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Let’s be honest, pen-style portable scanners have always been a bit of a hit-or-miss affair. True, we love the idea of being able to grab information on the fly without having to lug around bulky magazines and newspapers. But for the most part, these devices, with their grayscale text scanning capabilities and unpredictable software, have been a bit, well, blah. Besides, the transformation of glossy, colorful magazine text and art to black and white was never inspiring.
But with PLANon System Solutions Inc.’s DocuPen RC800, you don’t have to settle for gray. Priced at $299.99, the RC800 FEATURE 24-bit color scanning in addition to black and white and standard color, at resolutions up to
400 dpi (dots per inch). Weighing a mere 2 ounces, the feather-light device is a bit longer and slightly wider than a ballpoint pen; it also FEATURE 8MB of flash memory, runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and is compatible on both Windows and Mac OSX operating systems.
The USB device is a snap to set up–actually loading the driver and PaperPort OCR software took longer than scanning our sample documents (a color page of an Ikea catalog and an 8 ” x 11″ page of text). While PLANon boasts that the DocuPen can scan hundreds of pages, be aware that this applies to black and white pages–your options are more limited in 24-bit color mode. Despite this, the DocuPen is a viable and more mobile option to either pen scanners or mobile scanners.