Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current Document Scanners here.
The Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus document scanner produces high-quality, searchable electronic files that are straightened and turned right side up before being stored in your digital filing system. This is all done automatically at the touch of a single button. In addition to its ability to prepare and file your digital pages quickly and accurately, this Plustek document scanner sends your files directly to the application you specify or to your web storage location.
The Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus document scanner is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. As you scan your documents, you can select the file type most useful to you. The searchable PDF file format is the most common choice and is the best for business or personal use. This file type is the default option when you are scanning with the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus. Its automatic optical character recognition (OCR) turns the printed page into a searchable text file, formatted to be identical to your original document.
During the scanning process, if you’ve put papers in the automatic document feeder (ADF) upside down, the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus digitally turns and stores them right side up. If your document is slightly smaller and gets tipped a little during its path through the scanner, the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus straightens and crops the digital file before storing it. And if you have a blank page at the end of a document, the Plustek removes the blank pages for you automatically.
In addition to optimal scanning, the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus is a powerhouse of storage options. While it does not send financial information directly to tax applications like TurboTax, you can send your document to many other specified applications.
Looking more like a printer than the flat-bed scanner you may be used to, the sheet-fed, Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus’ ADF holds up to 50 sheets of paper. The paper feeds through automatically, just like a printer, scanning one or both sides of each document. Sheet-fed scanners like the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus are often used at the front desk or reception area of a business. This way, the insurance cards, legal documents, and other papers or certificates often needed to obtain services can be scanned right there on the desktop scanner as they are handed to your staff. Because of the limited space in this type of office setting, or if it’s being used in a home, it’s important that the scanner has a small footprint. The Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus is one of the smallest and lightest desktop scanners we reviewed. At less than four pounds in weight and with measurements about six inches deep and under six inches tall, it is also one of the smallest scanners we reviewed, despite being able to scan legal-size paper or a roll of paper up to 50 inches in length.
Checks, receipts, plastic coated ID cards and business cards along with letter, A4 and legal size paper all scan beautifully with the SmartOffice PS286 Plus. You can choose to scan your items single or double sided. When scanned double sided, both sides are scanned at once to save time. A separate slot is included for smaller items, like cards, checks and receipts. This enables them to be scanned more efficiently without the paper jams that sometimes accompany mixed batches of originals.
You can mix and match paper types and sizes when using the Plustek. In an office setting, for example, you can store the manager’s travel receipts to your computer so he or she can be reimbursed, you can save the myriad of legal-size documents generated by a home sale, and you can scan your customer’s business card and driver’s license.
When using your wireless SmartOffice PS286 Plus, you can direct your digital documents to any number of folders, including those in the cloud. You can drag and drop your files into Google Drive, Evernote and even Facebook, or if you’re using a PC, you can save them to DropBox and SkyDrive. You can also sync your mobile devices to your document storage, making your all your scanned files available to you on Android and Apple devices.
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The Plustek SmartOffice PS286 document scanner is reliable, scans quickly and has great optical resolution. The included OCR software means your digital documents are searchable, making it easy to find your scanned electronic information. Although there are a few tax applications it does not support directly, this scanner can send your digital files to many other applications. Overall, the Plustek SmartOffice PS286 Plus is an exceptionally compact and accurate option for business or personal use.