The Best Scanner for a Small Law Office

A very kind reader of this blog pointed out recently that while I have written about paperless offices many times, I have never recommended a specific scanner (at least in this forum).  So let me offer my far from original opinion:  If you are looking for a stout, reliable, fast, sheetfed duplex color scanner, you would be hard pressed to do better than the Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500.  Just check out these reviews from CNet and PC Magazine, if you don’t believe me.  Many legal technology writers have recommended this champ of a scanner, which comes bundled with Acrobat X Standard.

How much, you ask?  The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $495.  This includes the scanner and the software valued at just under $300.  (A full copy of Acrobat X Standard is $299.  A full copy of Acrobat X Pro is $449, but if you buy the Scansnap which comes bundled with Standard you qualify for the Pro upgrade price at a cost of $199.  For a total investment of $694, you can own Acrobat X Pro and one of the best scanners on the market for a small law office.)

If you acquire a Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500 and upgrade to Acrobat X Pro, learn how to install it and learn how to use Acrobat.  By visiting the Acrobat X Pro page, you can find links to the Acrobat blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Adobe TV, Acrobat User Community, and more.  Training is available here and be sure to check out the tutorials.  All these resources are free.  Of course my favorite resource for Acrobat users in the law office is the Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog where, among other things, you can learn how to use your ScanSnap.

Ready to Buy?

Simply Googling the Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500 brought up the following ads:

All are less than Fujitsu’s retail price of $495.  Why might that be?  There are legitimate bargains out there, but be careful.  A savings of $50-150 can sometimes be explained by:

  • Hidden shipping costs (your bargain disappears as you go through the ordering process and realize how expensive shipping will be.)
  • Fine print (the scanner is refurbished, not new.)
  • Old stock (the retailer is trying to move a prior iteration of the Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500, which came bundled with Acrobat 9 Standard.)

If you don’t mind buying refurbished or getting a bundle with older software because you intend to upgrade regardless, then forge ahead – just be an informed buyer.  I like to use Google Shopper or Pricegrabber to price compare.  There are mobile apps for both or just go to the Pricegrabber Web site.  The same caveats apply, however.

Happy scanning!

Copyright 2012 Beverly Michaelis

App Shootout: Google Shopper vs. Pricegrabber

Remember Pricegrabber?  It was always one of my favorite price comparison sites.  In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Pricegrabber saved me about $100 when I bought my new Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner.  So I’m still a fan.  But today’s savvy buyer wants mobility.  Price checks on-the-go using voice or image search and alerts when products go on sale.  Meet the apps:  Google Shopper (just released in February) and Pricegrabber


My pick?  I prefer Google Shopper’s interface and like the option of searching by voice.  But price comparison is the name of the game here and Pricegrabber is more thorough in it’s search options.  The verdict:  get them both!  They’re free. 

Copyright 2011 Beverly Michaelis