IRIScan Book 3: pretty much useless

Image I just got an IRIScan Book 3, a portable scanner that looks promising when you check it out online. And I’m sending it back. The problem is that you can never rely on it actually scanning the whole page that you intend to scan. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to make a video of this but I hope I will manage to do one before the 30 days trial period is over.

The device is a nice idea, but it simply doesn’t work. If you get one, you can expect to have problems with it all the time. No, my device is not defect. The product is simply badly designed. There are two main problems:

  1. As far as I can see, the scanner measures its movement through the rolling thingy on  the bottom, i.e. it does not use the actual optical sensor to register movement. As a result, it will stop scanning once the rolling thingy has rolled over the edge of the book so that it is suspended in the air. In other words: while the scanning sensor is still gliding over your text, the “wheels” tell the device that it is no longer moving and it will therefore stop recording the signal coming from the sensor. This may not be a problem if your book has a margin of at least 1.5 cm, but if your margin is narrower (or if you want to scan the notes scribbled on the margin) then the Iriscan Book 3 just wont work for you.
  2. The frame of the device is too thick so that it wont scan what is towards both ends of the sensor, i.e. the width of the scanned image is smaller than the sensor window on the bottom of the device suggests. Again, you could work around that making a mark where the sensor really starts and use the device accordingly, but the problem is that you may not always be able to do so because the fold of the book is preventing you from shifting the device far enough. Similar to point 1 mentioned above, this will not be a problem if your book has large margins, but I have one here that has just under 1.5 cm margin at the centre fold and the leads to the first letter or so of each row to be cut off.

I could also complain about the wifi functionality (on the Irisscan book 3 executive), but that has become a minor quibble compared to these problems. The problem with the wifi functionality is that the Iriscan Book 3 does not conntect to your existing wifi but it sets up its own wifi hotspot and if you want to connect your computer or ipad with it, you need to disconnect from your wifi (and hence the internet), connect to the Irisbook wifi, scan, connect back to your original wifi and only then can you upload the scanned documents.

Honestly: this could have been solved better. Why did they call it IRIScan Book, when it can scan single pieces of paper just fine, but not books? Anyway: I’m sending it back. Luckily they I.R.I.S. is giving a 30 day money back guarantee, so that should not be a problem. Despite this, I recommend anyone to think twice before ordering this. If you think you might want to use it for scanning pages out of books, don’t buy it.

Instead, I will try a fascinating software called booksorber. I had considered it before I bought the Iriscan Book, but I thought it would be nice to have a dedicated device for scanning, rather than setting up my camera everytime I want to scan a couple of pages, but now I’ll give booksober a chance. I’ll post my exoerience here as soon as I had time to test it.

UPDATE [31-10-2013]: If you are looking for an alternative portable scanner, you might want to have a look at the Xcanex document scanner by piQx which I reviewed in another post.

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8 thoughts on “IRIScan Book 3: pretty much useless

  1. Thank you for this information. I was extremely fascinated by the IRIScan Book 3 executive and was going to purchase it online. But after reading post I am rethinking my choice.

  2. Unfortunately I didn’t see this before I bought an IRIScan book 3. Customer Service eventually concluded the unit was defective and gave me a return authorization but that was the last time they returned my e-mail and they don’t answer the phone. I tracked the return and confirmed they received the unit but it looks like I wasted $60.

  3. It doesn’t work. I bought one and I’m trying to scan a page. I tried for about 30 times. All the scanned pages have vertical lines like rows. It’s useless. DO NOT BUY.

  4. I recently saw the ad for IRIScan Book 3 and was fascinated by the possibility of using it to scan very long paper records (like the well logs used by oil companies to record downhole measurements and can be many feet long in paper form), let’s say standard 8-9 inches wide and but 36 inches long. You gave the Xcanex better marks but it seems given the IRIScan Book 3 feature of using rollers to keep scaning seems like it would be better for long documents laid out flat on a large table?

    • Interesting use case. I agree for scanning long documents in one piece, the Iriscan Book 3 might be better. My only worry/suspicion would be that even though it could technically keep scanning for, say, 100 yards, the software may not actually allow it. What I mean is that you may not be able to select the paper format in the software settings and therefore not be able to actually scan those long sheets. But I have no way of checking this since I returned my device long ago.

  5. I bought one. The first time I used it I had very little problems with it. The book was just big enough that only a few pages were missing the last letters of each line. I didn’t get any of the vertical lines. I did have a bit of the problem with Iriscan software because the OCR technology is not the best to be honest. You get better text pulling it from a Google or Cornell University PDF online. But now the book I’m trying to scan has narrower margins and lots of the pages have missing letters. Not only that, but the vertical lines have appeared! And Irisscan does not recognize any letters that pass through those lines. Very disappointing.

  6. I bought this item online and have not been able to use it. There was no OCR software Readiris Pro 12 with the product so I have not been able to edit the text. I am very disappointed with this item.

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