Fujitsu’s ScanSnap ($420) is a remarkable device that’s unbelievably productive and compact — about the size of a small fax machine. Its purpose is to convert printed documents into searchable electronic files, and it does that very quickly.

Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-5110EOXM

ScanSnap has two scanning heads which lets it scan both sides of a double-sided document at once. Just drop any combination of sizes of documents into its 50-sheet feeder, from receipts and business cards to billing statements and magazine pages, and the ScanSnap will convert them into any of several foramats: searchable PDF files, Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents, or photo scans at up to 600 dpi. The speed is roughly 18 double-sided sheets per minute.

If you want to create a multi-page PDF from a stack of documents, just drop them in. The ScanSnap automatically skips blank pages, determines if a document is color or black-and-white, whether it’s single-sided or double-sided, and what size it is. It also uses a custom version of optical character recognition software to convert printed words to editable text.

It’s amazing and it works.

Source: We got to see the ScanSnap in action at Chase Jarvis Photography, where they are using it to convert their client contracts and licensing agreements to PDF for easier long-term storage. Ironically, they has discovered it because it was profiled in the April issue of Design Tools Monthly which (as a Creativetechs’ Priority Member) they receive free each month.