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on February 22, 2010
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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on February 26, 2010
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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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2010
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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on April 1, 2010
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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on November 27, 2010
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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VINE VOICEon June 4, 2010
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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on April 11, 2010
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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on May 1, 2010
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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on April 15, 2010
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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on May 22, 2010
Quite honestly I was skeptical because I had the Planon 850 portable scanner and the experience was horrific. I purchased this product because I have many books (mainly volume text) and I saw it to be much more convenient if I were able to put either the collections or chapters [that I am reading] on my Kindle while on the go. I looked into purchasing my own digitizer, which the minimum cost is $10,000, I tried the Snapshot program to no avail, and looked into book digitizing services, which are extremely costly (a 7-volume work containing roughly 4400 pages costs $500.00)

Pros: firm construction, lightweight, non bulky, travel case, no installation required (recognizes device like plugged in SD card), very very very easy to use, quick scanning (not 4-8 sec scan wait like planon), unlike Planon it does not stop scanning over a break in the page containing a large white area, great resolution, easy to convert images (jpg) to PDF with HP document manager.

cons: right now I honestly can't say other than its perfect for 8.5 x 11...a larger width size you would kind of have to ad lib but not impossible.

I will try to add images. I scanned a chapter from Cambridges Companion to the Quran, which was approximately 25 pages long (the book is maybe 9x7 in) and it took me 10 minutes with an additional 2-5 minutes to convert them to PDF and load it unto my Kindle.
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