Xerox Travel Scanner 150 review

The Xerox Travel Scanner 150 is a compact, no-frills, USB-powered portable scanner that can scan to a variety of document types and destinations, including the cloud.
Photo of Xerox Travel Scanner 150

The Xerox Travel Scanner 150 ($159.99 direct) is a featherweight, USB-powered portable scanner geared toward travelers who need to scan documents, receipts, and/or business cards while on the road. It can scan to a number of destinations, including cloud-based ones, in a variety of document formats, but it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) and is limited to simplex scanning.

The Travel Scanner 150 is very compact and lightweight, measuring 1.5 by 12.4 by 2 inches (HWD) and weighed in at just 11.2 ounces. As it is powered from a computer over a USB connection, there’s no power adapter to lug. Unlike many portable scanners, including two Editors’ Choice models—the Xerox Mobile Scanner (4 stars) and the Visioneer Mobility (4 stars) —it can’t operate independently of a PC. The Travel Scanner 150 includes a good selection of bundled software: the Visioneer OneTouch scan utility; Visioneer Acuity for scan optimization and quality enhacement; Nuance PaperPort Professional 12 for document management; Nuance OmniPage Pro for OCR; Nuance PDF Converter; and NewSoft Presto! BizCard 5 for business cards.

Scanning
The OneTouch utility’s default pre-programmed scan profile is Document (PDF), which scans to 200-ppi black-and-white image PDF and saves it to a OneTouch folder in PaperPort. The OneTouch interface, accessible from an icon on the Start bar (we tested it on a Windows Vista system) offers a variety of additional scan profiles, which can be enabled or modified through the interface. They include but are not limited to Searchable PDF, OCR, legal-sized or A4 documents, receipts, business cards, and bank checks. It can scan to image PDF, Searchable PDF, BMP, TIFF, and JPEG, as well as to DOC, RTF, and other document formats. You can change resolution (it goes up to 600 ppi), mode (black-and-white, grayscale, or color), and more.

It will also scan to Cloud-based services— Google Docs, Evernote, FilesAnywhere, OfficeDrop, and DropBox —by means of OneTouch links, which are downloadable for free from Visioneer Connect. They can be preset with login credentials entered and destination folder selected.

You can also scan from PaperPort, or from most any program that offers a scan command, thanks to the enclosed Twain and WIA drivers as well as Visioneer’s own DriverPlus driver.

Scanning is simple and straightforward—just insert the document in the slot, and the scanner should grab it and feed the paper through. It says on the Xerox data sheet for the Travel Scanner 150, “… if you can insert a dollar bill into a change machine, you have the scanning operation mastered …” That’s true enough, but just as a change or vending machine won’t always accept your dollar bill on the first try,  at times the Travel Scanner 150 proved finicky and had to be coaxed into accepting a sheet.

Results
The Travel Scanner 150 did well on our OCR testing, reading our Arial font test page perfectly down to 5 points except for two minor errors (one spurious italicization and one spurious capitalization), and our Times New Roman font test page perfectly down to 8 points, with a couple of minor errors at 6 points. It did well in business-card scanning with BizCard, with about half of the cards not showing any errors, and most of the others just one or two.

The Xerox Travel Scanner 150 is a portable document scanner for the business traveler that needs to scan receipts and other documents while on the road. It’s featherweight and compact, and can scan to a variety of destinations and document formats, including searchable PDF. Its features are basic: It supports simplex (one-sided) scanning only, lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF), and it requires a USB connection to a computer to operate.

If you need a portable scanner that adds an ADF and supports duplex scanning, consider springing for the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula P-150 Scan-tini. The battery-powered Visioneer Mobility and Xerox Mobile Scanner, also Editors’ Choices, each support scanning to mobile devices—the former over a cable and the latter via an Eye-Fi Wi-Fi card. But for many travelers, simplex scanning of receipts, business cards, and other short documents to a laptop via USB cable will suffice, and the Xerox Travel Scanner 150 provides an easy, effective, and cost-effective solution.

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Specifications
USB or FireWire Interface USB
Scanning Options Reflective
Automatic Document Feeder No
Maximum Scan Area Legal
Maximum Optical Resolution 600 pixels
Ethernet Interface No
Flatbed No

Verdict
The Xerox Travel Scanner 150 is a compact, no-frills, USB-powered portable scanner that can scan to a variety of document types and destinations, including the cloud.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc