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Lifewire / Gannon Burgett
Great scan quality
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 is a reliable and versatile scanner with robust software. Though the single button design is a slight turn off, it’s still a great option for homes and offices.
Fujitsu provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for the full review.
Flatbed scanners and even mobile scanning apps have their purpose. But if you need a consistent, reliable source for digitizing documents, business cards, receipts, and more, you might want to invest in a document scanner. These devices can scan both sides of a page at once and can automatically scan a stack of documents at once to ensure no document gets left behind. Some can even scan and save or send on-demand, so you can go from paper to PDF to email in a matter of seconds.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting one such document scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400, to the test. In total, I’ve scanned over 500 documents and 2,500 photos to see how well it performed in a variety of situations. After almost a dozen hours of total use, I’ve summarized my experience with this particular model and broken it down into the following sections.
As a whole, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 was a reliable and versatile scanner that looks great in the office.
The overall design of the ScanSnap iX1400 isn’t much of a departure from its predecessor, the ScanSnap iX1500, nor its more capable contemporary, the ScanSnap iX1600. It features an upright design with a smooth, pentagonal profile and slide-out support trays for larger documents.
When the support tray for the automatic document feeder (ADF) is closed, it doesn’t take up much space on the desk or shelf, and its black design does well to hide the pull-out tray for a silhouetted look. When the top and bottom document support trays are folded up and extended, respectfully, the device takes up a decent bit of space. Still, you’re going to want to close everything up between uses anyways to keep dust to a minimum.
When the support tray for the automatic document feeder (ADF) is close, it doesn’t take up much space on the desk or shelf, and its black design does well to hide the pull-out tray for a silhouetted look.
When opened, the device’s sole button is a ‘Scan’ button on the front of the device. The rear of the device features only the power input port, the USB Type-B port, and a Kensington lock if you need to secure this to a workstation. Fujitsu also provides a receipt and business card guide, making it easier to scan those specific documents without adjusting the document guides every time. The guide also folds down neatly with the document support tray, thanks to a cleverly-designed slot system that moves the guide as the support tray is closed.
Getting the ScanSnap iX1400 up and running is a reasonably easy procedure. Before removing the scanner, you’re going to want to go to Fujitsu’s website and download the proper software bundle for your computer’s operating system. Once downloaded, you can then plug in the included power adapter and USB cable into the scanner. With the power adapter plugged into the wall and USB cable connected to the computer, you can then open the software and pair it to the scanner.
The ScanSnap iX14000 might be the more affordable sibling of the iX1600, but it offers the same specifications, including an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) that holds up to 50 sheets and the ability to scan up to 40 ppm (A4-size color documents at 300dpi). I could easily fit the 50 sheets of standard printer paper in the ADF, and on a few occasions, I even managed to hit 45 ppm when scanning. The scans came out clean almost every time, with the only issue being a few catches every now and again, but the scanner would notify me almost immediately, and that had more to do with not aligning my documents right every time.
I could easily fit the 50 sheets of standard printer paper in the ADF, and on a few occasions, I even managed to hit 45 ppm when scanning.
Although you are limited to a wired connection with the iX1400, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your local network will play nice with transfers. Between the quick read-out speeds and fast data transfers over the USB Type-B cable (included with the scanner), I didn’t come across a single time when the scanner felt as though it was trying to play catch-up with transferring data to my computer—even when working with large, high-DPI scans of photographic prints.
As important as the specs are for figuring out what scanner will best fit your needs, I’ve found the most important specification for these kinds of purchases is how much you don’t have to interact with them. The idea of a desktop scanner is to blend into your workflow so you can get your documents digitized and filed, and the iX1400 did just that. I’d actually find myself stacking a few documents at once and just leaving them there until I decided to batch process them, and that worked out rather well thanks to Fujitsu’s software, which I’ll dive into below.
Unlike its more capable sibling, the ScanSnap iX1600, the ScanSnap iX1400 has no on-device display for changing settings and navigating through the menu. Instead, all scan operations and parameters are controlled by Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Home software.
Due to the ScanSnap iX1400 only having a single button, the preset you have chosen in the ScanSnap Home app will be the one the scanner uses when the sole physical button is pressed.
Fujitsu has included a number of scanning presets for documents, business cards, receipts, and more. But to make the most of the scanner and its software, you’re going to want to take advantage of the custom profiles option, which allows you to set scan type, scan speed, automated character recognition (ACR), save location, and more. Once created, you can change these profiles with a few clicks of the mouse.
Due to the ScanSnap iX1400 only having a single button, the preset you have chosen in the ScanSnap Home app will be the one the scanner uses when the sole physical button is pressed. This is helpful when you need a single type of document or image scanned. Still, if you plan to switch between scanning photos, documents, and receipts, you might find it a pain to have to completely turn on your computer, find the ScanSnap Home menu bar app, and switch the profile.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 retails for $400. This is identical to the price of the Epson DS-530 II and $100 cheaper than Fujitsu’s own ScanSnap iX1600. For this price, it feels as though Fujitsu could’ve added a little more, such as the option for one or two more physical profile buttons or even a little non-touch LCD for seeing what profile you have chosen. Compared to both the Epson DS-530 II and ScanSnap iX1600, the specifications aren’t all that different, so it seems the cost savings was done at the expense of the user experience.
Lifestyle / Gannon Burgett
Epson DS-530 II: The most similar competitor to the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 is the equally-new Epson DS-530 II, a second-generation color duplex document scanner. Both units are priced at $399 and offer roughly the same specifications, including the 50-sheet ADF capacity, duplex scanning, and dedicated software for getting the most from your documents. The DS-530 II is rated as scanning five fewer pages per minute, but to make up for it, Epson does offer a few more quick-selection buttons on the frame, which means you won’t always have to turn on your computer if you want to switch profiles between scans.
One notable difference between the two is that the ScanSnap iX1400 comes with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Home software, whereas the DS-530 II is designed to be used by third-party scanning software. Depending on your needs, you might prefer one approach over the other, but it ultimately comes down to what will work best for you and your work environment.
A trusty scanner whose strength lies in its simplicity.
As a whole, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 was a reliable and versatile scanner that looks great in the office. Its scanning specifications leave little to be desired, and its software is robust, but the single button could be a turn-off, depending on how you plan to use this scanner. If your sole purpose of this scanner is only to scan one type of document every time, you likely won’t find the single-button experience frustrating. But if you plan on scanning various documents and need them sent to different locations, you’re probably better off going with the ScanSnap iX1600, which retails for only $100 more and includes Wi-Fi connectivity.
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