The Magic Wand Portable Scanner
One of the best parts of the University of St. Andrews is that you don’t have to buy the majority of your textbooks. The flip side to that is that most of your textbooks are in the library, and because copies are limited, St. Andrews has this system called short loan where certain books are set aside, can only be taken out for 4 hours at a time, and can’t leave the library. If you’re writing a paper, preparing a presentation, or just trying to do some reading for class, you can see how inconvenient this is not to mention how much of your time it will take up. The solution? The Magic Wand Portable Scanner.
The short loan system was the cause of a lot of our woes that first semester. Then after Christmas break, one of the girls in my program came back with this gem called The Magic Wand. I had never heard of it and had no clue what it did, but my friend said it was the key to spending less time in the library. Basically, she could check out a book, use The Magic Wand to scan the pages she needed to read, download them from her scanner to her computer, and just like that, she could do her reading anywhere and anytime she wanted – spending almost no time in the library. From then on, I used it every chance I could get.
What is The Magic Wand Portable Scanner?
It’s a handheld portable scanner that you can use to scan pages of books, as well as pictures, documents, and even fabrics. You just press the scan button; gently drag The Magic Wand over whatever it is you want to scan; download the scans to your computer or laptop; and you’re done. It’s really that easy.
In addition to saving you time, it’s also extremely convenient.
Size wise, it weighs about a half pound and is just a little bit wider than your everyday piece of 8.5″ by 11″ white paper. Girls can easily throw it in one of those giant purses or, if you’re a guy or a girl who doesn’t carry an enormously large purse, it takes up very little room in a back pack.
Uploading the scans is convenient too, and can be done via card reader, USB, or Bluetooth on some of the higher end models – no software drivers to install!
You can scan anything!
The Magic Wand scans all shapes and sizes as long as the surface is flat. E.G. the page of a book is rounded towards the center binding but the page itself is flat, so if you scan it horizontally from the center binding outward to the edge of the book, there’s no problems. It’s also great for rare or antique books that you usually can’t even take out of a certain room, never mind the library.
Tech spec stuff:
On the top of The Magic Wand is an LCD screen which shows you the scan count, the color and resolution, and battery life. On one side of the LED display are two buttons that allow you to choose between color or BW (black and white) and 300 or 600 dpi, and on the other side is the on/off and start/scan switch. Two small lights indicate that a scan is in progress and whether or not there was an error while scanning.
On the bottom of The Magic Wand is the all important set of rollers. The scan light only illuminates when the rollers are in motion, so while you have to gently drag the scanner, there still has to be enough pressure to maintain contact with the page or document, which allows the rollers to move.
Overall, the quality is good enough for everything except maybe really high resolution photos. But be real, for the most part, your sole goal is to get in and out of the library with a readable scan of a book – and for that purpose, The Magic Wand goes above and beyond. Keep in mind that photo print quality is usually considered to be 300 dpi and web images only 72 dpi, so while having the option to go up to 600 dpi is nice, switching to 300 dpi and saving yourself some storage space is definitely an option (and probably the better one).
1. Even scans that contain errors are saved. If the error light goes on, the scan wasn’t successful, but the scan is still saved as a file. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what the error was, and it means you’ll have to send the files with errors to the recycling bin manually after all your files have been uploaded. But after a little practice, the amount of errors as well as the extra hassle should both decrease.
2. Sometimes the scan doesn’t catch the page number if it’s too close to the edge. The scan only occurs while the rollers are in motion, so if the page numbers are at the very edge of the page and one of the rollers goes off the page first, the scanning stops before it can read the page numbers. No real solution, it’s just the way pages in some books are formatted.
In the end, that’s a small price to pay for freedom from the shackles of the library. You’re abroad to do more than just school work, you should be doing everything possible to make the best use of your time.
As always, I recommend getting it from Amazon because their prices are always cheaper.
|My Price Comparison|
|Barnes & Noble||$99.00|
Here’s a quick clip - The guy sounds a little fruity but at least you can see it in action.