Plustek MobileOffice D412 portable scanner: First Take

Hot on the heels of Kodak's recent announcement of its Scanmate i940 USB-powered portable document scanner, Plustek has introduced a competing product, the MobileOffice D412.

The MobileOffice D412 is more compact and much lighter than the Scanmate i940 , measuring 295mm by 69.2mm by 50mm and weighing 770g. It doesn't need an AC adapter, either, as it's solely USB-powered (an AC adapter is available as an option). The downside is that it requires two USB ports, one for power and one for data. It has a rated duty cycle of 1,000 pages per day.

Plustek Mobile D412
Plustek's 770g MobileOffice D412 costs £216 (ex. VAT) requires two free USB ports — one for power and one for data — unless you use the optional AC adapter.

With an optical resolution of 600 dots per inch (dpi), Plustek quotes a scanning speed of 11.5 pages per minute (ppm) for a duplex grayscale 300dpi scan. There is a single straight-through paper path, with a lever at the front opening up the path to allow scanning of embossed plastic cards (ISO 7810 format) up to 1.24mm thick. Paper weights up to 125gsm (grams per square metre) are supported.

There are two customisable buttons on the top, which by default are configured to send scans to either Newsoft Presto PageManager 7 or PDF. Preset options include scan to email, OCR (with ABBYY FineReader 9 Sprint), scan to Wordpad, scan to Paint and scan to XPS. Up to 10 applications can be added, and business card organiser software is also included. However, there's no specific support for cloud-based services such as Google Docs or Evernote. TWAIN drivers are included, but not ISIS. Windows treats the D412 as a generic USB duplex sheetfeed scanner.

Plustek MobileOffice D412
The MobileOffice D412 has two customisable buttons, configured by default to send scans to PageManager 7 or PDF.

Scans can be converted to JPG, TIFF, PNG or BMP as well as multi-page and searchable PDF. Image editing can be performed either in PageManager or in the separate DI Capture utility. PageManager also allows scans to be converted to Word or Excel documents. By contrast with Kodak's Scanmate i940, there's no support for Mac OS X.

Costing £216 (ex. VAT) Plustek's MobileOffice D412 is an interesting alternative to the Kodak product, especially as it's lighter and much cheaper. It also shows, once again, that the latest generation of mobile scanners are much more than the novelty gadgets of yesteryear, providing some serious scanning power and genuinely useful tools.