I bought this last time it was on offer thinking it was a multi-purpose portable scanner, and thus that it would be usable for pages, individual sheets, etc. Well…it’s really NOT. What it is is an okay photo scanner. But I didn’t need one of those, don’t need one of those, and don’t know ANYONE who wants it: people who want to scan photos really want a higher quality scanner. Portable scanner for photo-scanning? Not much use for it. Really.
Obviously, I wish the promo material had been a bit less ‘promo’ and a bit more CAREFUL AND ACCURATE. I never would have ordered it. . . . and, unless you want a so-so portable photo scanner, you don’t want it either.
An alternative to this small 4"x6" flatbed scanner is a small sheetfed scanner. While most need to be plugged into an outlet, they are much smaller than this Flip-Pal and also scan directly to an SD card (so it doesn’t have to hooked to a PC). One advantage of this Flip-Pal is that there is an LCD preview screen. Still, for photos, business cards and receipts – and virtually everything else 4"x6" or smaller – things go much faster with a sheetfed scanner; about 2-5 secs per scan. And I rarely need a preview.
For example, this VuPoint PS-CA6-VP-BW, which I bought Refurbed for about $25. I believe Woot has sold it for a similar price. You can see its size compared to the included CD. The identical scanner is often sold under other brands as well. And you can get similar scanners from Kodak, Pandigital, etc.
Yet another alternative to thus Flip-Pal flatbed scanner is a wand scanner, which is what I use in the library now. It’s advantages include the ability to scan full size books and magazines, and legal size documents. Like this FLip-Pal, they work off batteries and scan directly to an SD card. The biggest disadvantage is that you move the scanner manually over the paper. That means crooked images can result. And in general, there s no preview screen, Vupoint does make a model and with tiny color LCD preview screen, however. The biggest advantage is that you have full flexibility in scanning. Full size magazines are no problem. Nor are things posted on the wall; simply glide the scanner on the wall.
Models from VuPoint and Ion Copycat are often available for $39-$59. The one I’m using was $39, but I recently ordered one with a color LCD preview screen for only $49. You can see the tiny color screen in the second photo. Preview images can be zoomed and are navigated via 4 directional button.
I agree. This seems to target a very specific audience: Geneologists who need to bring their scanners to people’s homes to scan delicate small photos (that can’t survive the rollers of a sheetfed scanner). It’s not large enough to quickly scan documents.
The major advantage to this Flip-Pal and the two alternatives I listed (a small sheet-fed scanner and scanning wand) is that a computer is NOT needed. Like a digital camera, the image goes directly to the SD card. And the Flip-Pal and wand scanner are self-powered, making them extremely portable. I’ve taken my wand scanner to conferences where I scanned posters and text posted on easels, as well as the business cards of colleagues and restaurant receipts for reimbursement. You can do something similar with this Flip-Pal by placing the bed on the item on the wall, and aligning through the see-through bottom. A digital camera is simply not an option if you want to reproduce pages of text without fiddling with cropping and resizing.
Both the sheetfed scanner and wand scanner fit in my pants pocket, which is an advantage over this Flip-Pal and the full-size USB scanners you mentioned.
Those complaining that the small sheet-fed scanners need to be plugged into an outlet should take note that the power supply is 6V. That means it likely uses 5V, which is standard in many portable electronics. You can then use those rechargeable power packs for charging phones and tablets on the go. For example, this 10000mAh model with 3 USB ports. Just makes sure you have the right plug, which should be easy since it’s a standard size.
This will be way easier for me to use because sitting on a Xerox Machine is really uncomfortable…
I’ll get one, but it sure would be more pleasing at $99.99. I’ll have lots of uses for a completely untethered flatbed scanner like this. I’d like to see a full size model next.
Does anyone except me remember early dot matrix and daisywheel printers (and typewriters), which would print left-to-right, then have to return to the left side to print again left-to-right. Then some genius figured out that after the computer printer prints left-to-right, it could print the next line right-to-left, then left-to-right, then right-to-left, and so on.
As I watch the videos showing this unit and how it scans large things that have to be stitched later, I am thinking, “HMMM”.
Yes, retired my daisy wheel after 10 years. I would start a job and walk away using sheet fed paper or labels. Took about 2 hours for 1000 labels. Recently picked up a dot matrix printer for an old DOS program. Wow! I did not remember how noisy they are!
I do remember these… Back in Junior High my friend’s dad worked for Acer as a startup here in Silicon Valley, and so he had a computer (green screen), and then got a dot matrix printer. As junior high kids, we loved to be able to use print shop to make banners and the like… That was the awesome part… The pages fed off forever! Of course we had to color them in (black ink only), and gently tear off the edges so as not to ruin the creation.
As far as uses… As a photographer, it doesn’t spark my interest. Exactly as someone suggested, as a person that is interested in geneology and has traveled across the country (before digital) to arrive home with funky film images of family photos, I would so get this. That is, if I had an endless supply of money… Or if this was cheaper.
And that video… Could she have been less enthused?
Hoho, this will be PERFECT for scanning in my vinyl albums!
Before, I was trying to use our household’s A4 scanner, then piecing together the four scans into one coherent picture. It’s so hard to make it work, I hope this will make things better.
Not sure if this is as good a deal as you say - I can buy it from flip-pal directly for 149 - not the list price in incorrectly quote…
Flip-Pal mobile scanner
Your Price: $149.99
Got one of these last time and I love it. It’s not a super high def scanner, but it’s portable, fast and easy to use. No complaints so far.
600x600 for photo scans? No, thank you. I’ll stick to my “bulky” all-in-one rig.
Thanks for your post. You are correct, you can buy a Flip-Pal mobile scanner from us at $149.99. This tech Woot offer is for our Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 DVD which is $209.99
Note that this is no replacement for a photocopier or regular scanner. The scanning bed is only suitable for small 4"x6" documents so it won’t replace that photocopier if you’re copying standard size documents.
Actually the Flip-Pal mobile scanner can scan a photograph, document or other flat item of almost any size by making multiple overlapping scans and then using the included EasyStitch software to automatically “stitch” the scans back into one digital image.
Since the Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a color flatbed scanner, the image quality is also much better than a photocopier.
4"x6" bed with 600dpi resolution.
Is this a joke? Is it the year 1990?