Another Take on Doxie Go

Back in December, Jason introduced us to an exciting new portable scanner, the Doxie Go. After a most generous visit from Santa, I have had the opportunity to give the new Doxie a real workout scanning old photos and documents around the family home.

My thoughts about the scanner mostly mirror those of Jason. I have been very happy with the resulting scans, which mostly look great at their default 300 dpi setting, and need very little adjustment in the well-designed Doxie photo application that the pictures are imported into (unless you have saved the scans on a USB drive or an SD card—two other great options the scanner provides). This scanner is a great example of boiling a product down to its basics and make it simple and fun to use.

As Jason points out, the scanner is not built for large scale document scanning projects. The relatively slow speed, the single-sided scanning, the lack of a feeding tray, etc. are some of the reasons, but the extreme portability of the light-weight scanner might tempt you to use it for some larger projects all the same.

A “Design” Decision

For anyone who does try to use this as a portable on-the-road scanning device the most important thing one needs to know before getting Doxie Go (as opposed to other non-battery Doxie scanners or other portable scanners out there) is that this device is completely dependent upon its battery. It cannot receive power directly from the USB port that charges the battery, nor is—according to Doxie support staff—the tiny port next to the USB port, which suggests that an AC adapter might be used, functional.

Let’s say you head to your office, happen to have your Doxie Go with you, and decide you want to scan a couple of old articles of, say, 130 pages. You plug the device into the wall with your Doxie USB GoKit, bought separately, and begin scanning, only to discover that after 80-100 scans (in my experience), the battery dies. You turn the scanner off, wait 20 minutes while the USB charger replentishes the battery a bit and then scan a few more pages. The battery dies again after a few more pages. You turn the scanner off, wait another 20 minutes, and finally finish the last pages. You bring the Doxie home to import the pictures into the Doxie application, but the import crashes half way through because the battery died again while you were importing the pictures. You wait 1 hour, so that the battery is about half way charged, and finally manage to import the pictures.

The VP of Marketing at Apparent, Paul Scandariato explained to me that this was by design since the Doxie Go is meant to be a battery-powered device. “Think of it as the ‘digital camera’ of scanners…When scanning, more power is needed than USB can supply, so Doxie only pulls power from its battery.”

If this is a design decision, it strikes me as a poor one. Everything from other portable scanners, phones, iPads, and a host of other devices pull in plenty of power from USB and seem to work fine without dying while plugged in. It is certainly not like the digital camera of scanners since I don’t know of any digital cameras that cannot have their battery switched out, so that an archive raider such as myself can always have one battery charging while the other is in use. Besides, many digital cameras also support direct power to the device if you have an adapter.

It may be time for me to look elsewhere for portable scanner recommendations, or perhaps downgrade to an older Doxie. HP Scanjet Mobile Scanner? Canon imageFORMULA? Any other good portable scanners out there?

Photo Dead Star, Michel De Broin by Flickr user By Ritwik Dey / Creative Commons licensed


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