Are scanners a technology whose days are numbered? As our use of paper recedes, will scanners, like fax machines before them, eventually become obsolete?

I pondered that question as I considered the new Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1300, which is being released to the market today. Perhaps the day will come when legal professionals will no longer need scanners, but for now, we most certainly still do, and in this age of working from home, this may well be the perfect one to get.

The automatic document feeder requires no flat output tray. Documents enter and exit at the top.

What makes it ideal for working from home (or even in the office) is that it is designed to be compact — roughly the size of a box of tissues — but with relatively robust features, including an automatic document feeder and high-speed, Wi-Fi-enabled, duplex scanning of up to 30 pages per minute.

Yet its most distinctive feature is not just its compact design, but its small operating footprint.

The scanner’s automatic document feeder uses a unique “U-turn” path that eliminates the typical exit tray — which can sometimes require more space than the scanner itself.

Instead, documents are both fed into and ejected out of the top of the scanner, so scanning requires no more space than the footprint of the device itself.

An alternative manual feeder provides an option for scanning thicker documents such as pamphlets or plastic cards that the top-fed feeder cannot handle, and that might typically require a flatbed scanner.

Thicker documents, or quick scans such as receipts, can be fed in the front and return out the front.

Again, however, the footprint is minimal. Without even having to open the scanner, simply feed the document into the front, and the document is scanned and returned out the same front slot.

In fact, the front slot is also handy for quick scans of receipts, business cards, or any single-page document. Just slide it in, the iX1300 wakes up, scans it, and returns it back to the front.

I should note that I have not yet tested the iX1300 directly. A promised review unit has yet to arrive. However, a Fujitsu “technology evangelist” recently gave me a demonstration via Zoom, where he put the scanner through its paces. I will post a review of the unit once it arrives.

The iX1300 comes with ScanSnap Home 2.0, software specifically designed for ScanSnap scanners. It automatically organizes scans by type, such as documents, receipts, business cards and photos, and use text found on scanned documents to identify file names.

Using ScanSnap Cloud, the iX1300 can also scan directly to various cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, even when you do not have a PC or smart device nearby.

Other features worth noting:

  • Lifting the cover instantly powers on the scanner and raises the paper-feeder guides.
  • The iX1300 connects via both Wi-Fi and USB.
  • It has duplex color scanning, to capture both sides of pages.
  • It has automatic image correct to reduce the need for editing.
  • It comes with ABBYY OCR software to create searchable PDFs.

The iX1300 retails for $325. It is available in two colors, black or white.