While the promised paperless office has yet to eventuate, scanners are still a standard piece of equipment in most workplaces - even if that workplace happens to be the road. With many a road warrior these days packing an iPad in their arsenal, it's not surprising to see the release of the iConvert Scanner for iPad from Brookstone. After slotting an iPad (1 or 2) into the dock on the top of the device and starting the iConvert app, documents fed into the front feeder slot can be scanned and appear instantly on the iPad's display to be saved as JPEGs in the device's photo library.
The iConvert's feeder slot can take documents from 2 to 8.5 inches (5 to 21.6 cm) in width and scan them at up to 300 dpi resolution. Once the document has been saved to the iPad's photo library you can email, print or delete it, or edit it on one of the many image editing apps available from the App Store. As can be seen in the video below, the unit itself is compact enough to not take up too much room in a bag and appears to be battery-powered, which would make sense for a unit designed to be portable - although just how many scans yo'll get before needing a recharge remains to be seen. The iConvert app will be available as a free download from the App Store.
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And if you're asking why you couldn't just use a digital camera to snap off some shots of any hard copy documents you want to turn digital, well you can. But because a camera needs to be positioned at a distance from the subject, you won't end up with a 1:1 digital copy that doesn't have at least some distortion. Consistent lighting and a steady hand are other problems when going the camera option.
Brookstone is currently taking orders for the iConvert Scanner for iPad at US$149.99 with a listed shipping date of February 1st, 2012.
Here's a video from Brookstone showing the iConvert Scanner for iPad in action.