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Fujitsu Fi-7160 Sheetfed Review
Price: $1,200 List | $879.99 at Amazon
Pros: 80-page automatic document feeder, fast, high quality scans
Cons: Expensive, text recognition not perfect, somewhat complicated installation
Bottom line: Great for people that scan hundreds of pages a day, but you have to pay a lot for its speed
If you find yourself scanning lots of documents that are 50+ pages, the Fujitsu Fi-7160 Sheetfed will vastly improve your quality of life. With its huge, 80-page automatic document feeder, it can turn an 80 page document into a high quality PDF in just over 4 minutes, and all the labor required is dropping the document into the feeding tray and pushing a single button. It backs that speed up with high quality scans, an intuitive interface and good software. If your scanning jobs generally don't have single documents that are greater than 50 pages, you should check out the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap. It is a slightly better overall performer than the Fujitsu Fi-7160 and is significantly cheaper, but has a slightly smaller 50-page automatic document feeder.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 excels when you need to scan lots of very long documents. Otherwise the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap is a better overall scanner, but its automatic document feeder has a smaller capacity.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 was one of the top overall scorers in our testing. Its top attribute is its high capacity document feeder, but if you never scan documents that are over 50 pages then this scanner is not worth the high price.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 was just behind the top scorers in our scanning performance testing, earning a score of 7 out of 10.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 handled pretty much any text based scanning very well. Normal text, bold text, and handwritten text all came out looking nearly as good as the originals. Receipts sometimes looked a little blotchy, but never illegible. It only missed out on a top score because it didn't produce completely true colors when scanning color documents, everything looked just a bit faded. However, this feels like a minor drawback for a document scanner, and we think just about everyone will be more than pleased with this model's scan quality.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 was one of the fastest models we tested, earning it a score of 8 out of 10 in this metric.
It tore through our 10-page duplex testing document in 29 seconds, resulting in a speed measurement of 21 pages per minute. This, along with its huge 80-page document feeder, allows it to dispatch an 80 page document in just over 4 minutes. The Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap was noticeably faster in our testing, logging an astounding speed of 46 pages per minute. However, its document feeder capacity maxes out at 50 pages, so the Fujitsu Fi-7160 is still better for very long documents.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 was about average in our software testing, earning a score of 6 out of 10.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160's included software package works well, but it has a bit of a learning curve compared to other models. First off, it is not compatible with Mac operating systems, so Mac users are mostly out of luck. There are 3rd party Mac drivers availbale online, but we found that most of them were quite clunky. All the various settings you need to make sure your long document gets scanned the way you want are available, but the interface is a bit short of intuitive. You'll probably find yourself checking the manual or doing a google search the first time you do something. The optical character recognition also works fairly well, well enough to find a document by searching for a keyword at least. However, turning it on requires searching through a bunch of arcane menus before you find it.
In comparison, the ScanSnap software that is sold with the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap was much more user friendly, and is Mac compatible. If you're not the most tech savvy we would suggest learning to live with the slightly smaller automatic document feeder and opting for the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 earned a fairly high score of 7 out of 10 in our user friendliness testing.
In short, the Fujitsu Fi-7160 is hard to set up, but once you get it going (and get over the software learning hump we described above) it is fairly easy to use. Setup was arduous and ended up taking us 50 minutes. Which was triple the average time. Once that was over the interface is clear and easy to use with a digital readout on the unit itself that lets you know what settings are selected. The automatic document feeder and paper tray keep everything neat, and we never had any issues with jamming. If you want something that skips the frustrating setup, the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap is still your best bet, It only took us 15 minutes to get that model up and running.
Whether or not you consider the Fujitsu Fi-7160a good value depends on how much you value your time. Listing for $1200 it is outrageously expensive, but if your days are filled with large scanning jobs its 80-page document feeder makes more of that job automated, leaving you to tend to other tasks. However, the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap still has a 50-page document feeder, and costs nearly a third the price. So you are paying a lot more for a little bit of time saved.
The Fujitsu Fi-7160 has a big, 80-page document feeder, making it great for those that have to scan a lot. However, it is also very expensive, and there are other much cheaper models that also have decent sized document feeders.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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