Epson DS-30 portable scanner
Epson DS-30 portable scanner

Despite grand proclamations of a paperless future, paper seems to have a peculiar sticking power in the workplace — especially
for anything that requires a legal paper trail.

It’s not that digital signatures can’t be legally binding, but that we have a strong preference for the apparent finality of pen on paper. And even if you are shifting to digital, there’s the matter of conversion: how do you get the copy onto your hard drive storage in the first place? If you work regularly with paper, you’ll need a decent scanning process. In a fixed office, that’s easy — buy or lease an all-in-one scanner-printer and carry on. But what do you do if you work remotely, or travel often?

Epson thinks it has a solution — a USB-connected scanner called the WorkForce DS-30. This device is just 27cm long, 5cm wide and 3,5cm deep. It comes packaged with its own USB connector, and a plush carry bag. At this size, you can keep the scanner in a laptop bag — adding just 325g to what you cart around.

It’s not the first portable scanner out there, but it’s a simple and elegant version, offering one-button functionality, direct to your PC or Mac for A4 (or smaller) — saving to a local machine or cloud, as well as sending to Sharepoint or e-mail. You’ll have to feed paper in manually, sheet-by-sheet, and it’s certainly not the speediest option (scans one side at a time), but it produces clear and true digital copies, with RGB colour output and enhancement, up to 600 dots-per-inch (DPI) resolution.

As someone who only scans the occasional banking form, I’ve taken to using a scanner app. This lets me use my phone camera to take a picture of a piece of paper, fiddle with the colour settings, convert JPG to PDF and e-mail it out.

It’s a free option, but has drawbacks. These include poor-quality PDFs and flat image scans, as opposed to optical character recognition scanning. If your job requires more scanning on the go (sales, merchandising, distribution, real estate, and so on), the DS-30, at R2,750, is a clear winner in comparison.

Epson DS-30 portable scanner
Cool factor ***

Usability ****
Value for money ***

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