PocketScan was like a nifty tool copying any document w/o running to your flattop scanner. While alternatives are using your phone camera to take a photo, then processing via apps like CamScanner and such. For me, I was hoping that PocketScan would give a greater resolution and better contrast. Also it should have solved uneven light on the edge that every photos from camera had. While more expensive alternatives like ScanSnap scanner should be an ideal goal, I could only hope to get a comparable result with Dacuda PocketScan and scanning receipts would not be a boring task anymore.
There were 2 LED indicators; the light you saw above and another one on the button.
At very first time, it felt weird scanning esp. on small book. But once you got used to it, it wasn’t a bad experience at all.
Bottom had a laser pointer similar to your mouse and inside the scan window, there were many LEDs and camera for capturing images.
These LEDs were acting like flash I assumed. That was how PocketScan could have an even light output. It was a light-control environment after all.
The estimated delivery was in Dec 2014, but I got it in the mail in Feb 2015. Delay was negligible IMO.
It was well-built and portable. However, iOS app wasn’t on App Store as of writing. It wasn’t much pain installing the old way, but surely didn’t look professional for Dacuda. I had yet to try on Desktop since OSX software didn’t release yet. Only on Windows it would work so far.
Good thing was PocketScan workflow was a breeze.
- You turned on the PocketScan by holding power button for a while to see 2 LED blinking (BT pairing mode)
- Pair it with your phone
- Open PocketScan app and wait for connection. (5 sec roughly)
- Press button on PocketScan to start scan (app would start scanning mode automatically)
- Start scaning
- Go through all your document
- Press button again when done.
- Crop or rotate if needed
The whole process should take less than couple minutes if you knew what you were doing. It should take a bit less if you went through a CamScanner route since only a phone was involved. 1 minute and 30 seconds comparing to 2 min & 10 sec when I measured how fast I could turn a receipt to PDF and email. I had CamScanner app as must-have apps in all my devices, so I would compare between this and newly promising PocketScan and see whether it could be an additional to my must-have apps. Let’s compare the result between PocketScan iOS app version 1.0.8 (34) and CamScanner iOS version 220.127.116.1161.
Scanning a tiny piece of receipt; CamScanner gave us much sharper result, but too much contrast applied which caused text on the back size appeared. PocketScan result could be much better since so far, it was way too soft, but hey both were good enough.
Scanning from the A5-size booklet; results were pretty much the same as above; however, if you looked closely, you would see that the owl perspective weren’t the same. Still differences were minor.
This was where things were different. Scanning from newspaper; PocketScan result was bad due to its default saturation setting. Unfortunately, there was no way to tweak in the app as of now.
In summary, PocketScan results were too soft and more saturated while CamScanner results were sharp but having weird perspective since its auto settings applied quite a sharpening and surely, overall quality depended on how good your phone camera was. The best thing for CamScanner was you could tweak anything the way you saw fit. That’s why having similar options on PocketScan would be huge as well. Working on another app was an option also, but that was too much work. At the end of the day, PocketScan result was a bit worse overall, but those disadvantages could be improved by image processing alone. At least we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, couldn’t we?
Text recoginition was another thing both of these apps had. They both were reliable only in English (well, it might be all latin characters, I had no idea.) PocketScan did better with almost 100% accuracy in English while CamScanner couldn’t do as good as far as my experience went. Image perspective was likely the blame here since I didn’t think OCR engines performed that much different.
PDF outputs on both apps were different. An image on CamScanner would be stretch to fit US letter size PDF page while PocketScan would not stretch to fill the page and try to stay on top center. I didn’t know how they calculated image size since the results for couple tries weren’t exactly the same although they were pretty close. For me, I prefered to have a PDF file that I could print immediately w/o worrying whether it was the same size as original. Download and see by yourself; the original book size was close to A5.
There were many things PocketScan app on iOS could improve:
- post image processing
- merge each scan into multiple pages PDF
- optimizing PDF output size
If Dacuda were able to update their app, it would be awesome or they had to open their SDK and let others improve the overall experience to make PocketScan a household name.
Up to this point, I hadn’t complained about the hardware yet and there was none I could think of. Battery life was still unknown, but I didn’t have any low battery warning while testing roughly 10 A4 pages either. IMHO, it was a good sign. However, putting a document to scanner feeder then pressing scan on your Mac was still the best option since it was a painless procedure. You didn’t have to put effort to get the optimal result at all while some efforts needed for both PocketScan and CamScanner-like.
I paid $89 including shipping worldwide. Yes, it was affordable enough, but it was another story in their store after Kickstarter which they asked for $169 (+$16 shipping to Thailand as far as I’ve tried in their store.)
I had a mixed feeling about this PocketScan; it had a big potential and no real hardware drawback. Most of problems could be solved with software update. However, when it comes to its retail price. Honestly, with $185 price tag, it was expensive enough to compare to presumably better established alternatives. I would go try to find things like Fujitsu ScanSnap which listed on Amazon for $260 first. I had no experience whatsoever with ScanSnap, but it looked just like a regular scanner with feeder in a small package which its performance should be as good as all-in-one printer; also I had heard nothing but praises.
In short, until Dacuda improved their app into much more robust one, I bet that a couple-dollar (or free) CamScanner app was a preferred choice for anyone. In addition, you would still have $ left after a purchase of an entry level all-in-one printer w/ scan-feeder like Epson WorkForce WF-3620 WiFi – $120 on Amazon. These two would make your life easier already. Safer; cheaper alternative I would say.