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NeatConnect Scanner Helps Organize Documents, Business Cards and Receipts

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Category: Hardware Published on Thursday, 13 March 2014

We were a bit skeptical when the folks at the Neat Company asked us to look at their cloud-based scanner system. After all, desktop scanners are obsolete, right?

They're dinosaurs. right?

The need for these relics from the Stone Age of tech have virtually been replaced by all-in-one printers, right?

Wrong!

While all-in-ones can do an adequate job scanning and processing single photos and single-page documents, those of us with big, multipage scanning projects need something a bit faster to do the job.

The new cloud-based NeatConnect Scanner ($499) can handle up to 50 pages at once, with the paper tray removed, at a speed of 24 pages per minute. It also helps you organize that pile of documents, receipts and business cards sitting in piles around the office.

Set up for the scanner was fairly easy. All we had to do was scroll through the menu on its LCD screen and we were all set.

The NeatConnect is wireless, which means you need to connect it to a WiFi network. This enabled us to set it up in another room, without needing to make room for it near our computer. Also, since it stores everything in the cloud, it can be used without a computer. Just tell it what cloud service you're using and it scans the documents to that destination.

Neat has its own cloud service (for $5 per month after a three months of free access), but we were able to scan items to Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive (which is free). Unfortunately, you need to use the NeatCloud to automatically sort receipts, business cards and documents, but it wasn't hard for us to set up our own folders and drag and drop scanned documents to their proper destinations.

Also, keep in mind that this is a "document" scanner and really doesn't do an adequate job with photographs. In fact, after doing a bit of research on the Web, we discovered the scanner can damage the photos.

Other key features include:

  • Neat Desktop software, which gives you access to everything stored in the cloud using a PC or Mac 
  • One- and two-sided scanning
  • Maximum resolution: 600 dpi
  • Supported paper sizes: 1.5 by 2 inches to 8.5 by 30 inches
  • Max scan area: 8.5 by 11 inches (up to 30 inches long for 300 dpi)
  • Capacity with paper tray: 15 business cards plus 15 receipts plus 15 letter-size documents
  • Capacity without paper tray: 50 letter-size documents
  • TWAIN, WIA, and Image Capture support for scanning into other imaging applications
  • A SD card slot for saving scanned images (32 GB max)
  • An USB Port for scanning directly to PC or Mac
  • NeatCloud plans come with either 5, 20, or 50 GB of space

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.