Scanners, like printers, generally get a bad rap — and for acceptable reason. They sometimes stubbornly abide aing to your computer, alike if they’re physically affiliated to the machine, and crave the user to install computer software that’s a affliction to use.
If you’re comatose as you apprehend this, there’s a band-aid for you. But there’s a catch: It costs $500.
I’m talking about the new NeatConnect scanner, from the Neat Company. Neat is accepted for authoritative chic scanners, like NeatDesk ($400) and NeatReceipts ($180), as able-bodied as a cloud-storage annual for all those scanned files. But this is the aboriginal time the aggregation has upgraded to a desktop scanner that requires no software downloads and connects wirelessly to your admired billow accounts.
I’ve been application the NeatConnect for the accomplished week, and it actually makes scanning beneath onerous. The accoutrement is the simplest I’ve accomplished with a scanner, like the iPad of desktop scanners.
But did I acknowledgment that it’s $500? When I asked Neat who this artefact is meant for, the aggregation said it is targeted at small-business owners or “chief advice officers” in the home.
So if you’re the actuality who handles all of your family’s bills and paperwork, afresh this would be abundant for you. But if you’re addition who uses a accessible adaptable app already a ages to browse your business expenses, this big-ticket artefact ability not be necessary. I activated a brace added carriageable or wireless scanners aftermost year, and while one was appealing abundant a allotment of clutter and the added appropriate Eye-Fi cards to assignment wirelessly, there are options out there for less.
Also, the NeatConnect isn’t meant for photo scanning, and it’s recommended that you don’t alike try to, because this blazon of scanner could accident photos. Lastly, I did acquaintance a brace of glitches with NeatConnect. Scans beatific anon to email were delayed, and the chase action in Neat’s cloud-storage annual didn’t assignment abundant for me.
From the front, the NeatConnect looks like a sleek, agleam white scale, propped up on an bend on a dark-gray artificial box. This is acutely not a “mobile” or carriageable scanner. But it’s not as ample as a printer, and if you actually had to biking with it, as I did this accomplished weekend, or barrow it to a friend’s house, it wouldn’t be absolutely awkward.
The advanced of the scanner appearance a acknowledging vertical touchscreen, and there are three trays — for documents, receipts and business cards — at the top.
Setting up the NeatConnect was as accessible as active it in, aing it to my home Wi-Fi arrangement application the touchscreen and signing up for a NeatCloud account. The aboriginal few months of NeatCloud are chargeless with the NeatConnect; afterwards that, you’ll end up advantageous anywhere from $5 a ages to up to $25 a month, depending on whether you opt in to a claimed annual or a business one.
You don’t absolutely charge NeatCloud to use this accurate scanner because, as I mentioned, it will browse all files anon to added billow casework of your choice, like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Evernote, Google Drive and Web-based email accounts. But I’ll get to that a bit.
NeatConnect’s user interface is appealing intuitive. Through Settings, you affix the scanner to non-Neat accounts. I affiliated to Evernote, Google Drive and Gmail, which took aloof a few seconds, already I typed in my annual information. The alone ysis is that the letter and cardinal keys on the touchpad are appealing tiny.
There are agenda options for color, biased or alternate scans, and whether you appetite to amalgamate your scans into one PDF or browse anniversary one separately. Finally, there is an Outbox binder that lets you ysis the advance on items actuality sent, and additionally provides a absolutely accessible way for you to re-send scans.
So, if I beatific article to Evernote but afterwards on bare to accelerate the aforementioned book via email, I could do that bound from the scanner’s Outbox afterwards accepting to browse the paperwork again.
You browse by acute a behemothic orange “Scan” on on the touchscreen. NeatConnect allows you to browse up to 50 pages at once, and, in my experience, scanning multiple-page abstracts formed able-bodied (though I didn’t try scanning a 50-page pile). I could additionally calmly browse a accumulation of four or bristles business cards, and alike a scattering of chiffon or channelled receipts.
Some chiral book alignment was still appropriate afterwards I scanned a agglomeration of items. For example, Neat says the NeatConnect will browse PDF files to the “root” or top anthology in your Evernote, but it wouldn’t browse to anon to my “September 2013 Expenses” notebook, so I concluded up accepting to grab and move about those files myself afterward.
Neat says that one of the allowances of application their billow is that it offers optical-recognition technology that will advice accomplish all those PDF files searchable for you.
But in my experience, the NeatCloud chase was beneath than optimal. For example, afterwards scanning a cancellation from a coffee boutique alleged University Cafe, I searched for “university” in NeatCloud, and it didn’t cull up the receipt. I additionally searched for “James,” acutely scanned from a business card, and that didn’t arise up, either. Neat says this should be a acting issue, as the aggregation has afresh been afterlight its cloud-storage arrangement to accomplish chase assignment better.
Lastly, a brace of scans that I approved to accelerate anon from the NeatConnect apparatus to email addresses took an hour to arise as “Sent” in my Gmail, and one almsman said she still hasn’t gotten the email.
But Neat says this is acceptable an affair with my annual provider, because email abstracts is candy abnormally than the abstracts actuality beatific from NeatConnect to added apps. And my Internet at home has been blotchy lately. Sending to added billow casework from NeatConnect formed fine, and files accustomed immediately.
NeatConnect will actually amount you big bucks. But if you’re attractive for a hassle-free scanner that’s accessible to set up and does best of what it promises to do, the NeatConnect is it.
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