Tech Talk: Go wireless with the doxie go + Wi-Fi scanner

Posted on December 14, 2012

Murray Hill Tech TalkI use scanners a lot. It’s a way to try to get rid of all the paper and I’m using them probably in a vain attempt to get some order in my life and get rid of big piles of paper. There are some great scanners on the market; some more portable than others, but the single thing that bothers me about every scanner I’ve tested is their inability to work completely without wires and a computer.

doxie go + Wi-Fi wireless scanner

Photo – doxie: The doxie go + Wi-Fi wireless scanner

The new doxie go + Wi-Fi, from Apparent, is the first scanner I’ve seen that solves my problem. With the doxie go + Wi-Fi, you don’t need to have the scanner plugged in because it has onboard rechargeable batteries. You don’t need to have the thing connected to your computer in order to scan a document – it works with Wi-Fi, and if there’s no Wi-Fi available, it writes to a SD card. There’s 512 MB of onboard memory that’ll enable you to store up to 600 documents, so you can scan away and then once a week or so connect to your computer and download the images. You can also add a SD card or USB stick to expand that basic capacity. Brilliant.

The doxie go + Wi-Fi is a nice-sided portable scanner that any road warrior could easily carry in his or her travel bag. It’s only 26.7cm W x 4.35cm H x 5.6cm D and it weighs only 403 grams. The doxie go + Wi-Fi comes with a USB cable to connect to your computer to sync and charge, but you don’t need to have it plugged into anything to scan. The built-in Lithium-ion battery holds enough charge for 100 scans and it’ll recharge fully in about two hours.

It scans at up to 600 dpi, and a 300 dpi colour image will take about 8 seconds to complete a scan. The doxie go + Wi-Fi isn’t the fastest scanner around, but it’s definitely fast enough for my uses.

It’ll scan page sizes from business cards up to 8.5” x 15” on a fairly wide variety of stock, and it outputs to black and white or colour JPEG, PNG or a searchable PDF. The ABBYY® OCR technology is what creates those searchable PDFs, and it’s been around for quite a while and is very accurate. Along with that, you can also scan to DropBox, Google Docs or doxie Cloud to put your scans into the cloud for access anywhere.

The doxie go + W-Fi scans to the cloud for access anywhere on iOS or Android devices

Photo – doxie: The doxie go + W-Fi scans to the cloud for access anywhere on iOS or Android devices

Software to sync the doxie go + Wi-Fi to your Mac or PC is available as a free download from the website, which supports from OSX 10.6 up to OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion for Mac users and from Windows XP to Windows 8 for PC users.

The Wi-Fi connectivity is done via a 4GB Eye-Fi SD card that plugs into the scanner.  You’ll need to set up an Eye-Fi account on your computer and configure it with directions on where to send images you store to it – that sort of thing. It scans the images and send them to the Eye-Fi account for access online – you can then upload scans automatically to Facebook, Picassa Flickr or an FTP server. Once all the setup is done, a scan will automatically transfer to the Eye-Fi Center, the web and/or any online services you’ve chosen.

There are other scanners on the market that are basically the same size as the doxie go + Wi-Fi, scan at higher resolutions and are available for less or a similar price. BUT – they don’t use Wi-Fi, which, to me, is the kicker. The flexibility this scanner offers is sensational and I know I’ll use it a lot.

The doxie go + Wi-Fi is available from the doxie website or either online or in-store at London Drugs, for a suggested retail price of $199CAD.

PROS: Wi-Fi is the big deal here; good quality scans in colour or black and white; onboard lithium-ion batteries mean no adapter; onboard memory than can be augmented with SD or USB media; decent pricing.

CONS: Single-sided, single sheet scanning only; slow; setup with Eye-Fi can be a bit complicated; the plastic shell makes me wonder how well it would stand up for a road warrior.

TO SUM IT UP: If you’re a road warrior or just someone who wants to use a scanner to cut down on paper and better organize your files and have those files where you can access them any time – then take a good look at the doxie go + Wi-Fi. It might be just what you’re looking for.

Murray Hill is lead tech writer at communicatto.com. You can reach Murray by email at murray@communicatto.com or on Twitter at @MurrayDHill

About Murray Hill

Murray Hill has been a freelance columnist appearing regularly in some of the most prominent Canadian newspapers since 1974. He began writing about technology over twenty-four years ago and he still maintains the belief that there's a gadget or gizmo for every situation and application. His fascination with technology and gadgets has endured for over fifty years, and has led to many familial discussions about the the difference between the words "need" and "want" when referring to tech. Based in Saskatoon, connect with Murray at: murray@communicatto.com Author's Note: I write a column on a single product, rather than comparing products. I do this because what I write is my personal opinion on a particular product. Sometimes I get something sent to me automatically, but mostly I ask manufacturers for a particular product to review. I usually have these products for a period of a few weeks to a few months, then they are returned. I get to keep some products - usually the ones that would cost more to ship back than they are worth - and most of those items get given away. I do get an honorarium from Communicatto for writing, but get no compensation from manufacturers or the firms representing them - so nobody buys my opinion! I also try to use photos and graphics provided, mostly because I'm a terrible photographer!

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