Scanners are a pain if you are on the move, especially if you are trying to work with mobile devices. Most need a computer as an intermediary, and are designed for the desktop.

That is starting to change. Back in October we mentioned the Doxie Go, and now there s the iConvert from Brookstone. The unique selling point for the iConvert is the compatibility with the iPad, which fits into a nice dock at the back. Scans go in as JPEG image files (similar to digital photos), and can be manipulated with the apps on the tablet. While wireless connections are de rigeur, there is something to be said for a hard-wired setup, if only for simplicity s sake. (How many times have you tried to get a wireless connection to work and had it fail?)

Using a scanner on the road is something many business travellers run into occasionally. Business cards, of course, but also legal documents that might not be digitized, licenses, or forms with a signature -- any of these might need to be sent somewhere. Usually you need a fax machine, but this kind of device can save a trip to Kinko's.

This is another entry into the market at a similar price point to the Doxie, which sells for $199 and requires another $39 for a cable to make it iDevice-friendly. The iConvert is a relative bargain at $149. If you are a road warrior who is more iPad-centric than laptop-dependent this is a handy tool to have.

Each weekday on TechNewsDaily, That's Useful! finds practical new gadgets, computing hardware, apps, appliances and other electronics that make sense and simply make life better.

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