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Hands-on Gear Review
Scanner Pro App ReviewPrice: $4 List
Pros: Inexpensive, high quality scans, great text recognition
Cons: Slow and laborious for multi-page documents
Bottom line: An incredibly inexpensive option that is perfect for those that scan occasional shorter documents and receipts
For the vast majority of people, their scanning needs probably amount to a few 1-10 page documents a month, and maybe a handful of important receipts that you want to digitize so you don't lose them before tax time. If that's the case the Scanner Pro App is the perfect solution. For just $4 it provides a handy app on your phone that, with just a little bit of effort, can use that phone's camera to produce very high quality PDFs with searchable text. Plus, it can easily scan pages from a book, something most dedicated document scanners can't do. Sure, using your phone to take a picture of each page can be quite a drag if you have to scan lots of pages, so if you're scanning multiple 10-page documents a day it may be worth upgrading to the Brother DS-620 Mobile. But if your scanning needs are less than that, or you don't mind saving some money through a little extra manual labor, the Scanner Pro App is perfect.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Scanner Pro App was a surprise performer in our testing, producing top quality scans, offering very accurate character recognition, and doing it all with a very intuitive interface. Its only downside is that it is a bit slow and laborious for scanning long (10+ page) documents.
Despite its low price and labor intensive scanning process, the Scanner Pro App did quite well in our testing. In the following sections we delve into its pros and cons in each one of our testing metrics.
The Scanner Pro App was just behind the top scorers in our scan quality testing, earning a score of 7 out of 10.
The Scanner Pro App excelled at making PDFs out of printed text and handwritten documents. Because the App uses the generally high quality cameras found on iPhones these documents came out looking nearly identical to the originals. It also avoided the smuginess problems that many of the traditional scanners encountered when digitizing receipts, though the glossy background did create some odd blue pixelation in some cases. Overall, we still prefered the receipt scans produced by the Scanner Pro App to almost all of the traditional scanners we tested, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 being the one exception.
The Pro App also did quite well scanning full color documents. The software that automatically crops the photo down to the edges of the document did seem to distort the colors a bit, but overall it was better than all but the very high end traditional scanners.
Overall the Scanner Pro App actually produces better scans than the Brother DS-620 Mobile, which is the next logical step in terms of quality and price. This makes the Pro App the clear choice for small scanning jobs, but the Brother is a little less laborious for bigger scanning jobs
Speed is he one area where the Scanner Pro App falters a bit. It earned a low overall score of 4 out of 10 in this metric.
It took us a little over 3 minutes to scan a 10-page, double-sided document with this app. That worked out to about 3 pages per minute. This certainly isn't fast, and it is a hands on process the entire time as you have to position the paper, take a photo, and make sure the app crops it well before moving onto the next page. If you're looking for something a bit easier the next step up is the Brother DS-620 Mobile, which lists for $96. It also only goes through 3 pages per minute as well, but loading each page requires only feeding it into to the scanning slot, so you can likely multitask while you're scanning longer documents.
The Scanner Pro App has one of the best software packages we tested, putting it near the top of the leaderboard with a score of 8 out of 10.
The app is easy to purchase and install from the app store, and it uses the file management system that is native to your iPhone, making it easy to email, text, or save scans anywhere you'd like. Most impressively, its optical character recognition was one of the best of the bunch. We were able to search nearly every word in all of the documents we scanned, with only a few missed words here and there.
The Scanner Pro App shared one of the top scores of 8 out of 10 in our user friendliness testing.
It earned this score largely because it is incredibly easy to install on your iPhone, there are no scanner-computer connections to worry about, so you can be scanning within seconds of deciding to download the app. The Interface also works beautifully. As long as whatever you're scanning is placed on a monochromatic background, the app generally crops your photos perfectly to create and edgeless PDF. Sometimes you may have to fine tune the cropping a bit, but usually it is spot on. It's also easy to create multi-page PDFs from multiple photos. The only reason it didn't earn a perfect score is the fact that having to physically take a photo of each page you want to scan is a bit more labor intensive than simply loading a page into a traditional scanner.
The Scanner Pro App is an incredible value at just $4. It's so inexpensive you can take a shot and see how it works out, and even if you eventually decide you need to upgrade to a traditional document scanner you're not out too much dough.
The Scanner Pro App is the perfect choice for people that scan infrequently, and for those that want to be able to scan receipts on the go.
— Max Mutter
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