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Customer Review

1,133 of 1,167 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware but no twain driver is a significant limitation, December 21, 2009
This review is from: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Scanner for PC (Office Product)
I purchased this scanner as a first step in creating an electronic filing system for a home office. As I accumulated 20 filing cabinet drawers of paper documents going paperless seemed to be an answer.

Purchase of the Fujitsu S1500 was based on the numerous 5 star reviews. I am reasonably tech literate and have used the scanner for about 2 weeks. Here are my initial impressions:

Pros -

1. Speed: This scanner seems blazingly fast. Not a resource hog. Will scan duplex 20-25ppm at default settings on Win2K/1.8mhz/1gb platform.

2. Scan quality very good at all settings.

3. Size and looks: Small desk footprint. Looks great open or closed.

4. Excellent paper feeding as long as documents are same size and 20# or greater paper weight.

Cons -

1. NO TWAIN DRIVER. I knew this going in but did not appreciate how much this would cripple the device in day to day use. Let me explain. I had envisioned creating a virtual file cabinet in my computer using Windows Directory/Folder/File system then scanning my paper documents into this system as pdf files. The problem is that the native Fujitsu software does not let you append an existing pdf file!!!

As an example take a file for utility bills. D:/Home Expenses/Utilities/Gas_Electric.pdf. You can easily scan in all prior bills(limited by 50 sheet ADF)and a pdf with one page for each bill will be created. But if you had more than 50 prior bills or when next months bill comes then the next scan you perform to include these new documents will create a new pdf and does not allow the option of appending this current scan to the existing pdf. As you can see one could easily end up with 1000s of individual pdf documents in your filing system. The work around is to launch Adobe Acrobat (not reader) and use it to open the old composite pdf and use Acrobat to append the newly created pdf to the prior file. This work around takes longer than scanning in a 30 page document. Twain based scanners easily work with existing windows file structure and allow you to append an existing pdf without invoking Acrobat.

2. Paper catch tray very fragile and ADF paper support does not stay up (also reported by other reviewers).

3. Double feed sensor: stops scan and reports. This is good. However you cannot retrieve the double fed sheet and place it back in proper order because the next sheet is already in the scanner and cannot be backed out. You have to either cancel the scan and start over or put the unread sheet back in out of order and then use Acrobat to rearrange the pages in the resultant pdf document. If you choose to cancel the scan the document that is halfway into the scanner will not be ejected and you need to perform an new scan to retrieve that sheet.

4. A scanning run will only handle one size document at a time. In my experience if you have a mix of paper sizes you will need to do a scanning run for each paper size. Each run will generate a separate pdf file with you will then need to deal with.

5. I paid extra for the scanner bundle with Rack2File software thinking it would help me create the filing system I envisioned. After loading and spending several hours with this software I don't understand how it works or what it is supposed to do. I consider the extra $30 dollars I spent for the "bundled" scanner money poorly spent.

6. Other minor annoyances are:

While the scanner and snapscan software will run on older platforms the bundled software Rack2file and Acrobat require XPpro SP3 or newer. This is not clear from specs.

ADF will hold 40-50 sheets but output tray will start to jam after 20-25 sheets.

Documents printed on less than 20# paper and with printing on both sides the back side printing will show up on the front side scan. Many commercial invoices are printed both sides on thin paper.

Cannot set several default scanning profiles. You need to reset the scanner parameters each time you want a different profile.

Bottom line:

This would be a 5 star low end document scanner if it only offered a twain driver. As it is I can recommend it only to prospective buyers who understand the full implications of this limitation. I thought of returning this scanner and getting one of the twain based models like the Epson GT S50 but at this point I have learned enough of Acrobat to quickly append my pdfs retrospectively.

I strongly recommend avoiding the "bundled" product since I don't see what added value the Rack2File software brings.

I considered giving the scanner a one star review just to get people's attention but the hardware is so good 3 stars seems about right.
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Comments

Tracked by 13 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 16, 2010 6:09:13 PM PST
AbnerDoon says:
Que? This puppy does exactly as it says on the tin! We have 5 of these scattered about a few of our offices and bar none it's one of the few 'perfectly' executed products we have come across. That it isnt TWAIN compliant was known from the start, that it isn't a photo scanner, hi-res, etc device is a know fact from the start. For what it claims it does, it had done it flawlessly...we all love this "bread box" and for its stated purpose are hard pressed to put words to any task we wish to undertake that it has not executed quickly and predictably. Everyone certainly has every right to critique but I'm lost on what to complain about with the way our has performed, it simply does what it says it does, no more-no less and does it with aplomb.

So far as the task of appending pdf pages to another document via acrobat, there must be something I'm missing here because this description of the task imposed by the 'limit' of the hardware to take more paper or append to an pre-scanned and filed pdf document while it is digitizing a stack-o-sheets in my world is simply a breeze to perform in Acrobat. It's so fast and easy so as to be no trouble worth mentioning and the suggestion that it takes longer that it takes to scan 30-sheets baffles me, thus I simply feel I must be missing something here. For me it's a simple 'insert file' in Acrobat, find the file and specify which pages I want to add to the existing document. It's just so easy, nothing at all cumbersome about the task comes to mind....

Posted on Apr 28, 2010 6:36:13 AM PDT
John says:
Thank you for your detailed response. Good points.

Posted on May 17, 2010 2:48:35 PM PDT
Willy says:
I don't have this model, but I do have three other Fujitsu scanners, one being the S300M. About a month ago I scanned a 500 page document with it, into 1 PDF. All you have to do is fill the hopper, (the S300M only takes 10 sheets), when it's down to sheet 8 or 9, you carefully put another 8 sheets into the hopper, on top of the ones remaining. As I said, I've done LARGE documents this way. Not a problem, though it IS a bit boring.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2010 8:25:11 PM PST
As a longtime Acrobat Pro user (since version 4), I too was puzzled by the wailing about having to append PDFs. Thanks for expressing this more diplomatically than I would have!

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 6:41:09 PM PST
Mike says:
Have you found an alternative software to rack 2 filer? I just got the software my complaint is that is doesn't organize the files within windows so if I ever lose or choose to not use rack 2 file the entire structure is lost and I have folder full of unorganized docs.

Rack 2 filer's interface is too 1990's for me. Seems very dated.

Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 10:46:31 AM PST
The reviewer make at least 7 points.
Append PDF.
Fragile paper catch.
Double feed problem.
Once size at a time.
Input 50 sheet, ouput jams at 25.
Thin paper bleed through.
Single profile.

You only responded to one of them. I would consider the double feed problem alone a major problem, more so then the pdf append one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 11:32:18 AM PST
Willy says:
Since my comment back in May, I've purchased the Mac version of this scanner, and have been using it for several months.
Append PDF - you can set it to continue scanning when it is done, and it will stop and ask if you have more to input. You can make huge documents this way.
Fragile paper catch - I think it only looks fragile. It has not broken on me, and I have not been gentle with it. However, you can leave it folded up and just have the sheets exit to your desk.
Double feed problem - Must not have had the double-feed detection turned on - with it turned on, the software stops the scanner, shows you the last pages scanned, and gives you a chance to delete if they are wrong. Then it lets you put them back in the hopper and continue. If one is stuck half-way through, just open the scanner to retrieve it.
One size at a time - Not necessary, although it does work better if you do it that way - less chance of skewed scans on the narrower sheets.
Input 50, output jams at 25 - I have not found this to be true, but if it was, as I said above, just leave the exit tray folded up and dump output on the desk.
Thin paper bleed through - It's thin paper! Bleed through will happen on any scanner.
Single profile - not so, you can have several. I have 18 so far, it has not mentioned a limit.
Double feeds so far have happened for a reason - sheets stuck together, staples I forgot to remove, etc. Magazines have a tendency to stick, with that really glossy finish. But as I said, recovery is great.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2011 4:37:56 PM PDT
If the pdfs you wish to combine have been scanned to the same directory (something which I have to do regularly), combining them is even simpler. Just ctrl-click until the desired files have been highlighted. Right-click and choose the "Combine supported files in Acrobat" menu item. Hit Enter a few times and name the new file. 30 seconds, tops.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2011 9:10:25 AM PDT
Or download pdftk, which is a free command line tool, and make a batch file to automatically append new files whenever the batch is run. After it is set up, 5 seconds, tops.

something like: pdftk Gas_Electric.pdf scansnapout*.pdf cat output Gas_Electric.pdf
would do the trick, I think (where Gas_Electric.pdf is the one you want to save, and scansnapout is whatever the scansnap default filename is, the asterisk should allow all of the files that begin with scansnapout and end with .pdf to be appended, so scansnapout001.pdf, scansnapout002.pdf, etc would all go)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2011 8:41:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2011 8:42:35 PM PDT
"I don't have this model, but I do have three other Fujitsu scanners, one being the S300M. About a month ago I scanned a 500 page document with it, into 1 PDF. All you have to do is fill the hopper, (the S300M only takes 10 sheets), when it's down to sheet 8 or 9, you carefully put another 8 sheets into the hopper, on top of the ones remaining. As I said, I've done LARGE documents this way. Not a problem, though it IS a bit boring."

Doesn't the 300M have the "continue scanning after last page" option, like the S510? That allows you to scan a hopperful, load another batch, and then click "continue scan." Also a bit boring.
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