Digital document management is changing the way companies work. Every day, an increasing number of mobile professionals skip the fax and use scanners to digitize bids, contracts, spec sheets and other vital business communications. As users learn to rely on scanners, it is imperative that their IT departments equip them with products that are portable, easy to use and cost effective. Visioneer’s Strobe XP 100  sheet-fed scanner aspires to be just such a product, offering users everything they need for everyday tasks at an entry-level price point.
With a maximum resolution up to 600x600 dots per inch and 24-bit external color depth, the Strobe XP can handle most common scanning tasks without the overhead of a full-sized desktop device. The PaperPort Deluxe 8.0 software included with the scanner is versatile and user friendly; most users should be able to perform common image manipulation tasks with just a few mouse clicks. Users can also manage PDF files with relative ease, making short work of stacking and unstacking pages to and from multiple-page PDF files and rearranging page order.
The relatively modest form factor makes the Strobe XP 100 ideal for mobile workers who need a portable digital imaging system that won’t weigh them down. Just under the length of a 12-inch ruler, this 11-ounce device will be hardly noticeable to most users who carry it in their notebook bag. Also, the Strobe XP is powered entirely by a USB cable, so there’s no need to lug around the external power supply that earlier models of the product required. Additionally, the scanner comes with its own storage pouch, which will keep the unit free of dust and debris during day-to-day travel.
Scanning with the Strobe XP couldn’t be easier. Thanks to Visioneer’s paper-driven technology, users simply turn on the scanner, invoke the PaperPort software and insert the document into the front of the scanner. Users can configure PaperPort to automatically format scanned images as TIFF or PDF files, or they can choose among several other default formats. Simplified scanning means fewer hassles for users and fewer support calls for your organization’s help desk.
The Strobe XP’s many strengths are tempered by a few weaknesses. The feed rollers and paper path could be better designed. I sometimes had problems getting paper to feed evenly as it scanned. In most cases, the image could be straightened automatically by the software after the scan was completed, but occasionally the alignment was so out of kilter that it skewed the image. In some cases, the image was so distorted that I had to rescan the entire page.
Also, the unit is USB 1.1-compliant. Most computers made within the past 10 years have built-in USB 2.0 ports, which support higher data throughput and faster scanning. Without the USB 2.0 connection, that’s not possible with the Strobe XP.