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Gadget review: Scan it on the go

The Canon P215 is a very efficient solution to many of our scanning problems

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Tabloid on Saturday

Canon has released the successor to its popular portable P150 scanner; building on the strengths, eliminating the weaknesses and bringing in newer features, the P215 promises to be everything the P150 was not and more.

At 11 inches wide, 3.7 inches deep and 1.6 inches tall, the scanner is quite portable and will fit well into a decent-sized suitcase or laptop bag. And at 1kg, it is not too heavy either.

The device works as a sheet-fed scanner, so you won't be putting down books on it, but its document tray can hold up to 20 sheets of paper. It takes a few seconds to set it up, as you need to lift up and pull out the cover to get to the tray. The good part about the scanner is that it can scan both sides of the document, so you won't find yourself running the same document twice, and while this takes slightly longer, it is definitely not more than twice the time taken to scan one side.

The scanner also features support for recognising and scanning business cards, although with business cards coming in non-standard shapes and sizes, it could get a little tricky.

The scanner supports a resolution of up to 600 dpi, although you can dial it down to about 150 when you're not scanning images.

The scanner does not require a power connection and is powered directly by USB, although two USB connections are required to power the device at full speed. The device still works on a single USB connection, but the scan speed is reduced slightly. For a portable scanner, one would hope for it to be battery-powered but I guess that would increase the weight. We could probably add it to the feature list of future versions.

The built-in software — CaptureOnTouch — works rather well and lets you combine multiple scanned documents and export it as a single file in the format of your choice (PDF, PPTX, BMP, JPG and more).

The software can configure the single button to scan with a profile of your choice, or, alternatively, you can use the Full Auto mode, which adjusts that profile automatically by detecting the type of the document. To add a nice touch, the P215 will let you scan directly to Microsoft SharePoint, Evernote or Google Docs, thereby making your life a tad easier.

The Canon P215 is a direct solution to a very defined problem, and an efficient one at that.

You can get the Canon imageFormula at leading retail stores for Dh1,100.


 Bhavishya Kanjhan is a digital marketing professional and an early adopter of all things digital. Follow his tweets on @bhavishya