Xcanex scanner is portable, but professional

One of the advantages of this scanner is the quality of the colour reproduction, which is usually washed out in portable scanners.

Xcanex from piQx Imaging
Price: $249
Like a whole lot of other gadgets, the scanners too have been shrinking in size over the past few years. Their convenience aside, the results of portable scanners are anything but professional grade. Now, piQx Imaging has come up with an innovation that literally folds a professional scanner into a portable form factor.

Though it looks a bit complicated, the Xcanex scan station takes just about five minutes to set up. Plus, you can use it with a stand or clipped on to your laptop if space is at a premium. You, however, need a CD to install the Perfecapture software which is not available online - so ultrabook owners be prepared for a bit of copying.

In the box is an Xcanpad that lets you know where to place the documents so that the scanning is perfect. However, this is more like a rough guide and in the end you have to place the book or document where it gives the best image. It is easy, but you will need a few days practice to perfect this.

The software is straight forward and gives a lot of options on how to scan. There is even a continuous mode where you can scan all pages of a book in one go. You scan all left pages first followed by the right pages, kept inverted in the same spot. In the end the entire book is in place. This is made easy by the fact that there is an automatic mode where the scan initiates every time you flip a page. The only issue here is that it is a bit tough to understand if you are on continuous or random pages mode or in automatic or manual. The buttons are tiny and not very clear in what they tend to convey.

We used the scanner to scan documents, books and business cards. The results were great with the image quality being professional grade all the time. You also have the option of saving the document in PDF or image format. The post-processing part of the software also needs some getting used to. But it gives some good options like capturing text, though this comes with a bit of garble which you have to edit out manually.

One of the advantages of this scanner is the quality of the colour reproduction, which is usually washed out in portable scanners. There is also a video mode where you can record something under the scanner, like the demo of a gadget or a short video on how to draw something.

Overall, the Xcanex is a very innovative product that needs a bit of fine tuning before it becomes an exceptional device. For now, it is good for people who need a scanner but are not sure they need a big one.

Rating: 4/5