Is the Brother MFC 8910DW's scanner good enough?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kylera, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

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    Seoul
    #1
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

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    #2
    It's not the scanning technology, but the workflow around going paperless. For example, how easily are scanned documents categorized, and retrieved? This is where Snapscan shines.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #3
    How many documents are you going to be scanning? What document management software would you use if you went with the Brother to sort/query? Do you need a solution that extends across Win and Mac platforms, and even iOS/Android? Are you going to be performing OMR/OCR/ICR? If many documents, cross platform functionality is a must, or you will be performing (light OMR)/OCR/ICR, the Fujitsu is strongly favored IMO.

    I believe ScanSnap comes with ABBYY FineReader, and FineReader works well on Mac and Windows with the correct scan settings. Further, I believe the ScanSnap product you are thinking of can perform much of the OCR tasks on the scanner's CPU - greatly reducing the time needed to make larger PDF files searchable and freeing up your system resources. I'm not sure if the Brother has this feature or not - or even if this functionality is relevant to your workflow?
     
  4. jimthing, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #4
    As ZapNZs above. But basically, the Fujitsu Scansnap range are typically thought of as more or less THE industry standard machines these days in many circles, especially the auto-feeder models like the iX500. Sure other machines large businesses use are faster throughput for hundreds of docs a day, but they typically cost double/triple or more the iX500s price, and most users wouldn't need such power. (the iX500 is a bit like how the Technics 1210 record decks were/are in the club DJ-ing scene; they just work continuously with few problems, lol!)
    Provided one gives the glass inside a really quick wipe now and again (for example, when you see a line on a scan), which can be done in seconds by opening the simple mechanism button, that lets the user open the inside really easily.

    I have the previous USB wired-only Mac-specific white Fujitsu Scansnap "S1500M", the black "S1500" was for Win machines (although both work on Mac/Win just fine as software was included for both OS's with each model anyway! The only difference was each coming with their Mac/Win respective version of Adobe Acrobat software, AFAIR).

    The latest "iX500" (though it's been around for at least a couple of years by now) is a single wireless or wired model for both Mac/Win, and Acrobat isn't included this time AFAIR (at least not for Mac users, it's not, likely to keep the price down!). Though instead, you could just use the in built OCR functionalities this new model uses, or invest in the vastly cheaper PDFpen software or similar, over the super-expensive generally OTT software that is Adobe Acrobat.

    I scan a doc in, which in my case auto-opens in Acrobat, then I press cmd-A ("select all") which opens a dialog saying no-OCR is present and asking me if I want it to do it now (I just hit return twice, and it does it!).
    All models take seconds a page, then just use my own Finder folder structure to file away with file names that typically run like this example:
    2017.09.30.Sat - My Bank - main ac (12349876) - letter confirming overdraft.pdf

    (I add Mon/Tue/...Sun days to aid following document progression. E.g. I may want to notice why the last one of docs produced daily ended on the 20 and then restarted on the 23, with nothing in-between? ...Ah!, it was a weekend, as the DAYS are ...20.Fri then ...23.Mon type-of-thing! Other uses involving comms between parties, can be helped having the DAY as well I personally find.)

    If a file/folder is a project, I often use dashes to indicate the year+months it ran over, rather than exact dates with separator dots, eg. a project between July and Sep 2017:
    2017.07-09 - blah blah

    E.g. a project between 2017 and 2018:
    2017-2018 - blah blah

    The reason I use full dates (as in not 2017-18 but rather 2017-2018) rather than shorthand (17-18) and full words (e.g. NatWest Bank and not NW Bk) is that they can be easily searched without having to think of the clever naming scheme I chose and likely cannot remember when needed to search again. Or might simply have been named wrong in the first place, as they typically introduce complexity, being as they are, not in natural language.

    I also run a "current" top folder, and an "archive", with the latter having "2016 archive"/"2015 archive"/"2014 archive"/etc.

    At the beginning of each year, I try and archive things away. Each thing that ENDED in that year gets archived, so older and importantly finished projects/accounts (nothing still ongoing, basically!) don't end-up clogging up my "current" folder), e.g. folders:

    archive
    - 2016 archive
    -- 2016 financial
    -- 2016 misc.
    [...]

    - 2015 archive
    -- 2015 financial
    -- 2015 misc.
    [...]

    As for the Brother or any other all-in-one; it may work, but typically dedicated document scanners are miles better for mass document scanning compared to all-in-ones. Mine's been going for several years now without hiccup, so trust me you won't regret buying it. ;-)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2017 ---
    ...oh, and forgot to say, the Scansnap can also scan extra-long docs, simply by holding down the blue scan button on the front for a few secs.

    And you can scan A3 docs by folding the page in half and scanning them in the included clear folder on each folded half. Typically, the only thing a few bigger flatbed all-in-ones do is single-page A3 doc scanning. There are no mainstream auto-feed doc scanners such as the ScanSnap's, that can do single-page A3 scanning AFAI have seen.

    But then how often do you scan an A3 (without folding it)? When I needed one last week I went to a print shop ("Mail Boxes Etc." branches across London, are one example), and paid my £1.50 for it.
     
  5. 960design macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #5
    If, by going paperless, you mean to scan less than a hundred documents sitting in folders in your office, then absolutely the brother is 'good enough'. If you truly mean to go paperless and scan every bill, payment statement, receipt, registration renewals, ect. Then save yourself the headache and pick up the SnapScan.

    They are pricey, but oh so worth it. I can find every lowes receipt from three years ago, every report card my daughter has, every payment statement, doctor bill... you get the idea.

    Paperless makes so much sense. Once you figure out a virtual filing system you like, then you are off and running and will look at paper receipts with disdain.
     
  6. jimthing, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    #6
    Yeah, I wouldn't say the iX500 is that pricey really (sure all-in-ones are often dirt cheap). Even in the UK when checking last week it was ~£280 (though currently I notice the Amazon.co.uk listings for it are haywire!). Comparable machines from other brands are similar prices (though as said above, those larger companies may use auto-feeder scanning machines that are 2/3/4/+ times more expensive, as they deal with super-heavy throughput).

    But yeah –longterm– is where it's at in the paper free world, lol!

    Got a good filing system you care to share. Always interesting how other people do things...
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2017 ---
    As you mentioned receipts...

    Isn't it silly how ApplePay receipts are still on paper. You cannot get one emailed to you using any functionality within ApplePay, so it's up to the shop to offer emailed receipts (and that's been in Apple's own stores only, as far as I've ever found!).

    The "last 10 transactions" and only "per-device" inside the app, that AP offers is pointless and inadequate.

    I still have to ask for a receipt from the shop/restaurant; always on paper!

    Reconciling bank statements isn't any easier.
     
  7. 960design macrumors 68030

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    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #7
    Wow!! The prices have certainly come down. I'm still using a seven year old snapscan S1500 and think I paid somewhere near $700US for it. I have tried just about every scanner out there and only the snapscan's do not result in complete frustration with page rejection, double feeds and jams. The thing just scans and scan.

    At these prices, I no longer have to fear the day my precious dies.
     
  8. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    Location:
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    #8
    I should buy an iX500, as although is has a cheaper CIS image sensor (requires item right next to take image clearly) in it rather than the more forgiving CCD image sensor (item can be at a distance and software focuses after) of the S1500-series, it does do wireless and OCR can optionally be done on the device, rather than only in external post-scan software as the S1500-series.

    But I'll wait until an updated model comes along now, I think. Mind you, they may think this iX500 machine is so good and paper becoming so obsolete, that they may never release a newer model.
     
  9. 960design macrumors 68030

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    Destin, FL
    #9
    Absolutely get the ix500! If my s1500 ever breaks, I will 'upgrade' to the ix500 immediately.
     

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8 September 3, 2017