Seeking batch-scanning solution

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Wingsley, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Wingsley macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2014
    I have a couple of questions...

    I used to work in a real estate office, and one of the most popular machines there wasn't the PC. It was an MFP (multi-function peripheral; a machine that can print, copy, scan and FAX). Whether you had a single page to scan, or 25 pages, the MFP was a handy and quick way to get it done. You just stepped up to the machine, plugged in your thumb drive, placed your documents in the ADF (automatic document feeder tray), typed in a command, and away it went. Depending on the size of your document, in a matter of seconds (or maybe a few minutes) it would be scanned into a PDF file on the root level of your thumb drive, with the filename containing the time and date it was scanned.

    The office had many problems, and the MFP's breakdown was a minor one (though significant). I left that office, but one thing I miss was how handy the MFP was (when it worked right; it was heavily used and not well maintained). This was a desktop-style MFP; not one of the huge ones that sits on its own cart.

    I know that today's crop of MFP's still offer a thumb drive port, ADF, and some offer color printing, color scanning, and even two-sided scanning in a single pass. I've even heard that HP's scanners offer the ability to scan and send the PDF file to an email address or upload it to a cloud storage system.

    I have been thinking, more idle than serious, about buying a new MFP. It would take a while to build up the $$$ for it, though. My questions:

    1: Does anyone on here use MFPs, daily or occasionally? Do you use it to scan documents?

    2: If you scan with an MFP, do you output the PDF to a thumb drive, or maybe a cloud, or an e-mail? How does it work for you?

    3: Do you know of any other scanning system that does this, other than an MFP?

    4: How is the MFP's performance overall? (Printing, scanning, etc.) Is it a good overall value for your office?

    5: Does anyone actually FAX anymore??? The real estate office did occasionally. We only have a voice line here, but we could hook up a FAX or MFP if need be. I wonder if those old switching devices are still on the market, like they were back in the 1990s...

    6: How well do MFP's work in an Apple-dominated environment? (Macs, iPad, Android phone, currently LAN is Airport WiFi)
  2. ZapNZs, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    How much do you have to scan? Do you want to use OCR? Will you want intelligent document recognition and sorting?

    I'm not super experienced in this area so this is only from my limited experience...

    I only use a multifunction printer when I have a small amount of items to scan - I avoid it with larger batches, and avoid it entirely if I need ICR (which often works best with the settings that will slow my MFC to a crawl, such as 300-600 DPI/grayscale/TIF.) In my experience, a dedicated device like a Scansnap is superior to a multifunction center, not just in its capacity, but the clarify of image processing, insanely faster color and grayscale scans, insanely faster OCR since the unit itself performs much of the post-processing on its own built-in hardware, and accuracy of the OCR. The integration is also a nice selling point. It pairs very well with ABBYY FineReader, which is the best Mac-based OCR I have personally used to date, and one of the few that is accurate enough (with the right scanner/settings) to reconstruct entire invoices/long forms in Excel without needing virtually any manual correction, even if the original document is skewed.

    IMO, for smaller and medium jobs not requiring sensitive handling, cloud-based is the way to go. Small businesses may also find the ability to scan directly to an iPad or iPhone very attractive given this eliminates the need for a medium. For larger batch processing jobs, a wired setup and dedicated manager may be a better fit for such needs. But ultimately, if you are looking for a batch scanner for home office/small business beyond the occasional scans, IMO the ix500 isn't a bad investment.
  3. Wingsley thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2014
  4. stevenisHAUNTED macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2007
    Just purchased and received my Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. This beast has every other "competitor" beat easily.

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3 October 15, 2017