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Customer Review

630 of 661 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
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Deluxe Bundle Sheet-Fed Scanner (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 more recent 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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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 26, 2009 5:23:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2010 11:35:03 AM PDT
Jeannie says:
re #1. I don't have a problem with this. I keep my recurring, monthly bills in folders (also using Windows filing system) labeled according to year. It only takes a few seconds to find what I want. If one does want to append a scan to an existing one, doing so in Adobe doesn't take that long (I haven't explored scanning with the s1500 directly from Adobe yet). This scanner is so fast and convenient, the extra time to append documents is not a problem.

re #3. Actually, you can back out paperwork already in the scanner without canceling the scan. There is a little tab on the edge just above the scan button (the lower tray has to be opened up). Just pull up on it, open the machine, retrieve the paperwork, close the machine and reload the paperwork. The software shows the last scan. Just click if you want to keep or rescan it.

I know the help screens are a pain to use (lousy layout), but going through them anyway may save you some future headaches.

re #4. I've run several different sizes of paper on each run quite frequently. No problems. Each document needs to be centered in the scanner, however, not aligned with one side or the other.

re #5. I spent $25 for the Deluxe Bundle. That is a small percentage of the total price of the machine. While I didn't even bother to load Rack2-Filer into my computer, I don't regret spending the extra money since my needs may change later and I was curious to what the software was about. I'm thinking the other software (other than ScanSnap Manager) are also part of the Deluxe Bundle (I got the impression the copies on the non-Deluxe Bundle are trial versions which cost more separately than the bundled price).

re #6. Acrobat runs just fine on XP with SP2 (I don't trust SP3 yet). I haven't loaded Rac2-Filer yet.

Post edit: I'm running Acrobat on XP/SP3 now without any problems.

The advertised specs call for a twenty sheet capacity in the ADF. You can't expect good performance when exceeding specified capacity. Again, read the manual.

I've rarely had problems with text bleed through when scanning thin paper. When it does happen, it's usually too faint to be a problem with documents such as receipts. The really rare times it's a problem, I've been able to get around it by switching to simplex scans (a quick temporary setting made by right clicking the scanner icon in the tray then clicking on Simplex scan) and feeding the offending document one side at a time. Most of the documents I've encountered where this happens has only recurring boilerplate on the backside. I keep one file with the boiler plate and just scan the front side only from then on.

I agree, it would be nice to preset several scanning profiles but it takes so little time to set the profiles, I just don't worry about it. The advantages of the machine far outweigh the disadvantages.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2009 9:17:12 PM PST
H. T. Nelson says:
1. You can't scan directly from Adobe Acrobat since it does not have twain drivers
2. Spec on the product page says 50 document ADF.
3. Only difference I can tell is that the deluxe bundle had full Rac2-file software. The regular scanner has full products of other software including Adobe Acrobat.
4. I appreciate your comments but must disagree with your work arounds such as substituting simplex for duplex scanning and setting profile for each scan. Then again I am faced with scanning thousands of documents and perhaps work arounds would be acceptable if I were scanning just hundreds.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2010 6:08:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2010 11:36:14 AM PDT
Jeannie says:
1. You are correct; you can't scan directly from Acrobat. I haven't found this to be a problem since it is so easy to append a PDF in Acrobat and (except for my current project) will have little need to do so.

2. Again, you are correct. The next time I have a large document, I'll try up to fifty pages to see what happens.

Post edit: I recently scanned a couple of magazines that had a little over 100 pages each (50+ sheets) with no trouble.

Another post edit: I just scanned a magazine with 140 pages (70 sheets). The scanner didn't even flinch.

3. I went to Fujitsu's website and, again, you are correct. Rac2-File is the only additional software in the Deluxe Bundle; the rest are included with the regular package. Amazon's nomenclature is a wee bit vague.

4. The only time I have to switch to simplex in a batch is if a document comes out with excessive text bleed through (usually a receipt). I just rescan the offending page on simplex. After rescanning the document, the settings revert to what they originally were (you have to make the change from the right click menu to do this). I don't rescan until after the entire batch has been completed. I've had to do only two receipts this way; the rest were still easy to read with very little bleed through (and receipts aren't exactly artwork I'm trying to archive so they don't have to be perfect).

The only time I reset the profile is when switching to a new project (which could be a few hundred to a few thousand pages of scans). It's easier to fix the rare offense in Acrobat. Usually, I use the default settings. The only time I need any work arounds or wacky settings other than the default is if I'm trying to do something the machine wasn't designed for (such as photos).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2010 8:33:59 PM PDT
forrkp says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2010 7:50:50 AM PDT
Not that it matters much in the grand scheme of things, but I did NOT sense the "great degree of contempt" that you do. Crisp, detailed yet succinct, she did correct her original mistakes following investigation ("You are correct", "Again, you are correct", "and, again, you are correct"). Granted, she did not fall on her sword in apology; probably not required IMHO.

Posted on Mar 29, 2010 11:38:19 PM PDT
I recommend that you try to take some time to learn Rack2filer. It is much more fun to use than the windows filing system. You will love it and later wonder why you didn't start using it sooner. I am using Windows XP SP2.

In rack2filer:

You can scan paper into the rack2filer "work area".

Once in the work area you can use drag and drop to combine scans into one group of pages, rearrange the order of pages, delete pages, etc... Then you can drag and drop those pages into a binder. [You can even drag and drop an already existing PDF file from your windows desktop into the work area and then combine that with new scans. Then you can save the combined scans to a new acrobat file or over an existing file - all without opening acrobat.]

Think of rack2filer as a bookshelf with three ring loose-leaf binders on it. Clicking on a binder opens it up, and you can organize the contents with tabs.

For example: Open rack2filer. Open a cabinet. Create a binder for "2010". Open the binder and create a tab and name it "Utilities, Gas & Electric". Then drag and drop your latest utility bill from the work area into the binder. You're done. No need to combine individual utility bills into one acrobat file. You can also skip the "work area" step and scan directly to the binder.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2010 11:46:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2010 11:47:20 AM PDT
Jeannie says:
I intended no contempt and was only trying to be helpful. If my remarks were perceived as contemputous, I apologize.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010 2:57:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2010 12:15:06 AM PDT
FG says:
You can append PDF documents in Acrobat 8.0. I would think that you can do the same for 9.0. Just open Adobe Acrobat click on the "Create PDF File" tab. Click on the "From Multiple Files" bar. A window will open called " Combine Files". Then click on "Add Files". Select the files you want by holding down the Ctrl key and with your mouse click on the individual fies that are needed, and they will be highlighted. If you want to combine a whole bunch of files, then hold down the shift key, click on the first file, and go to the last one in the group, and click that file, and it will select say for example 50 files between the first file you selected and the last file selected while still holding down the shift key. Say for example you only want 45 files of the 50 files then carefully lift your finger from the shift key, that you used to select the 50 files, and push and hold down the CTRL key. Then select any file you do not want with the mouse. The file(s) will then be unhighlighted. Then click "ADD FILES", and you are done. Follow any extra prompts that may appear for your needs. Hope you find this of some use.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2010 3:47:48 AM PDT
MrBios says:
Jeannie, excellent rebuttle. Both posts are valuable as I'm sure others have hit what they believe are limitations. You present outright fixes or reasonable workarounds. I'm seriously considering this scanner.

Posted on Jul 19, 2010 2:29:07 PM PDT
Decano says:
My experience with Rack2-Filer has been quite different. I found it intuitively obvious and easy to use. I recommend Rack2-Filer highly!
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