C Pen 800C Handheld Scanner
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- Remarkably light translation tool, ideal for travel
- Includes address book and memory for saving many pages of text
- Transfer data or text directly into your PC or Palm
- Downloadable dictionaries available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Swedish
- Reads, saves, translates, and sends text within seconds
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Students, researchers, and professionals who value the convenience and plentiful features of the C Pen will appreciate the expanded memory, rechargeable battery, and crisp display in the 800C. This study and business tool, which is nearly as small and light as a standard highlighter, speeds your efforts to gather research information.
Use it to capture text from any printed source; it can store up to 3,000 pages of printed text and PC files. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, with 215,000 definitions and translations, is integrated as a standard feature, and you can download up to 11 different language dictionaries from the manufacturer. The 800C is also equipped to receive text messages, and the display can show six crisp lines of text at a time.
The C Pen 800 is Windows compatible and interacts with PDAs made by Palm, Visor or Sony. You can transfer information via infrared port or serial cable, and the C Pen is designed for left- or right-handed users. A serial cable is included, as is a one-year warranty.
Top customer reviews
I have had one horrible experience with a pen scanner by Siemens, the "Pocket Reader." It was truly useless. It scanned so poorly that I just put it aside. By the time I though to return it, Siemens was no longer making it, and I couldn't get customer service here in the U.S.
The Wizcom QuickLink Elite is not so bad. It's serviceable. I don't think it lives up to its 95% accuracy guarantee, but perhaps meets a 90% threshold, measured impressionistically. It's interface is also reasonable and satisfactory.
However, the C-Pen 800C is even more precise, truly approaching 95%. Moreover, if you discount errors in spacing from this accuracy percentage, its precision is even higher. Whereas the Wizcom is just as likely to make a content error, misread letters, etc., the 800C's errors are more likely to be the absence of a space when there should be one. A rare missed space doesn't make you puzzle over the text when you come back to it two months later.
C-Pen is also lighter, and it's rechargeable, so while it's more expensive, in the long run, you'll save on batteries.
Both have comparable single-language dictionaries, though Wizcom has more built in or for free (C-Pen allows you one free dictionary, including bilingual ones). Wizcom is a only a bit slower on the uptake, but significantly more likely to warn you "Scan too fast." I've never had that from C-Pen, and again, the precision at any speed is appreciably better with C-Pen.
Both have comparable PC and PDA compatibility capacity.
- Since it appears Amazon no longer carries the product, I got mine from cpenusa.com. I ordered on a Thursday night and it shipped the next day. It arrived at my door the following Monday, so I have no complaints.
- Another reviewer said that the device did not come with a US adapter for the European charager, but mine did.
- The CD that came with mine had the latest drivers for Windows XP on it
- You'll need either a serial or infrared port on your PC, else you'll have to get an adapter, because there's no USB on this thing. My PC has a serial port and I had no problems getting the device to talk to the computer
- My CPen would not power up when I took it out of the box. So, as advised by the manual, I stuck a long paperclip into the reset hole and PRESTO - it powered up instantly
- AFAIK, there's no support for Mac OSX
- Don't expect 'instant gratification' with this thing out of the box. It WILL require you to spend some time with it (I'd guess 2 or 3 hours at the very least) in order to get a feel for how to hold/angle the device for best results. Don't be discouraged if your accuracy is pretty close to nil the very first time you try it, as I think this is pretty normal. After a couple of hours, I was up to about 70% accuracy with it.
- When you first take it out of the box, the first thing I would suggest you do is switch the device from Automatic to Manual mode. In Automatic mode, when you try to scan, usually 1 of 2 things will happen 1) The CPen will beep at you and 'Nothing read' will apear on the screen or 2) The thing will simply stop trying to scan halfway across the line
- If you're right handed, I would also suggest trying to scan from right-to-left
- If you're visually impaired like I am, the Gameboy-like LCD may be hard to see, even with the contrast adjusted appropriately
- If you're one of those people like I am who can't move a highlighter in a straight line, don't even think about getting this. Trust me, trying to use a bookmark or ruler is more trouble than it's worth, because the device is too wide for that. I have an eye condition known as a stigmatism where things 'jump around' if I stare too hard/long, so this greatly affected by ability to scan in a stright, smooth motion. I'd get about 3/4ths across the line, then the pen would drift so I would end up with 70% perfect text and 30% gibberish. However, if your eyes work better than mine, I don't anticipate you'll have this difficulty.
- Because of the above two difficulties, I decided to return mine. After I sent it back, my money was refunded in less than a week.
After reading all of this, if you are still considering trying it, I would suggest you do so. Since returning it is pretty much hassle free (you only have to fill out a short form on their website), you really have nothing to lose!
Most recent customer reviews
This product ain't cheap. It's not something you can just throw away if it decides to stop working.
I bought mine at cpenusa.com.Read more