IRIS scanner in your hand
Black in colour, 220mm long, and with a 25 x 30mm rectangular cross section it weighs roughly 220g including four AAA batteries and is such a size and weight that it will easily slip in one’s laptop bag. It is supplied with ordinary alkaline batteries and, although it can be used with NiMH rechargeables, IRIS does not recommend it. This is because the latter operate at 1.2V per cell rather than 1.5V and so will provide a shorter usage life.
In addition to the main on/off and Scan push-button there are two switches: one is for colour/mono and JPG/PDF selection while the other enables the user to switch between 300/600/900 dpi resolution. There is also a slot for the microSD card (a 2GB card is supplied) and a mini USB port while, in addition, the Executive version has Wi-Fi connectivity.
A LCD screen shows the current colour/mono and resolution settings -- the display characters are a little small so that they are not easy to read -- as well as JPG/PDF and a count of the images saved to the SD card. There is also a “Full” SD indicator.
Operation is straightforward. Hold down the Scan button to switch the scanner on. Place the scanner right at the top of the page to be scanned and then, having pressed the Scan button to start the scan, steadily draw the scanner down the page. Having reached the end of the area of interest, terminate the scan by just touching the Scan button again. An unsatisfactory scan is flagged up by the Error LED.
I found that scanning documents on good quality paper was a very straightforward task, as long as the image to be scanned was not nearer than about 2.5cm from the starting edge of the page scan, even though there was a slight tendency for the very much thinner newsprint to crinkle. However, it must be appreciated that one cannot achieve as good a result with a hand-held scanner that one would obtain with a normal desk machine. Nevertheless, the results that I obtained with both text documents and photos were remarkably good once I had had a little practice to develop a steady hand.
It is worth noting that the sensor in the underside of the scanner is roughly 8.5 inches long and is not located symmetrically but is located nearer the right hand end of the scanner. Hence, when scanning books where the central gutter is relatively small it may be necessary to scan down LH pages and then reverse the scanner so as to scan up the RH page. Although this may seem strange at first, it soon becomes almost routine.
Images can then be transferred to the computer via USB connection, transferring the microSD card (using the provided microSD to standard SD card adapter) or, in the case of the Executive version, via WiFi. In practice, I found that the USB connectivity was perfectly satisfactory.
There are two versions of the Iris IRIScan Book 3: the ordinary one and the Executive. The difference is that the latter incorporates Wi-Fi in addition to USB so that one has a choice of connectivity for transferring files to one’s PC. In addition, it is supplied with Readiris Pro 14 instead of version 12. However, as the scanner output employs standard formats, there is no reason that it cannot be used with any suitable software that is already installed on one’s PC.
Priced at £79 and £99 respectively but available on Amazon for £44.99 and £70.03 IRIScan Book 3 scanners are very useful tools for the person who may need to capture information while out of the office.
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