SCANNERS/PRINTERS & MULTI-FUNCTION DEVICES
While small, mid-sized and large practices obviously have varying workflows and some differences in technology needs, many find the same products to be useful. A practice with fewer than five professional staff, for instance, may not need a high-end dedicated printer and scanner and will find the use of multi-function machines on their desktops to be useful. Many large practices, even though they have those high-volume devices, find it more productive to also keep a scanner/printer/copier at individual desks in order to reduce time spent away from the workstation.
Fujitsu — ScanSnap S300 Color Mobile Scanner – $295
The ScanSnap S300 (www.scansnap.com) is the smallest double-sided scanner with an automatic document feeder. The company actually promotes it as a “mobile scanner,” since it is very compact and uses a simple USB 2.0 interface. But the small device packs a few excellent features, including one-click scan-to-PDF, bookmarking, search and other document management functions.
Samsung — CLX-3175FW – $399
Samsung’s (www.Samsung.com) wireless 3175 multi-purpose device offers great convenience (no need for network cords running everywhere), while also giving users full-color laser printing, 20 page-per-minute scanning, automatic document feeder, fax and copy functions. The 3175 also has one-button options for printing, copying and scanning directly to a USB flash drive
Dell — 2135cn Multifunction Color Laser Printer - $439
Dell’s 2135 (www.Dell.com) provides a great full-color laser option for desktop multifunction devices. The device has high monthly duty cycle capabilities (40,000 pages print), and also offers scan, copy and fax functions. It also has a web-based remote configuration tool and a toner management function that notifies the user to reorder.
DYMO — LabelWriter Twin Turbo – $139
Whether a one-person shop or a larger practice, somebody has to print mailing labels, and it can be a headache trying to print them on an inkjet or regular printer. But DYMO’s (www.dymo.com) line of specialized label printers makes the job much easier and efficient. The Twin Turbo even allows two sizes of labels to be loaded at the same time in the device, with 55 page-per-minute speed, high resolution laser output, and direct integration with Word, Outlook, QuickBooks and ACT!.
FOR THE WHOLE OFFICE/WORK GROUP
HIGH VOLUME SCANNERS
With the continuing focus on digital processes (the paperless movement), scanners have become a central hub of this effort. Digitizing client documents makes them much easier to store, search, filter and use (especially on a multi-screen monitor). And since most tax preparation vendors are also adding some form of auto-populate or at least auto-organize/workpaper compilation functions, scanners are essential to making use of these innovations. For firms with a dedicated administrative staffer who collects client documents up front, a centralized group scan workflow may be the best method of processing these items.
Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S80 – $799
The latest in Epson’s WorkForce line (www.Epson.com/workforce), the sheet-fed GT-S80 offers 40 page-per-minute scanning and duplex (both sides) in one pass. A 75-page document feeder aids with tasks, and a daily capability of 1,800 sheets means the machine can handle the full workload of most small practices or be used as a desktop device for high-volume individuals at larger practices.
Fujitsu — FI-6130 Sheet-Fed Scanner – approx. $950
In addition to its desktop/mobile ScanSnap, Fujitsu (www.Fujitsu.com) offers several workgroup and heavy production scanners, including the new FI-6130 Sheet-Fed model. The 6130 scans up to 40 pages per minute with 600 DPI resolution, and includes a 50-sheet feeder tray, duplex capabilities and Adobe Acrobat Standard.
KODAK — i210 Scanner – $799
KODAK (www.kodak.com) has transitioned well from a photo-oriented company to a digital imaging technology vendor, and its document scanners offer good features and capabilities. The sheet-fed i210 moves at 30 pages per minute and can scan virtually any size image, from ID cards to documents up to 34” long. The Smart Touch feature makes scanning directly to email, file or other programs quick and easy, with output available into multiple file types, including searchable PDF.