Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magic wand first test

Well, I couldn't resist so I bought a hand held scanning gadget called the VuPoint Magic Wand. It looks like it will work very well with genealogy and should be quite handy for scanning things you can't take home with you from the library, the court house or a family member's collection.

Here are two photos, one of the magic wand with a dreaded "magnetic" sticky photo album. The second is the very first scan I made with the device, straight out of the box, and without reading any instructions. I reduced the size to upload it by 25%. You can see from the image I didn't quite go in a straight line, it's a bit wavy, but it did I pretty good job. Even with the imperfections, I'd say it will work well for photos and even better for text, land records, etc. It won't replace my flatbed scanner while at home, but the portability will be a big help.

Some of the negative things so far are that it requires a micro SD card, but it doesn't include one. This is probably not that big of a deal, but it raises the initial cost a little bit. Luckily for me, Best Buy was practically giving micro SD cards away yesterday, so it wasn't a problem to find a low cost one.

Another disadvantage is that the surface has to be very smooth. It didn't work too well trying to scan over those old construction paper albums with the glue in corners that hold the photos in. Those corners seem to grab the scanner and you can't pull it across the page very evenly. The magic wand needs a fairly smooth surface, or you won't get very good results.

The main advantage to the magic wand is that you don't need a computer with you to make it work. However, I can see that it will be nice to bring a handheld device of some kind just to double check that the scans worked. I'd hate to scan for an hour at a court house and get home only to find out the scans didn't come out.

It's too early to tell if this is going to fully live up to expectations, but so far so good. It seems to be working as advertised and I'm sure it will come in handy.

The-gadgeteer had an excellent review and helped me research the purchase before hand.