Monday, September 24, 2012

Handheld scanner captures text and images


A couple of years ago I was in a library doing research on my family history when I ran across a book containing a photo of my great-great-grandfather. With some difficulty, I was able to make a photocopy of the image, but a digital scan would have much better.

It's too bad I didn't get my hands on the new IRIScan Book 2 until a few weeks ago. It would have been the perfect tool for that situation.

The IRIScan Book 2 is a portable scanner that works like a magic wand when you pass it across a page of text or images. With one pass, you can capture text, photos, charts and drawings. The scanner is powered by a pair of AA batteries and it saves the scanned material as JPEG images on a microSD memory card.

The scanner is designed to work with pages that are a 8.5 inches wide. It requires a steady hand to get a clean image, but it was far more forgiving that I expected. If you move too fast, a red light appears telling you to start over. Buttons on the scanner let you choose between color and black-and-white images and higher or lower resolution.

Once you’ve finished scanning pages, you can download the captured images to a computer or tablet using a memory card reader or with a USB cable. Software that comes with the scanner lets you convert scans into editable text or import them into PDF, Word or Excel files.

The IRIScan Book 2 costs about $100. For $20 more, you can get the executive version that has a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth for making wireless transfers to a computer, tablet or smartphone.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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