Review: Doxie Go! The 2nd generation

It’s Apparent’s second generation Doxie document scanner has become a wireless scanner that can scan without a Mac or PC in sight. It’s a bit smaller than its predecessor, comes with a laptop-style battery, a USB stick port and a SD card interface. Its base resolution is 300 dpi instead of 200 dpi and it’s a fast little bugger.

Doxie Go! is the name of the new kid on the document scanner block, and it looks like It’s Apparent is going to have a real winner with this one. The original Doxie is a great little document scanner. It is portable, but you need a USB port to use it. It has great quality, but its standard quality starts at 200dpi in monochrome and for good reason: even at 200dpi the original Doxie takes a bit of time to scan a page.

By contrast, the Doxie Go! lives on battery juice. It’s a tad smaller than the original (about 2.5 cm) but a lot faster. Its standard resolution is 300 dpi in full colour. You can store scans on the Doxie Go’s internal memory, but you can expand dramatically by inserting a SD card or a USB stick. As soon as you mount the stick or the SD card, the Doxie software will automatically recognize it as Doxie Go’s storage folder organization is more or less identical to that of a digital camera.

The Doxie Go! recharges using a mini USB port and when it’s fully charged, the unit will scan approximately 100 to 200 pages with standard settings. Operation is simple: if you want the highest resolution of 600dpi, you simply tap the Power button until it glows orange. Scanning at 600dpi does slow down the Doxie Go! considerably.

The new Doxie software has more features — of which most work with the original Doxie as well. When you start the software for the first time, it will ask you which of the two Doxies you are using. Based on your selection, it will then show you the correct instructions for calibrating the unit.

The software now acts as “document centre” for a Doxie or a Doxie Go!, so you can use the app as a simple document management system. However, I personally find the integration with Yojimbo a very useful one. The Doxie app has OCR as well (coming in December 2011).

As I said before, the Doxie app recognizes a SD card or USB stick that’s een formatted by the Doxie Go! and will automatically offer to import from these devices. The downside of using a SD card or USB stick is that — due to the folder organization — other software for importing digital photos will recognize the devices as photo storage and potentially interfere with the Doxie app.

I didn’t experience problems with that, but it’s good to know you could suddenly see Image Capture launch when inserting a Doxie Go! stick.

As far as image / PDF quality is concerned, I have no complaints. As far as the software stability and feature richness is concerned: ditto. On the Mac, the app integrates with the Finder (saving as…), can send your scan to whatever app you may want, and will also send your scan to cloud apps, including Evernote, Flickr, etc.

The scanner itself comes with a pouch. My unit came in a sort of velvet-like pouch that proved to spill its black short “hairs” to the unit. As the scanner/page grabber/roller elements are exposed, this could rapidly ‘contaminate’ your unit. That isn’t a major problem, as the unit does come with a cleaning/swiping contraption, but not keeping the scanner in the pouch is in my opinion the better option.

Besides the calibration sheet, the unit also comes with a pouch for holding glossy photos. Scanning is fast. Having the original Doxie as well (from an earlier review) I stubbornly kept inserting my page aligned right (I didn’t read the user guide before I started) which didn’t work. The new Doxie grabs pages aligned left. There’s a small document guide that I found unnecessary — I always guide my documents using my hand, but perhaps that’s not the best way…

Because the Doxie Go! is fast, it’s more important to feed pages correctly. In a batch of twenty pages I had to start over again with three because they were grabbed before I could correct their position. The Doxie Go! will automatically feed through a page of maximum 30 cm, which means that if the page starts too late, it will stall two third of the way. That’s not a big deal; you can just start again (or better yet: read the user guide on this topic to do it right). Your missed scan will be imported in the Doxie app, ready to throw away.

There’s no Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) for the Doxie Go!. Some would say that’s a huge disadvantage. However, I disagree. While ADFs are great in the office, they are also only useful if you have large numbers of pages to scan. That’s obviously not the market served by the Doxie nor that by the Doxie Go!. These two are very much targeting individuals and SOHOs.

The Doxie Go! does communicate with iPads and iPhones, though. I couldn’t test these capabilities as I am probably one of the last people on the planet who has neither. An Eye-Fi SD card will be able to ‘push’ your scans directly to a computer, or one of these smart toys.

Personally, I would have loved having a Doxie Go! when I was a law student. Boy, would that thing have saved me money on copies, journals, and books!!! Not to mention the many boring days listening to professors telling reading aloud their syllabus.

For people like you and I, the Doxie Go! is an absolute gem and inexpensive at about €150.00. I think I’m falling victim to It’s Apparent’s inside joke: you can get hooked on scanning, although not so much on barcode scanning as on Doxie scanning.