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688 of 705 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect document scanner, nearly good enough for pictures.
I'm a graduate student and I spend a lot of time in libraries poring through books that can't circulate (rare, antique, etc.) Some are not even allowed out of specific parts of the university library. This is the answer! I can just roll the wand over the pages, and then I can study the text in the comfort and convenience of my house. I will add a picture of a scanned...
Published on February 22, 2010 by Anonymous Italian

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696 of 730 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Results
I purchased this scanner to help in cataloging my DVD and book collections. Frequently I find that the default cover art which is downloaded by the catalog program doesn't match the actual item and all too often the correct image isn't available online. Taking books and DVDs from the library and living room to the flatbed scanner in the office so I can scan the cover art...
Published on April 1, 2010 by Amazon Customer


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688 of 705 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect document scanner, nearly good enough for pictures., February 22, 2010
This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
I'm a graduate student and I spend a lot of time in libraries poring through books that can't circulate (rare, antique, etc.) Some are not even allowed out of specific parts of the university library. This is the answer! I can just roll the wand over the pages, and then I can study the text in the comfort and convenience of my house. I will add a picture of a scanned page for review as a product image. I'll never go back.

Oh, it does eat batteries, but who cares...AAs are cheap.
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373 of 383 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, February 26, 2010
This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
I bought this scanner for the purpose of scanning pages out of law books at the library. After about two minutes' practice, it was a cinch. In fifteen minutes I was able to scan 30 pages' research, and later downloaded it all to my laptop as .PDF files. The resolution is great, and the scan quality was good enough to use in powerpoint presentations after cropping and magnifying with Microsoft Picture Manager. You can't get scans out of books with a page-fed portable, and a desktop model is too big to carry. Light years better than waiting for the library photocopier.
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198 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!, March 18, 2010
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
It has been way too long since anyone made a really usable hand scanner. I've been looking for one for years. So I was very excited when I saw a review of the 'Magic Wand' on one of my news feeds.

This product does the trick. You have to be fairly slow and steady to get a good scan, but hey... it's a hand scanner! So no surprise there. The scan quality is quite acceptable for a device of this type. Not what you would get from a flatbed scanner, but hey... it's a hand scanner! Print is readable, photo quality isn't fantastic but might improve as my scanning skills get better.

The scanner is bundled with 'ABBYY Screenshot Reader', which extracts text from an image. ABBYY is one of the major producers of optical character recognition (OCR)software. I have a document scanner that came with and ABBYY OCR program. But I have never seen a screenshot reader before. This product allows you to select an area on your computer screen, and it will extract text from that area and put it in your clipboard.

So when you scan an image with the 'Magic Wand', you can connect the scanner to your computer with a USB cable (included); open the image in a picture viewer; and use Screenshot Reader to capture the text.

You will probably have to do a bit of touch-up after you paste the text into another application. I have yet to see an OCR program that does perfect text conversion. One trick that helps a lot is to zoom in on the text to make it larger. OCR programs work better with larger text.

I am very pleased with the 'Magic Wand'. I keep it next to my laptop in the living room (yeah, I'm a multi-computer geek, and I do "side surfing" while I'm watching TV) so I can quickly scan things out of magazines or books. And it's small enough to toss in my computer bag when I'm on the road. Along with my Planon Printsitk portable printer (Planon Printstik PS950ME Label Printer - Monochrome - Direct Thermal), I've got a complete office in a bag!
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696 of 730 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Results, April 1, 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Gurnee, Illinois USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
I purchased this scanner to help in cataloging my DVD and book collections. Frequently I find that the default cover art which is downloaded by the catalog program doesn't match the actual item and all too often the correct image isn't available online. Taking books and DVDs from the library and living room to the flatbed scanner in the office so I can scan the cover art is tedious, so I thought this portable scanner might be a good solution. Unfortunately, the results weren't as good as I had hoped based on the other reviews I read here. It's not that the scanner is "bad" - because it isn't really, it's just that it wasn't as easy to use as I had hoped.

Pros: The scanner is compact, reasonably priced and attractive. Reasonably good results can be achieved with practice.

Cons: In order to produce a good image, the scanner must be moved very carefully. Uneven motion, brief pauses, etc. - basically anything short of consistent movement - will cause distortion in the image.

I've uploaded two examples, one good and one bad, of a DVD cover scan (the movie "10" with Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, and Bo Derek).

In conclusion, while the scanner is certainly compact and inexpensive, there are limitations which the buyer should be aware of before they decide to purchase.
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136 of 139 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for doctoral students, November 27, 2010
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
I am a doctoral student in Italy, and the university libraries here do not loan out their books, so this scanner is a real game changer for me. I've used a DocuPen RC-800 scanner in the past, but the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand works much better for me, especially since I use a Mac. Let me give a little comparison of my impressions of these two devices:

The DocuPen is only slightly Mac compatible; the software it uses to integrate with my Mac has almost no options, and is quite cumbersome to work with (the PC version of the software is much better). It is very slow to download the scanned images to my computer, and just as slow to erase the originals from the scanner. In high resolution mode, you have to drag the scanner quite slowly and carefully, or it will mess up the image. The scans that it makes are are decent, but somewhat uneven and grainy.

The VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand is better in every way. It has a longer scanning surface, so you can easily scan bigger book pages. You can drag it across the page at almost twice the speed as the DocuPen, and the image still comes out great. Downloading and erasing the originals is a snap. The scanner saves each image as a .jpg file, and when I plug it into my Mac via the USB cable, my computer basically recognizes it as a camera. It automatically opens iPhoto and downloads a whole load of images in a matter of seconds, and then I can delete the originals from the scanner even faster than that. This is a VAST improvement over the DocuPen.

Here are a few other helpful hints: When scanning from a book, take a thin sheet of white cardboard (I use the back cover of a spiral notebook) and place it underneath the page you're scanning, all the way up to the spine of the book. Make sure the scanning surface begins as close to the spine of the book as possible, and then drag the scanner from the spine outward. Perfect scans every time!

Once my scans are in iPhoto, I drag the whole batch to an empty folder on my desktop. Then I select the entire batch, right click (or control click) on the entire batch, and tell it to open with Adobe Acrobat Pro (you will have to purchase this program, obviously. It's not too expensive if you're a student). When Acrobat opens, it asks you if you would like to turn all of these files into a single PDF. Just click "yes", and your whole document is brought together. Then just use Acrobat to do an OCR conversion, and you have a beautiful, searchable PDF of your source document. This collation and OCR process takes a bit of time for the computer to process, but it's worth it.
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167 of 174 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for scanning text based documents. A poor choice for art/photographs/blueprints/etc., June 4, 2010
This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
This little device is way better than one would have any right to expect. There have been hand-held scanners in the past, and they have mostly been overpriced and frustrating toys.

This is not. It's a decent quality scanning device. Credit that to the drastic drops in fixed lens camera elements and ccd detectors over the past few years.

You can use this device, after a very modest learning curve, to scan things like text out of book, documents, receipts, etc. Basically, anything that is text based can be scanned pretty well with a little practice.

HOWEVER, this wand is NOT appropriate for scanning photos, blueprints, or any other source material that requires high precision. That's because you WILL have distortions in your scan. That's unavoidable due to the fact that it is impossible to ensure a 100% constant scan rate (or 100% straight path, for that matter) across your source material. For figures/pictures, there's no automated way to correct for this.

Bottom line: I'd recommend this highly to those who have the need for a portable scanner for text based documents. But I would STRONGLY advise against getting this if you expect to use it for photos/figures/blueprints or any other precision document.
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97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars handy device, April 11, 2010
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
Needed a scanner to use on old newspaper pages that would not fit onto a flatbed scanner. This scanner worked flawlessly from day one. The nicest feature is that there is no software needed on the computer. The scanner stores the scans as jpegs on a memory card (SD; you need to buy one as one does not come with the scanner). When you plug the scanner into the USB port on your computer it appears as a USB memory drive. You just drag the files onto your computer. The quality of the scans at 300 DPI were very very good.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works well and produces useable decent scans with little practice., May 1, 2010
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
There aren't many companies making these devices so the choice was an easy one to make. The Magic Wand by VuPoint is a decently built very handy device to have in any laptop bag or even as a main scanner on your desktop. The open design is a real benefit when you need to scan documents from a bound volume. The scanner's CCD does not go all the way to either edge of the wand so you can't scan the area right up against the center binding (of a book let's say) but you can scan in any direction and correctly orientate the resulting picture later on your computer. If your printer has a USB connection on it you can hook the scanner directly to the printer and print without having to open an image editor on your computer. The scans are pretty decent and easily readable. Colors come out great and no corrections are necessary so again, you can print directly from a printer if you want. One thing to remember: the Magic Wand does NOT come with a MicroSD card. This is plainly stated on the packaging and in the directions so be sure to order a MicroSD card when you buy the wand. Default scans in color come out at around 500k and the higher resolution (600 dpi) scans are double that (approx. 1MB) each so a 1GB Micro SD card will go a LONG way. We bought a 4GB card for 10 bucks. Very pleased so far. Would order another Magic Wand immediately if we lose or break this one. A nice soft sleeve protects and keeps the scanner glass clean between uses.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vupoint Magic Wand, April 15, 2010
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
My primary reason for selecting the Magic Wand over other makes was it's battery powered portability. Most other brands were USB port powered. I can use the Magic Wand virtually anywhere, and then download it's memory at my convenience. It did a very satisfactory job of copying text as well as photos in both color and black and white. It is compact, light weight and very easy to use. A handy cable provides connection to any USB port equipped computer. Automatic shutoff increases battery life.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons, April 29, 2011
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This review is from: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (Electronics)
I purchased the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP) about 5 months ago. I'm an obsessive note-taker, so the main reason I got it was to scan paperwork and then toss it. Also, I wanted to be able to scan interesting articles and recipes in magazines for future reference.

The scans result in jpeg image files. Image files take up more space on your hard drive, and these are especially large files if you're using the higher resolution. For example, when I scan a regular piece of notebook paper, it creates an image that's about 30 inches tall and needs to be resampled. On the other hand, today's hard drives and large capacity memory sticks can accommodate an endless array of large files. Also, the item comes with OCR software that converts text into actual document files, which are always smaller than picture files. If you plan to convert a lot, remember that OCR software regularly misreads many words and characters, so you have to be prepared to proofread very carefully.

The scanner is fun and easy to use, but the batteries don't last very long if you regularly forget to shut it off. Also, the results you get can be frustrating. This is due to the fact that the scanner must slide smoothly, without pauses, in a very straight manner, or you will end up with one end of the scan looking "wavy". This can be avoided by butting the wand up against a long, straight-edged object so that your movement is slow and controlled. Overall, the success of the scan depends on your going extremely slow. Unfortunately, I'm not that patient, so I find myself scanning everything twice! When I upload it to my hard drive I can easily "fuse" the 2 images together because I have experience in computerized art and a good graphics program that allows me to cut and paste.

I think there are other important advantages to using a graphics software program in conjunction with the scanner. As I said, the scans are so large that they need to be reduced. In addition, scans often contain unacceptable dark patches simply because they were done too quickly. My software allows me to mask the problem areas and increase the contrast, resulting in a clearer image. If you need a program that's free and easy to work with, I recommend that you get it at downloads.com (hosted by cNet).

The wand is so slim and lightweight that I tend to forget that it's sitting nearby. On a few occasions I have accidentally knocked it off my desk. For this reason, I suggest you purchase VuPoint Solutions Carrying Case for Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDSC-IW410-VP) to protect it, or at least make one of your own using lint-free cloth.

If you have a lot of scanning to do, be sure to purchase a micro SD card that's large enough (the product doesn't come with one.) It can hold up to 16 GB. I bought one with 4 GB, and although I have about 100 scans on my card right now, there's still plenty of room left. If you buy a smaller card, you'll have to keep uploading the scans to your computer to make room for new ones. Besides, you can get good deals on SD cards, making the larger capacity ones worth buying.

I took Amazon's suggestion and bought a card that came with an adapter, which turned out to be unnecessary. The scanner acts like a separate drive when it's connected via USB port. The computer easily finds the memory card and the files therein. Truth be told, I don't know why anyone would need an adapter--unless they want to leave the scanner at home and take the SD card to a friend's house. If the friend didn't have an appropriate card reader, the adapter might come in handy. Otherwise, I'd say don't buy it.

One last tip. There are different types of SD micro memory cards, such as SDHC, SDC4, and so on. I did some research to find which one I needed to buy. It has something to do matching the highest speed at which both the scanner and your computer are able to transmit information. I used to have an old computer which couldn't read an SDHC card, which is kind of like the "high definition" form of SD cards. It's my understanding that even though the scanner can accommodate an SDHC card, you shouldn't purchase one if your computer doesn't have 2.0 transfer speed.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase. Amazon had it for the lowest price, and shipped it quickly. I've been scanning ever since.
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VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner
$99.99 $47.25
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