Sunday, January 1, 2012

NEAT, The Neat Scanner…

NEAT, The Neat Scanner…




One might think a scanner is a scanner, after all other than dpi ranges (dots per inch quality specs), what else could they possibly do? Along comes the NEATDESK, available in both Intel MAC and PC versions, a scanner that thinks for itself. Not only is the hardware unique, but the software is outstanding.

The NEATDESK PDF scanner is an automatic multi-voltage desktop unit that looks and acts like much higher priced scanners found in hospitals and doctor’s offices. It has the ability of scanning 15 documents as assembled, or by removing the paper guide, a very easy task, increasing the capacity to 50 single pages or 100 double-sided. Now that may sound similar to other scanners, but this scanner spits them out faster than you could grab them. It’s reminiscent of Lucille Ball at the candy factory. Yes, it does take a few extra moments for the processor to translate all these pages before making them readable.

(TIP: The speed of your computer’s processor determines how quickly translation will take place. Older computers or lower end models may take quite a bit longer to digest all the data. )

The NEATDESK is not limited to letter sized sheets. The supplied guide plate has two additional partitions allowing for multiple small receipts and business card insertion. This feature works well with the Intelligent Text Recognition technology built-in to the included NeatWorks software that exports these items to a digital filing system you can create in your computer.

(TIP: The business card partition was specifically designed for card stock, however, thin flexible plastic stock may be scanned as long as there is no raised or embossed lettering as found on credit cards. Such cards could damage the precision optical reader.)

Also included is the ability to stack up to 50 single-sided/100 double-sided scans into one document. Typically, such features require the purchase of additional programs designed for the enhancement of the PDF format. Quality settings include B/W document, image and, color.

(TIP: Scanning into the NeatWorks application is set at a maximum of 300 dpi. The scanner itself is capable of higher resolution, however, the software will always capture at 300, which is what gives the best combination of speed and accuracy for OCR (optical character recognition). B/W IMAGE is 8 bits, 256 shades of gray and approximately 6 – 8 times higher in file storage size. B/W text is only two bits and is the smallest file size.)

(TIP: Steps to scan an IMAGE on a MAC and save to various formats such as JPEG: Press SCAN on scanner, then MENU select COLOR or B/W, IMAGE ONLY, Direct to PDF file, Combine or Separate, Single or Double-sided, Remove Blank Pages, Scan, Save As. Once saved on your computer double click on the file and it opens in PREVIEW. Now pull down FILE, select SAVE AS and select the format, ie: JPEG, you wish to have it in.)

To summarize, the NEATDESK scanner does not replace a flatbed model used for graphic and Photoshop type applications. However for routine scans you can’t beat it’s speed, quality and document stack ability. The quality of text, image and color reproductions is outstanding! I’ve tested this unit for 6 months and have done hundreds of transcripts without one single hick-up. There are several brief tutorials on line as well as printed documentation included with the unit. It’s all useful, but too brief. I would like to see a CD or DVD supplied with the unit that goes into much greater step-by-step detail thus enhancing the experience. This is an outstanding value for the money!

MSRP: $399.00

Available at retail locations and on-line.


Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.