Quick Tryout: DocuPen Executive Pack - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
4/11/2007
03:23 PM
50%
50%

Quick Tryout: DocuPen Executive Pack

When you plan an "executive" version of a product -- such as, say, the DocuPen Executive Pack -- you really should make sure that it includes enough support materials so that that the executive in question can assemble and use your product. Unfortunately, while the DocuPen -- a mobile scanner about six inches long and half an inch wide -- is a nifty and worthy product, the emphasis in its packaging is more on style than substance.

When you plan an "executive" version of a product -- such as, say, the DocuPen Executive Pack -- you really should make sure that it includes enough support materials so that that the executive in question can assemble and use your product. Unfortunately, while the DocuPen -- a mobile scanner about six inches long and half an inch wide -- is a nifty and worthy product, the emphasis in its packaging is more on style than substance.


Although I can't fault them for the amount of hardware they include. Besides the DocuPen RC800, the latest model of PLANon's product, the Executive Pack includes the charger, a leather case, a roll-up USB cable, a 128MB MicroSD card along (which lets you extend the memory of the DocuPen) with an SD flash adaptor, a mobile charger, and a universal memory reader, all for $400 (the DocuPen RC800, without most of these extras, costs $300). What it does not come with is a coherent manual -- just a nearly unreadable Quick Start Guide, and a short guide to the Universal Mobile Charger. Be prepared to get any really useful information from the online PDF.

On the other hand, their support staff is better than average. When I found that my included CD came only with a copy of ABBYY FineReader Sprint (the OCR application that comes with their "Professional" package) and no drivers, I called support, got an immediate answer, and was walked through the process of downloading the two necessary drivers and getting the DocuPen up and running. I was also sent a link so that I could download ScanSoft PaperPort SE, the document management/OCR software which should have come with the Executive Pack.

In fact, there is a lot to like about the DocuPen. The hardware is well designed, with a series of informative icons at one end. You can use one of the two buttons to toggle between mono, color, or hi-quality color mode and between standard and high resolution. The scanning element runs across the length of the wand, so that you can scan an entire area of a page rather than one or two lines at a time.

How well it works depends somewhat on what you're scanning. It takes a while to get the hang of using the DocuPen; an "X" icon will blink red if you move the scanner too quickly, and mine tended to blink a lot, especially when I was scanning in color. In addition, my scans often came out badly skewed because I hadn't kept the wand straight as I pulled it down the page. And this wasn't just because I wasn't used to the technology; it's very hard to scan down the page of any document that has a spine, such as a book. (One blogger suggested scanning from the spine outwards to solve this problem.)

Therefore, I was surprised at how well the included PaperPort application translated a rather badly scanned monochrome sample of text into a workable text file.

If you find yourself in situations where you need to do quick scans and want a lightweight, mobile tool to carry with you, the DocuPen could become a useful part of your imaging arsenal. But be prepared: You'll need practice and patience as well.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Cyberattacks on the Rise During the Pandemic
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  6/24/2020
News
IT Trade Shows Go Virtual: Your 2020 List of Events
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/29/2020
Commentary
Study: Cloud Migration Gaining Momentum
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll