Brother DSmobile 600 review
Smaller than a duty-free Toblerone, Brother’s DSmobile 600 takes mobile scanning to the next level. It weighs a mere 320g, and is also very good value at £74.
Despite the low price, it feels solid enough for life on the road, and it’s practical, too, powered by a single USB port (other mobile scanners, such as Plustek’s expensive MobileOffice D412, need a second to provide extra power).
There’s no auto-duplex mode, so if you want to scan both sides of a page you’ll need to do so manually. The feeder slot doesn’t have any paper guides, either, so it will take practice to get your documents straight.
Installation on a Windows 7 PC is easy, and the setup routine loads the bundled DSmobileSCAN II and Presto! PageManager 9 software. Brother doesn’t provide any other utilities, but our negative experiences with the business card OCR software provided by other vendors means it’s no great loss.
The scanner has a single button on the top right. You can either launch a predefined app, or have a dialog box pop up and ask which you’d like to use. DSmobileSCAN II allows you to alter the scanner’s defaults, from resolution and file format to colour or mono mode. If you do have problems feeding in paper, DSmobileSCAN II has an anti-skew feature, which we found worked well. Presto! PageManager offers a wide range of image- and document-management tools.
Scanning speeds are fine: at 200dpi, mono and colour A4 pages scanned at 5ppm and 2.9ppm. At 300dpi, speeds dropped to 4.2ppm and 1.8ppm; at 600dpi, they fell to 2.7ppm and 0.9ppm. Quality was good – our documents reproduced well at 200dpi – and colour photos and graphics showed plenty of detail and good colour balance. Surprisingly, paper handling was okay. The scanner will take paper up to 0.8mm thick, or 120gsm, and we had no problems scanning glossy A4 photos; credit cards will jam, however.
Mobile workers who need a portable scanner will find the DSmobile 600 fits the bill nicely. It’s good value, easy to use and performs beautifully for such a tiny scanner.