Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

After what to me seemed like an eternity, today my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner arrived at the post office.*

Can you tell I was excited?  My wife was like "Really?, You're taking pictures of the box? C'mon and open it already..."

I was surprised to find no Styrofoam peanuts, bubble-wrap, etc. in the box.  However, when I pulled it out, I realized that my new toy was well packaged.

I'm impressed that the company gives you batteries.  In today's age of "batteries not included" it was nice to be able to open up the package and get started without hunting around the house for suitable batteries.  The 2 GB SD memory card is a nice plus as well.

I was prompted to purchase this scanner due to the review of fellow GeneaBlogger Susan Petersen of Long Lost Relatives.  Susan wasn't exaggerating when she said that the scanner was able to be producing images within a couple of minutes.  This scanner is very fast!  I've been used to using my combination printer/scanner and frankly it was sooo slow.

The first photo I scanned was one of Megan and her grandmother.  The scanner did a good, fast scan.  I quickly popped in a few more photos and was impressed with the ease and speed of the scanner.

I was impressed with how light weight this scanner is.  At less than 2 lbs. this is going to be a great tool to use at the courthouse for research and for taking to family get-togethers and holidays.

Next, I decided I would take the lid off of the scanner and try to scan something that was not a standard photo.  I was eager to test out the 'stitch' technology used by the Flip-Pal to merge individual scans together.

My first attempt was a colossal failure.  I tried to scan an 8X10 printout of an obituary I had received from the library and attempted to 'stitch' them together.  The software that comes with the scanner is fairly straight-forward:

My first attempt to stitch images together did not work because I failed to read the instructions.  I didn't allow for the proper overlap in my images, and the software failed to recognize and properly stitch it together.  Undaunted, I read the instructions and tried again, this time with an 8x10 photo of my nephew.  Here are the individual images:

Using the 'Stitch Scans' option, you select the images that you want to put together.  The software then does its magic and puts them together.  Finally, you can open the image and edit it in your photo editing software.  Here is the finished image produced by the Flip-Pal:

Now all I have to do is trim up the edges, and I have a nice, clean scan of my nephew, Eli.  The best part is that it took less than 5 minutes!

I cannot wait to dive into scanning the photo albums, postcards, etc. around the house.

The Flip-Pal website

Disclaimer: I purchased this product directly from the Flip-Pal website.  I received no compensation for this review.

* Eternity is defined in this case as the time it took from order to arrival.  I ordered on November 4th, and the product arrived November 20th.  The company shipped using FedEx SmartPost, which for some reason took the package from Indianapolis (FedEx hub) to Cincinnati to have the USPS deliver.  The distance from my house to Indianapolis is 65 miles.  The distance from my house to Cincinnati is 170 miles.  Go figure.


Susan Petersen said...

Travis - now you know why I've been so giddy about this little gem! I LOVE it! Everything about it is just so easy. Also, thanks for the link back to my blog - I appreciate that!

Travis LeMaster said...

Susan - You're welcome! This powerful tool will be put to good use. So glad you recommended it!

Barbara Poole said...

So you failed to read the instructions, that's common and yet funny when problems happen to others. I loved the photo of your nephew. You and Susan both wrote good reviews. Now maybe, I should get one.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I'm so glad to see a final product using the stitching technology. I'm becoming more and more interested in hte Flip-Pal.

BTW-I totally understand your taking pictures of the box. I take pictures of what my family considers to be weird things too. I keep reminding them it's blog fodder!

Travis LeMaster said...

Barbara - Yes, instructions aren't my strong suit sometimes! I may post a bit more about my trials with my new toy.

Michelle - If you decide to purchase the Flip-Pal, I think you'll be very glad that you did. The only drawback (in a good way) is that now I'm spending a lot of time scanning photos.

Anonymous said...

Travis, just interested in whether or not you still love it. I've been lusting after one.

Travis LeMaster said...

Yvonne, I still love it! Have been using it quite a bit.

Southwest Arkie said...

I must have one of these. What you did with "stitch" is just amazing to me.
I'll try to remember to read the instructions! ☺