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Tech Buzz 10/04

Handheld scanners, pirated software and more

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Copy Talk

A few years ago, handheld pen-style scanners created a lot ofexcitement. But the early incarnations were often clunky to use orinaccurate. Now that the technology has been around the block a fewtimes, there are some interesting options open to entrepreneurs.Who might benefit from one of these devices? Anybody who needs tocapture magazine articles, pages of books, notes, contracts andother documents on the go. For example, contracts signed at tradeshows could be captured on the spot and logged into a laptop rightthere or stored back at the office.

We test drove a $200 (street) Planon System Solutions DocuPen to see how wellthe latest scanners work. It pays to read the scanning tips andapply a steady hand. Once you do, the scanned text is crisp, andthe device itself, slim and portable with enough built-in memoryfor up to 100 pages. While the DocuPen captures pages horizontallyline by line, most pen scanners work more like highlighters. Otheroptions include SolutionWorx's C-Pen line, and WizComTechnologies' InfoScan and QuickLinkscanners. Prices range from about $110 to $200. That's notchump change, but it's worth the convenience and productivityboost for entrepreneurs who need the capabilities.

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