Decades into the paperless revolution, higher education continues to be awash in paper. Student assignments, accessibility notices, memos from HR, reports from publishers–over the course of a semester, the amount of paper that can accumulate is well and truly astonishing. (The ubiquity of printers probably doesn’t help matters, either.)
Scanners can help, but they often take up valuable space, or have clunky software that makes you hate them a little, or are expensive. Even portable scanners typically require a laptop, meaning that it’s Yet. Another. Thing. to lug around campus, with another cord to keep track of.
The basic conceit is that Doxie Go is like a digital camera: It has its own rechargeable battery (so, when you take it out of the box, you’ll need to charge it for 2-3 hours before first use), and its own onboard memory. What’s clever about it is that it doesn’t need to be connected to a computer to scan–in fact, it can’t be. You do your scanning, then sync to your computer using the Doxie software. This does take a bit of mental adjustment: If you’ve used scanners before–or even an iOS app like DocScanner–then you’re probably used to seeing a preview of your scan before committing to it. After a few scans, though, you start to trust the ability of Doxie Go’s single-sheet feed scanner to capture your documents. You can also switch between 300dpi and 600dpi scans by tapping the power button on the device.
It is, in short, a scanner without a cord: You only need to plug it into a computer to charge or to sync–and you don’t even need to do that. The Doxie Go accepts SD cards and USB drives, so if one of those is attached, it automatically saves its scans there. (What’s really cool is that EyeFi SD cards will allow the Doxie Go to sync wirelessly with either your computer or your iOS device.)
Doxie Go weighs about as much as my Penguin edition of Bleak House, so it is extremely portable and easy to maneuver.
The software is also very intuitive and easy to use, allowing you to make basic adjustments, including cropping and trimming, before sending the image somewhere else. (Each page is its own file, although the software does allow you to “staple” multiple scans together.) Doxie is able to export files to the finder as PDF, JPG, or PNG, or you can send the file directly to Evernote or your favorite photo editing software (I use Pixelmator, both because it’s awesome and because I can’t afford Photoshop.). You can also send it to cloud services such as Flickr or Dropbox, as well as to Doxie’s own web-based storage.
Built-in OCR is “coming in late December,” so obviously I can’t review that here, but even now the native support for Evernote gives you access to the functionality.
What Doxie Go Is
Doxie Go is an outstanding personal scanner. Its ease-of-use and extreme portability make it a great fit for people who just need to scan a few sheets of paper now and again.
I also think that there are plenty of classroom uses for an ultra-portable scanner that’s able to wirelessly sync to an iOS device or laptop, or even that syncs by using the SD card. Upload paper-based student work to your class’s wiki, blog, or even LMS during class, or connect your iPad to your classroom’s multimedia workstation and instantly display a group’s work to the entire class (for example).
What Doxie Go Isn’t
If your primary use case for scanning either involves scanning large quantities of pages at once, or if you need very high resolution images, then Doxie Go probably isn’t for you. Similarly, if you know that you will be doing a lot of scanning, probably from the same place, then the Doxie Go probably isn’t going to appeal to you.
A Word about Style
The Doxie online store invites you to “Buy a Hip, Sassy Scanner,” and the company takes this sassiness pretty seriously. Exhibit A: the heart-shaped application icon, exhibit B: the travel-themed swag (because the Doxie Go travels so easily, get it? GET IT?) that came in the box with the scanner, and exhibit C: the cartoon images of the scanner for press purposes. If this sort of thing drives you crazy, then forewarned is forearmed.
Doxie Go is $199, which seems within bounds for the portability of the scanner, especially given its overall ease of use. That said, $200 is still real money. Apparent also has a program, Doxie U, that lets you buy Doxie Go’s slightly less portable cousin, the Doxie, for $119. The main difference is that the Doxie has to be plugged into a computer in order to scan. (The regular Doxie is $149.)
Disclaimer: Apparent provided a review unit of Doxie Go.