I can’t count how many times I’ve used my iPhone to “scan” a page out of a book. Sure it works, but it’s a not great solution. The Doxie Flip on the other hand, would have done a much better job. When it comes to scanning on the go, Doxie has produced some great products. But their newest scanner, the Doxie Flip, has taken portable scanning to the next level. Previously you could only scan loose sheets of paper, so if you wanted to scan a page in a book you were out of luck, but the Flip changes all of that. The Flip is a battery powered, flatbed scanner that is just about the size of an average book so it can easily be carried with you.
The Flip is incredibly light, weighing in at just 1.26 lbs. Actual dimensions are 10.23 x 6.46 x 1.34”, so it will easily fit in a backpack or briefcase. It’s powered by 4 AA batteries (included), thus there are no wires to worry about. It also uses an SD reader for memory and they kindly supply a 4GB card as well as a USB SD card reader for those that may not have the appropriate memory card slot on their computers. The scanning surface is 4×6” (A6 size), which makes it perfect for scanning in old photos. Scanning can be done at 300 or 600 dpi.
Have you ever tried to scan a page from a book, only to have the scan come out crooked? This is where the Doxie Flip really shines. The cover can be removed and you can “flip” the scanner over. Then thanks to the transparent scanning window on the base, you can see exactly what you are scanning and line it up perfectly.
What if you want to scan something bigger than 4×6”, no problem, the AutoStitch feature of their software will take care of it. Simply scan a series of images and when you import them to the PC, click stitch and voila! They are stitched together into one large seamless picture. Of course stitching images together is not revolutionary, but using the Flip and AutoStitch is so simple and it works so well. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for things to scan.
The unit is well made with a very straightforward set of controls. To power the unit on you need to slide the power switch and hold for just a second. This is great as it will prevent the scanner from accidentally being turned on while in your bag. Next to that is a large red button for scanning. Easy to see, easy to press.
There is also a small color display so you can easily adjust the scanning resolution, sleep timer, view memory remaining on the SD card and even look at thumbnail images of all the images that you’ve scanned. Along with the screen there are 5 simple keys for navigating the settings menus.
Scanning speeds are pretty good. For a 300 dpi scan it takes just over 7 seconds and for a 600 dpi it’ll be 14 seconds. However the manual recommends that you wait for the motor to stop before moving the device. Doing that will add 7 seconds to the scan time.
The Doxie scanning software works very well. There are quite a lot of options, like image correction, rotation and cropping. This is also where you can select the pictures that need to be stitched together. You can also choose to “Staple” a group of images together, then save the group as a pdf. When you import the images into their program the images will be removed from the SD card. You may find this helpful or annoying, either way, be aware. It was also disappointing that the OCR function does not work with the Flip scanner, perhaps it will be update at a later date. Of course you don’t need to use their software. You can pull the images off of the card directly and edit them if need be in your favorite photo editor.
For archivists on the go, students, and anyone else looking for a powerful portable flatbed scanner, the Doxie Flip is an excellent choice. There are so many applications for the Doxie Flip. Whether you are at the library doing research, or at home on the couch scanning photos, you’re going to appreciate how useful it can be! You can order the Doxie Flip for $149. And for a limited time they are throwing in a Limited Edition Notebook by Field Notes.
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The Good: Compact and lightweight for a scanner. Easy to use with easy to use software. Produces very good scans, especially for items that aren’t easily scanned.
The Bad: Lack of OCR function with the included software.