The Fujitsu Scansnap S510 is a dedicated duplex document scanner, built on top of the successful Scansnap S500. The S510 retains all of its predecessor’s strengths, and improves its offering in key areas, especially speed. I’m not aware of a scanner that come close to beating the S510 in terms of performance, with its 50 sheet automatic document feeder with automatic duplex scanning, and an impressive speed of 18 pages per minute. It’s worth reiterating – this isn’t a flatbed, if you need a more versatile scanner, you could try the Canon CanoScan 8800F.
The S510 is not without its problems, however. The scanner ships with an impressive software bundle, but the lack of TWAIN and WIA drivers means that you either like the software bundle it comes with, or you lump it. I’m not sure of Fujitsu’s logic, but the Scansnaps will not work with other software applications (like Home Document Manager, OneNote etc). This isn’t Fujitsu’s policy across their entire scanner range, but it does seem to be the case across all Scansnaps.
Technologically, the scanner is sound. But it is let down by the fact that you have work work the way they want you to work, rather than how you want to work. The software bundled also boasts the ability to output the scanned documents directly to Word or Excel files. Whilst this sounds good in theory, the resulting documents contain so many errors that it ends up being frustrating rather than useful. There are also many reports of users failing to get the scanner to work on Vista 64 bit, which, again, is a glaring hole.
All in all, I’d have to give it 3 out of 5. It would have scored higher, but restricting users to a particular way of working is not acceptable. We paperless enthusiasts take our systems very seriously, and who are Fujitsu to say they know better.
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