23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
From the moment I opened up my Canon image FORMULA P-215 I was in absolute awe. Before going on, let me just state for the record that I am a "gadget guy" all the way and have an entire office full of sweet equipment, but as far as scanners go, this one really takes the cake.
Here's my breakdown:
This thing is tiny! It sits about a little over an inch tall, three inches deep, and 11 inches wide. This can easily be plopped right into an attaché without adding any more bulk than a 300 page book. Miraculously, even though it is so small, it feels really well built and sturdy. And while we're talking about looks, even though I am a function over form guy, this think is darn right sexy. Can a scanner be sexy? If you see this thing in person, you'll see what I mean.
This scanner does not even need to have any software installed to run on PC or Mac. I don't own a Mac, but on the PC I just plugged it in to my USB 3.0 port and a pop-up came, I clicked the scanner file (which is located WITHIN the scanner), and the software was up on my screen in less than half a minute. Next, I walked over to my wife's computer and plugged it in there with the dual USB 2.0 connection and it was up and running in the same amount of time. Although not necessary, this dual connection will allow you to scan at high-speed (like USB 3.0) on a USB 2.0 computer. In either configuration, there are NO POWER CORDS! This means that when you want to use it at work or at a client's location, you don't have to get on your knees to plug it in. Also note: this thing doesn't even have a power button! It just turns on when you open it up to scan! Brilliant!
When running the software built into the scanner, you can have it run in full-auto mode, or change all the settings to your liking. Settings include color mode, page size, DPI, skip blank pages, straighten skewed images, rotate to match text orientation, and even more if you want to use the advanced settings. You can also save the file in the following types: PDF, TIFF, JPG, PPTX (Powerpoint), or BMP. Also note that this scanner automatically uses OCR (optical character recognition) so that your PDFs are immediately searchable from within. ( In fact, in Windows you can download a small patch from Microsoft and make all your PDFs content searchable right from Windows Expolorer.)
I scanned things like crazy to put this thing through the paces. The claim that it can scan a 20-page stack is indeed accurate. The scans look fantastic and the OCR was accurate as well.
Comparison to my Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500
This unit, which is approximately half the price of my Fujitsu, compares favorably to it in terms of ease of use and output. The only differences (for me) are that the Canon scanner is a tad slower and doesn't hold enough sheets. If I wasn't such a heavy scanner-user then I would definitely switch over to the Canon because of its small footprint, but as it stands, I will definitely be using this as my go-to travel scanner.
This scanner also comes with CaptureOnTouch software, which is a more permanent solution for using this scanner as a desk scanner (as opposed to a portable on-location scanner). Also note that you can download the latest software/drivers from the Canon website including: ScanToEvernote, ScanToGoogle, and ScanToSharePoint.
All in all, this scanner gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. It is a 5-star product in every way.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2012
I have used the P-215 for most of a day and I have to echo what many of the other reviewers are saying: Speed is very very impressive, especially for the small footprint. It does tend to pull a bit more from one side, causing the page images to be slightly tilted in many cases. This is not a huge deal for me, because during the OCR process in Acrobat, the page is automatically rotated anyway, alleviating much of that problem. Scan quality is excellent. It does miss grabbing onto the occasional next page, but this also isn't a showstopper, as again Acrobat can be configured to prompt for more pages, at which time I just reseat the current stock left in the feeder and continue. I won't spend a great deal of time on the features, as the other reviewers have done an excellent job covering them. I opted to use the software-installed Twain driver, so I can't comment on the built-in driverless option. In summary: for the money and portability, this is a very impressive product. Minor quibbles aside, I can't imagine anyone being disappointed.
I also bought the power adapter which I think deserves a bit of clarification - it is the one for the P-150, and works just fine. Nowhere on that adapter page on Amazon could I find a reference to the fact that it works with the P-215, I just had to assume, since it was the only one listed, and was fortunately correct. The adapter product page should be updated to reflect this.
EDIT: The soft case is not included in the package by default. You have to add it as part of your order at checkout per the instructions near the top of the page. I did not see this when I ordered mine - it may not have been "live" yet or I may simply have missed it. Thank you Northern European for pointing this out!!
I've used the scanner quite a bit more since my original posting and am amazed by the power and quality you get in such a small package. I keep thinking that something this small shouldn't be handling page feeding as effortlessly as it does, but it keeps on impressing. I have a few older books that I've been wanting to convert to electronic documents, and I do notice that it has a bit of difficulty with the thicker covers. Since I also have a regular flatbed scanner, this isn't an issue for me either, as the page feeder and duplex scanning more than make up for having to scan 2 pages manually! Very happy.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
This is a review of the Canon Scan-tini P-215. Note: Because Amazon allows me to edit reviews, I'll post my problems and later I'll update with the resolutions.
Problem 1: I'm having intermittent connection problems with the provided USB data cable. Out of the 20 or so USB ports on various computers available to me, I find that the Canon USB cable with its USB 3.0 (type A male) connector needs to be jiggled or physically supported in order to maintain connection in about 4 ports of two different computers: One is a laptop and one is a desktop. Both computers have absolutely no connection troubles with other USB devices. I've called Canon. They're sending me a replacement cable. I'll post an update after it gets here.
PROBLEM 1 UPDATE: The replacement USB 3.0 cable came yesterday via FedEx Priority Overnight. It fixed the intermittent disconnect troubles that I was having. With the new cable, I can reliably connect to every USB port. I can't determine the point of failure in the original cable even using a 10x loupe so I presume it's an internal wiring defect. I'm not going to investigate that problem any further. It works. I'm happy.
Problem 2: In order for this Canon P-215 to scan long papers (like longer than 14 inches up to its 39 inches max size), you've got to fire up a little software utility to make a settings change in the scanner hardware. This little utility has to be installed on a computer. It isn't available through the software on the scanner's built-in flash drive. This little utility couldn't find the scanner through my main desktop computer. It was only after I drilled down through Canon available drivers and utilities that I found their little "fix" for this problem. If you have the same problem, look for the "RepairReg.exe" file at the Canon site. After I took a chance that it wouldn't obliterate my Windows Registry, the Canon long-page setting utility was finally functional and it found my scanner. All seems to be okay now. My Windows 7 Registry seems to have suffered no ill effects. Also, the utility titled "Canon imageFORMULA Utility" finds my scanner and I can change the long page enabler and I can read the life of the roller and pads.
Now on with the review:
For small papers like point of sale (POS) receipts and cancelled checks and business cards, it seems scanner choices on the market are quite limited. Best I can tell only Fujitsu and Canon scanners can do those little cash register receipts and such that are only about 2.5 inches wide. (The current user manual specifies 2.0 inches as a minimum width capability.)
It seems Fujitsu forces propietary drivers that restrict compression to their own lossy scheme and they only license the driver for one computer based on what I read at the Fujitsu web site. Those two aspects disapointed me about the Fujitsu scanners. I don't want to have to decompress the lossy Fujitsu files in order to feed the digital files to my own chosen software application. I also don't want to be limited to just one computer. In my mind, if I pay $250 or more for a scanner, it's insulting to be told I can't use it on all the computers that I own. (I might also want to lend my scanner to my wife if she's really good to me.)
Canon on the other hand, provides a universal TWAIN driver so that an unadulterated stream of digital bits can be fed from the Canon to a computer. I like that idea better. That allows me to choose the software application that will do the compression and aggregation of my digital files and the compression only has to be performed one time. It also lets me use the Canon on any Windows computer I want.
This P-215 has a built-in "flash drive" containing a light version of the Canon "On Touch" application. So, you don't even need to install software on a Windows computer in order to use the scanner. It will scan and compress into jpeg, tiff, or pdf. Or, it will feed an uncompressed tiff or bmp to your chosen directory. It will create searchable pdf's as well. So, not only can you use it on any Windows computer you want, but you can use it without installing any software. I have to admit its faster than I expected it to be working from its built-in flash drive application.
Canon also provides Nuance ScanSoft PaperPort 11. It installed on on all my Windows computers here at home. It seems to work well. You can let it do the compression and aggregation. (I use the term "aggregation" to mean assembling multiple pages into a pdf or milti-page tiff file). I am guessing that full fledged computer software can do compression better than that which is on the Canon's flash drive. In my search for best compression, I'm setting aside money to get Adobe's Acrobat. It's going to be a while before I can afford it. I want to compare compression of Canon's OnTouch, Nuance PaperPort, and Adobe Acrobat. I want the best compression I can muster so my archives are as small as possible. I'm a poor man who can only afford free or low cost "clouds" and I'd like to have an optical backup on M-Discs. I'm not sure M-Disc will ever be available on anything larger than 4.3GB single layer DVD's and I don't want to have to maintain a slew of them in addition to my encrypted archives in public clouds.
Does the Canon mis-feed sometimes? Yes. Not a lot but it happens. And, like others have said, it sometimes requires a tap on the top of the last sheet in the stack to get it to feed that final page. I find that if I clean the rollers and pad it then works more reliably. After I clean the roller and pad, it will usually take that last page without tapping. Strangely, though, there's a delay of a few seconds before it finally grips that last page. For the most part, however, if I fan and stack pages with some attention to crinkles and folds, the P-215 takes all pages. I will say this P-215 takes a stack of POS receipts or cancelled checks much better than I expected. I know that I always have to manually check for completion no matter what auto feeder I've used in my life.
To do long pages (more than 14 inches and up to 39 inches), you've got to install Canon drivers on a computer and utilize a little software utility to set the P-215 for long page mode. The little utility isn't on the Canon's built-in flash drive. That's annoying.
Why doesn't the P-215 just do long pages when it comes from the factory? Once set for long page mode, you'll find that the P-215 then hesitates several seconds after each scanned page of a stack. While set for long page mode, it seems to need this time to determine the end of the page was really the end of the page. If you want to to go back to faster scanning without those hesitations, you've got to fire up the utility and reset the scanner to expect only paper up to 14 inches. It's bizarre and annoying. Why isn't there just a little hardware DIP switch on the P-215 that allows us to change the length detection? Or, at least, why isn't this availble in the built-in flash drive? I don't know.
I do find that lots of my POS receipts are longer than 14 inches even if I only buy a few things It seems that stores insist on adding advertisements, surveys, and multiple other gigs on their tissue paper thermal printings. I can't just whack off those useless and annoying parts because the bottom of the receipt has date, time, transaction number, return policies, and so forth.
So, to scan a stack of receipts, I've got to run that utility to set the P-215 to long page mode. Then, when I think I'm done with long papers for a while, I"ve got to run that utility to set it back to standard page lengths so I can avoid the hassle of the added several seconds every time a page feeds from the stack.
Really Canon? In the future can you just put a switch on the scanner? Please?
But? The IRS says it will accept digital scans of receipts so, at least, I don't have to keep a box of those things around any more.
The P-215 does seem to provide a high quality scan as far as the optics and digital sensors are concerned. I'm not saying it's better than my Epson photo scanner but it's better than the Xerox Documate 3220 I trialed and it's better than the years old Brother Multi-Function Center that has been our workhorse without fail.
The P-215 has a small footprint. It's portable. Nice. That means I can do the tedious digital archiving chores anywhere I want ... even outside on the patio. I'm not tied to the desk in my little home office down in the basement. It doesn't seem to discharge my notebook computer to any great degree. I haven't done any time trials but I've had the P-215 connected to my HP G7 Pavillion for a couple of hours while doing intermittent scanning and still had time left on the battery. I've only got the standard size battery in the HP notebook. It's not an extended capacity battery version.
I'm liking this Canon P-215 so far. Just the duplex capability is amazing. Several years ago, duplex was unheard of in the home. I have tried the old method of feeding a stack into a single sided scanner, flipping the stack, feeding the other sides of the stack and then verifying that my little software application had correctly assembled the pages in order. I'm really happy that this P-215 scans both sides of the page at the same time.
The P-215 seems to do a great job of automatically adjusting exposure. But, it also provides multiple manual controls. Whether using the driver from its built-in flash drive or using the TWAIN driver installed on the computer, you can make adjustments to its detection of page ends, make adjustments to its detection of bleed-through, and make adjustments to its detection of blank pages. From what I have read, the Fujitsu scanners have problems with bleed-through from the other side of a scanned page. Apparently, they don't provide any means of adjusting exposure and such. That's not acceptable.
Canon's OnTouch driver provides a preview and monitoring interface so you can view pages as they are scanned. It also gives you an opportunity to preview each page, rotate each page, or delete pages before you send the digital stream to Canon's pdf/jpg/bmp/tiff compressor or before you send the digital stream to your application like PaperPort of Acrobat.
The only real gripe I have is that the auto feeder isn't 100% reliable. I guess none are. I probably expect too much. I'd give this Canon P-215 feeder function about a 95% rating, though. That plus the fact that it is duplex and has a great user interface with some powerful and detailed control functions, has made me feel that it was worth the price I paid at Amazon.
All in all, it's a pretty nice piece of hardware. If someone want to take this P-215 away from me, then once the data cable connection problems are fixed, it's like Chareton Heston said, "You'll have to pry it from my cold,dead hands."
So, with the replacment USB cable, all major problems are fixed. I like this scanner.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I've tried other portable scanners before and have not been able to find something that is a) actually portable, b)scans well, c)light enough to lug around.
That said, I'm fairly happy with the Canon Scan-Tini for
a) it weighs about 2 lbs and does fit easily into my laptop bag
b) software is good for both Macs and PCs, easy to install. However, you can start scanning as soon as you plug the scanner up to a PC without installing drivers
c) nice card slot for scanning business cards; can also scan checks
d) accepts up to 20 sheets of paper and the scan results are clear. Scans fast for portable scanners - 15 pages per minute
e) scans receipts up to 39.4 inches long and the results are clear as well (I've had issues with scanning receipts on other scanners I've tried)
On the downside, there's no included AC adapter - in Canon's mind, that's an accessory - but I haven't really had the need for one. I'm perfectly fine with using just a USB.