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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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on December 8, 2010
If all you want is to scan an article or recipe, where the quality of the scan isn't so important, this would be a useful product. I purchased it to scan images from antique books that would be damaged if placed on a flatbed scanner. I found the product extremely disappointing, for the following reasons.

1) The scanning portion of the wand is recessed at least 1/2 inch at the end of the wand, which means that if you're trying to fit it against the inner margin (gutter) of a book, you'll end up losing much of your image. Basically your margin has to be about an inch wide for it to work. You can try rotating the wand, but if you scan over a surface that is not COMPLETELY flat (e.g., an open book), you'll get distortions.

2) Distortions. Again, if the surface isn't completely flat, if you don't scan completely straight, if you jiggle the scanner at all, you'll get distortions. If there are curves to the surface of your page (again, common in an open book), they'll show and distort the image. You'll find that a square picture will come out skewed. So if an EXACT reproduction of a page or image is what you're after, this isn't going to do the job.

3) Going off the edge of a page... This scanner works pretty well if you can scan a flat document on a solid flat surface (e.g., a single piece of paper on a tabletop). But if you're scanning a large book, you have the problem of the scanner "dropping off the edge" once you reach the bottom or side of the book. You may not have reached the end of the portion you wish scanned when the scanner itself runs out of room.

4) No ability to remove "screening." If you're scanning photos or color illustrations from a book or magazine, there is no mechanism to get rid of the moire patterns that result from scanning a screened image. Most flatbed scanners have a "descreening" option that enables you to get rid of this. Since it's just about impossible to get rid of a screen moire AFTER the fact, this greatly reduces the scanner's usefulness.

5) No ability to view the image as it is being scanned. If you want to see how it came out, you have to stop work, plug it in, go look at the picture, then click on the "remove device" icon to remove it, go back, scan again, and so on... It would be helpful if you could plug this directly into your computer and see the scans as you make them.

I haven't quite decided if I'm going to keep this product or just give up and try to resell it (the return-by date being long gone), but again... it depends on what you want it for. If you're a student and you just need to be able to scan in material to study, but it doesn't have to be a perfect reproduction (just "readable"), I think this would be very helpful. But if you need a high-quality image, it's going to be very, very frustrating.
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on April 24, 2014
I bought this because I was lugging a flatbed scanner to the law library which was bulky and was far too slow. The VuPoint scanner does the job faster than the flatbed, which was of primary importance.


1. Price is very affordable.

2. Saves a lot of space and keeps you from lugging around a larger scanner.

3. Faster than most common flatbed scanners, if you practice and learn how to efficiently and effectively use the unit.


1. You have to really practice and have the right touch when attempting to scan from books which can't be completely flat. I've found lifting the other side of the book to use as a guide helps somewhat.

2. You can't scan directly into your computer. It won't even let you scan with the USB cable attached to a computer. This means you have to scan the document, and then if you want to preview it to see how the scan turned out, you have to then connect the device to the computer and use a file preview program to see the exact document. That is really a big bummer.

I've been on the VuPoint site and I'm assuming that some of the more expensive models will take care of the issues described in #2, but for me, it's not worth the price increase.
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on December 3, 2016
It was easy to set up and calibrate. I mostly use it to scan receipts, and the scanning process is smooth and quick.
I run linux, and it showed up under /dev as soon as I connected it. It acts like a usb storage device, just mount it and copy the images to your PC.
However, it seems silly to run on non-rechargable batteries, considering it is something you expect to connect over USB regularly.
I'm hoping it consumes little enough power that I don't have to change them ofter.
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I am in the midst of tracing my family tree and was looking for something like this that I could pass over a delicate document without worries of having to try to feed it through a regular portable scanning device. Plus, there are so many things that you just can't feed through or lay flat on a scanner. This tool is perfect for the day when I can go to a historical archive and need to scan a document.

That said, this scanner did not come with very good directions - in fact it came with hardly any directions at all. It came furnished with batteries (but not the microSD card - you'll need to supply your own). I thought the batteries were dead because when I clicked the power button nothing happened. It took a few minutes for me to figure out that you have to hold the power button down for 3-5 seconds to turn it on and to turn it off. You'll also need a paperclip to put in this teeny tiny hole near the microSD card slot so you can format the card the first time you use it.

After I figured out how the scanner worked I scanned two items (I posted both in the pictures section - an image of Time magazine that came out really well on the first try, and a scan of the directions that came with this scanner - printed matter doesn't seem to scan as easily as pictures do). They were automatically saved in .jpeg format, which is great because you can edit what you scan later. For example, in the genealogy field, you may scan more of a page than you need - many archived documents have references to more than one family that you can edit off the document, saving only the portion you want to keep.

On the whole, I am really pleased with this scanner. It has little rollers on it that roll smoothly over the surface you're scanning. It was easy to upload the images I scanned onto my computer using the USB cord provided. It came with a pouch to store it in and a fine cloth to clean it with. The lack of directions would be my only complaint. I was able to figure things out, but it might be a little harder for someone who is not as comfortable with this type of technology to set up on their own. So if you aren't very tech savvy, still buy this gadget, but have a tech savvy friend help you set it up.

(see my two scans in the pictures section above)
review imagereview image
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on November 5, 2011
I saw this in an ad and bought it almost as an impulse buy---at Staples---but it is cheaper at Amazon. If you have tons of paper to keep track of (I do) you will kiss this item every day. You need a micro sd card (unless you want to use it with the cord to connect to your computer---you can do it that way, but it's a hassle to keep track of that cord). The card is $9. I slip it in and push the button to turn it on (you can choose with another button whether you want it to be high or low resolution). A green light will come on and you slide the wand over your paper. That's it. Then push the button and turn it off. That creates a file so that when you pop the SD card into your computer, it will show up as a storage device. You click on it and it will have each thing that you scanned in a separate file. Then you can save that to MS word as a document and rename it. When you open it, you have a scan of the document (JPEG) and this is the best part---you trash your original. I went through a pile of bills and bank statements, which I would normally file---grrrr and never be able to find if I need them. Now I tear them up and have the file right on my computer. I just went to the bank to deposit some checks and I scanned each one before I handed it to her. Soooo awesome. And if you get those flimsy receipts that fade in a month, scan them immediately and trash them. It's just so awesome.

It comes with a CD so I thought there would need to be some sort of software put into my computer---no. I do already have MS word, so you need that if you are going to save it there, but they give you a lot of other ways to save the document.

You also have some sort of a white sheet of paper you have to run the thing across to white balance it. I did that at the get go and had this terrible feeling (what with the CD) that it was going to be a nightmare to get this thing figured out. But it's cake. And the results are so amazing, you will want stock in this company.

I LOVE MINE---best thing I have purchased this year!!! and I buy a lot)
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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 February 8, 2013
So far I like this little scanner. I was looking for something low cost, simple to use. My main usage is for scanning documents to a laptop.

Overall the scanning can be done so quickly with this device that it's not a big deal if I have to repeat one because I did a poor job moving the scanner over the document.

My only negative so far is the instructions that came with the scanner. I didn't get that I had to purchase or already have a microSD card--I thought that was an optional thing if using the USB cable to scan to a computer. (Plus, I had read a few customer feedbacks indicating their computers would not recognize the device, so since my computer wasn't recognizing the device, I was already thinking maybe mine was defective too.)

Anyway, when I went to send it back, the seller asked me to contact the manufacturer first for support, and when I went to the website to try and do that, I found the manufacturer had better user instructions on their website, instructions that completely resolved my issue. All I had needed to do was buy a microSD card, put it in the scanner, and not plug in the USB cable to the computer till I was done scanning.

Here's the procedure that works for me when scanning (I choose to use the USB port rather than transfer the microSD back and forth from scanner to laptop):

1. Make sure good batteries are in the scanner.
2. Connect USB cable to scanner but not to the computer yet.
3. Make sure MicroSD card is in scanner. (In my case, I bought a new one and I chose to NOT format it.)
4. Turn on scanner with button (hold till it's on).
5. Push button to scan (once) and observe the scan light is now on.
6. Scan document.
7. Push button again to stop the scanning.
8. Plug other end of USB cable into computer and observe that the computer recognizes the device (sometimes this takes a few seconds).
9. That's it -- the scanned files are now under the DCIM folder of the device folder of my laptop.
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on March 2, 2012
For what it does, I don't think there is anything out there that does it better, but really that isn't saying too much.
I bought this scanner as a substitute for a textbook since it the text book cost over $200, and this thing only cost about $100, after I got the case and Micro SD card. Unfortunately, not only was scanning the pages tedious, but a lot of the times the scanner didn't line up right and the scans were horrible, also there is only about a 1/2 inch on each side of the scanner where it won't scan, but that 1/2 inch bit me in the but to no end. And though it is marked where the scanner will stop, it is just a complete pain working around it when scanning a book or even notebook; especially if they are the more expensive notebooks, like five-star, and have a big ring holding the pages together. Honestly, after 2 chapters of scanning the textbook I bought the thing for, I pretty much gave up and just bought the thing. I didn't feel like returning the product so I kept it around for copying notes from classmates when I miss class or for sending in handwritten homework via e-mail, but honestly these are very rare occasions. On the plus side, you do get better at scanning, and if you are scanning a single document on a flat surface it should work flawless, but this is just rarely the case.

So if you don't mind not having the last inch of a page when scanning a notebook or textbook, or if you are just going to use this to scan documents on a flat-surface, then I can recommend this product; otherwise it would be best to steer clear until something less fallible comes along.
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on November 22, 2013
I have used this to scan news paper clippings, my id card and passport and mostly to scan texts from library books for my studies. This Magic wand does give great quality results that are easy to read and easy to transfer.

Why 4 stars- It is tricky at times to know if you got a proper scan as there is no preview LCD. Sometimes I get 3/4 of a page if not properly scanned. This is more of an art to learn how to scan properly. 95% of the time I get what I need. The image blows up nicely to fit reading on a computer screen. I am not sure what the maximum Memory card support is.

Batteries do run down rather quickly but I do a fair amount of scanning. One might want to consider investing in rechargeable batteries if you plan on using this scanner often.
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