While we’d all like to imagine we live paperless lives, the reality, even in 2018, it is far from the truth. A new product called PaperAir by Avision (model 215L) is a portable scanner that’s both fast and smart to make the task of digitising your documents a breeze.
The PaperAir is light and ultraportable, easily fitting in a backpack, making it easy to move between office locations or work and home. The scanner is understated, with a clean white body, there’s no crazy colours screaming at you, or artwork to falsely draw your attention, instead the PaperAir 215L is confident enough to let its functionality be the stand out aspect, rather than over design a piece of office equipment.
The device weighs just 1.4kg which compared to your all-in-one scanner, printer combo, its a featherweight. Being lighter by design means you’ll take it with you more often. If you work between different locations, like many of us do, then you can leverage the device features where you need it, like everywhere you have a filing cabinet.
A compact body expands with the flip up of the document feeder and a flip down of the document tray / front feeder. There’s just one button for on/off which means there’s less things that can go wrong with the device, again purposeful in its scope.
The PaperAir 215L would look integrated as part of any office setup both home office and business setups and features a quick and easy setup with just power and USB to connect. The device is just 299mm wide, 104mm deep and 74mm high, or about the size of a phone, stretched out as long as your foot. It’s easily movable in one hand, which is perfect for throwing in a bag, like when its time to head home from Starbucks.
The PaperAir 215L may be small, but great things come in small packages. The device is rated for a recommended daily throughput of up to 1,000 sheets, with a fast scan rate of 20 pages per minute and 40 images per minute for a colour A4 page at 200dpi, if you want 300dpi, then that drops to around 15PPM and 30 images per minute. At that speed, you’ll have that filing cabinet converted to electronic files in no time. The document feeder can handle up to 20-pages at once and will automatically feed through paper between 27 and 413gsm.
One massive time saver is that the 215L scans both sides of the document, simultaneously, dramatically speeding up your workload. By default, this will create individual images, but this can be changed to PDF for OCR support. In fact, you can actually scan directly into Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, although I personally found myself scanning, then reviewing the scan and then inserting the contents to documents.
The result of the scans was quite impressive, both in speed, but also in digital adjustments that happen automatically, like cropping and straightening, that just kind of happens without needing to be tweaked per-scan.
The scanner features Optical Character Recognition and documents can also be tagged, so a key benefit to using this scanner over many others, is its ability to help you catalog your information and be able to search through it at a later date. Imagine trying to find your Group Certificate from years ago, if you scanned it with this, the task would be easy. Simple fire up the PaperAir Manager software and search for Group Certificate and you’d be set.
This gallery provides you with some size comparisons to really highlight how small, portable and convenient this device really is.
From the very first scan, I was very impressed with the speed, this video shows how fast a double-sided scan, in colour, at 300dpi happens with the PaperAir 215L.
The PaperAir Manager software you use to drive the scanner unfortunately doesn’t match the smart design of the hardware. The application UI features a SCAN button, but only those most observant users would notice the tooltip that suggests you need to right-click on the SCAN button to access the options. This should definitely be moved to the settings screens (available from the cog in the top-right corner, or have a button of its own. Too many regular users would never find this and either resort to having to do a Google Search or just think the scanner is incredibly limited.
Further interface issues are present on the search results page, with the UI looking well dated, not at all reflected of the sleep hardware design on the table in front of you. It’ll get the job done, like providing a preview and options to email or send to the printer, but there’s lots of room for improvement here.
Price and availability
The PaperAir 215L is available now from http://paperair.inotec.com.au and costs A$788.00, including 1 year warranty with an option to extend that to 3. There is also a variant without the L that includes a neat feature of Wi-Fi inside. This lets you issue a scan command from your phone, when you do so, it’ll send the scanned image/document over the wireless connection, back to your phone. It’s a shame this isn’t a default on all models.
At the end of the day, the price may seem high for a fancy scanner, but given the PaperAir 215L can dramatically speed up your digitisation tasks, it’ll pay for itself in reduced time. The ability to cope with a variety of paper sizes, great quality scans (up to 600dpi), all add up to a great device I’d be happy to recommend to those facing the challenge of scanning (inc OCR), digital storage (get those files in the cloud) and retrieval.
The software is the biggest let down here, but if the developers are committed, that’s something that can be fixed easily with an update.
If your cupboards are anything like mine, even at home, you have a bunch of old files that really should be turned into digital files for safe keeping. While we spend a lot of time considering the duplication of our digital data, cloud backups or offsite storage, we often overlook the physical items we have in a single location. Using a device like this to make a digital copy can then enable the safe storage of those assets, as well as the secure recycling of the paper originals.