk in some other business and you can do archival quality scans. Pick up a copy of Digital Imaging – A Practical Approach by Jill Koelling http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/ for all the details of how to do it right. If you are not going to do a good job at archival quality IMO don’t bother doing it at all. A poor scan is worse than no scan at all!

  16. posted by Debra Schramm on

    I have 2 direct sales businesses and I have sooooo many receipts to keep track of. I’d love to give one of these scanners a try.

  17. posted by chacha1 on

    Has anyone compared this ScanSnap to the NeatReceipts portable scanner? I got one of those for DH a few years back (stocking stuffer!) and while we haven’t used it heavily, it is super easy and has built-in categorizing functions. Seems this is about the same size & capability, so was interested if anyone has used both, how they would rate them.

  18. posted by Jon on

    I’m actually in the middle of researching document scanners to move our family towards the paperless holy land.

    For those already there which features are most important?

    – pages per minute
    – duplex
    – number of pages held by feeder
    – portable vs. larger/full size

    I don’t want to spend money on a better model just because there are more features, but also don’t want to skimp and have a poor experience. My use case involves doing an initial scan of documents filling 1-2 hanging file and maybe a few documents per week after that. We use Apple computers at home and work. I had pretty much decided on a Fujitsu S1500M (or possibly there mobile version) but saw there are options from HP, Epson and now this new model from Fujitsu.

    What say you Unclutterer family?

  19. posted by Brooks Duncan on

    @Jon Obviously it depends on your specific need, but if you expect to have light scanning requirements after your initial scan-a-thon I would rank them in order:

    1) Duplex
    2) Pages per minute
    3) Number of pages
    4) Portable

    Now, if you need to be on the go a lot then obviously that might change #4’s place.

    @chacha1 I haven’t used NeatReceipts but I have used NeatDesk and the S1100. The ScanSnap is faster and a bit smaller, but it doesn’t have the receipt categorization software that NR has. So, it depends if you want speed/quality or that particular software feature.

  20. posted by Carlo on

    I just stumbled on this blog, and I’m loving it! I am one of many who have been struggling with clutter.

    I need to ask: is there a portable scanner similar to the ScanSnap that can scan A3 documents? A lot of my important documents are A3 in size. :-(

  21. posted by Jon on

    @Brooks It might come down to pages per minute and cost for me. The S1500M (20ppm) and S1300 (8ppm) are $430 and $246 on Amazon respectively. Thanks for the advice!

  22. posted by Pam on

    On a side note, can I ask where you got your shoes!

  23. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Pam — Ha! They’re New Balance 769 TS2 Women’s Running Shoe in the limited edition Susan G Komen Race for for the Cure signature color. I ordered them from Zappos.com last year. I’ve worn this same shoe (the 769 TS2) for four or five years now. I just order a new pair whenever my old ones are dying. These lasted longer than most because of last year’s injury and now this year’s one … hard to run with a foot in a cast …

  24. posted by CY on

    I saw the NetReceipts portable at ATL yesterday and wanted to know more about the receipt categorizing. It knows what to do about the credit card receipts but what about the full size 8×11 receipts? It can’t do it (all large size receipts are treated as a document only). It should at least ask and allow you to enter information of what it scanned but it doesn’t do that either. It does tax prep papers but with lot of missing data so it’s useless. What they are selling have lot of other holes. Having said that, I am just looking for a good reliable unit that can upload information directly to the Cloud.

    I have been maintaining information in the cloud for couple of years and it is the way to go if you are doing the paperless. Always available from any kind of computer from anywhere in the world. Don’t have to have big HDD in my computer nor do I worry about crashes due to my mistakes or bump in the night by ghosts.

    QUESTION I have is: can you download the software rather than using the DVD. MacAir doesn’t have DVD. One of the deciding factor when buying the portable unit.

  25. posted by susan on

    Thanks for the blog and the discussion.
    I’ve heard some negative reviews on neat receipts which has kept my office from purchasing that particular portable scanner. However, we do have epson flatbeds for our high-end digital graphics dept. Obviously that’s a bit much for organizing the accounting dept.

    I found your blog while searching for optimal portable document scanners. I was referred to fujitsu’s portable; however, being that epson has done very well for us, I chose to look there first. Yet, the one thing I must say for your blog is the fact that your honest opinions on the efficiency of the snapscan is winning me over.

    For those who haven’t heard of the software, this is an alternate to NeatReceipts. I can’t vouch yet for the company, but they do offer a 30-day free trial. http://www.marinersoftware.com/products/paperless/

    Oh, and one more thing. If you’re using photoshop software, import using “image capture” rather than “twain acquire.”

    Happy Scanning, Shredding, Saving Space and Organizing!!

  26. posted by George on

    Regarding CY’s comment, the NeatReceipts scanner does recognize full sized receipts as documents, but one can simply drag the document into the receipt pane, and it’s immediately reprocessed into a receipt.

    Software updates are definitely downloadable. I think that original can be downloaded with appropriate serial number.

    George

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