Desktop Scanners. Ideal Business Tools for Vanquishing Paper

kodak-i1120_office.jpgI’ve used a variety of scanners over the years and there’s two main components to any scanning. The scanner itself (the hardware) and the software that comes with the scanner.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been testing out Kodak’s ScanMate i1120 Scanner. What I like most about it, is that it’s small footprint, easily fits on the corner of a desk and I found it to be pleasingly solid. Some hardware items I use have a very mushy feel to them, like they’ll break if you touch them. The software it comes with is not lame pieces of trial ware, but genuine productivity assets.
Although the paper-less office has been touted for years, it’s never going to really happen. Why? The “business ecosystem” requires paper – invoices, checks, receipts, documents, contracts and faxes. It’s all paper based.
However, what you can do is turn that incoming paper you receive into digital documents. You can then send the digitized documents to others via email or simply store digital documents instead of paper.

At a list price of US$500, Kodak’s i1120 is a bit pricey, but I’m guessing like all technology it will come down in price over time.
I found setup to be pretty easy. You install the Kodak software drivers (you always install software before connecting hardware) and then install additional software to manage the actual document scanning and imaging (licensed from ScanSoft). The i1120 scans at 20 pages per minute, which is a reasonable speed for a few sheets of paper. If you regularly scan lots of documents, you might want something that scans faster.
With Kodak’s SmartTouch feature you can program the i1120 to use up to 9 different tasks, such as – email a document, create a PDF, print a document and a variety of other options. Maybe you want to assign task 8 for expense reports. You press one button on the i1120 to move the number display to 8 and then press the scan button. Option 8 now can create a searchable PDF, and send the scanned document to the appropriate location on your server. This feature can save you lots of time, especially for repetitive tasks.
If you have a lot of documents to scan, a full sized flat bed scanner, which is faster, is probably a better solution for you. But for routine documents, not in very large batches the Kodak i1120 is perfect.
I think what you’ll like most is that the ScanMate i1120 is simple to use (2 buttons and a on digit display!) while the software is quite feature rich, yet also relatively simple to use.
It’s a bit early for Christmas, but for that special person in your life who deals with a lot of paper, this could be a perfect early holiday gift for them. If your small business is growing and you have staff who are inundated with paper, having the Scan i1120 on each of their desks could be a huge benefit to them and your business overall.