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Portability and Compatability in One Neat package

Category: Hardware Published on Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Plustek Goes Mobile with New Scanner 

You'd think the market for scanners would be pretty much depleted with the bevy of multi-function printers on the market, but someone forgot to tell the folks at Plustek.


Rather than sitting back and taking whatever is left of the scanner biz, they've taken the initiative to go mobile by introducing a new portable scanner. The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 ($239) is loaded with features you'd expect from a larger sheetfed scanner, but you can carry this baby around with you.

Truthfully, the AD450 is a bit heavier than other portable scanners, weighing in at a bit less than three pounds, but it makes up for it in features and ease of use. It's also rated at nine pages per minute (and a bit slower for photos), but in reality is a bit slower --- maybe five or six pages per minute. But this is still a lot faster than most portable scanners.

Setting up the scanner was relatively easy. You have a choice between using AC power or setting it up as a bus-powered device. Those wanting to use their computer's USB port for power will have to have two available ports - - - one for power and the other to access the scanner.

Once it's connected, all you have to do is follow the onscreen prompts and install the software, which includes everything from a PDF reader (ABBY FineReader) to photo and document-handling programs.

The scanning process is also fairly easy. There are three buttons on the top of the scanner: one for scanning documents directly to PDF files; a BCR button that scans business cards; and a Scan button for JPEG or greyscale images. Plus these buttons are programmable using a nifty utility that loads when you boot up your computer. The utility also lets you change the paramaters of how you scan:

  •  You can switch from color to black and white or greyscale or vice-versa.
  •  You can change the documents' destination folder.
  •  You can change the default application that opens your scanned document.

Other features include:

  •  Support for all popular image formats.
  •  You can scan everything from rigid embossed cards (such as driver's licenses) to legal-size documents.
  •  It's bundled with OCR, business-card reading and image management software.
  •  It comes with all the necessary cables, a cleaning cloth and a carry bag.
  •  It's compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

For more information, check out the company's website at

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