Without a doubt, the Harvest TravelScan is one of the smallest scanners we have seen. It is just 280mm long, no larger than your kitchen rolling pin, and weighs just under 300g. This makes it perfect for popping into your laptop bag.
Of course, the TravelScan is intended for use on the move wherever you are, and to this end it draws its power from your notebook via the PC Card adapter. This means no power supplies or batteries to worry about, and the power drain from your laptop battery is minimal. In fact, Harvest claims that you can scan 40 pages using the same power it takes to open, edit and save a Microsoft Word document.
The PC Card is also used for data transfer, and you'll be able to use the TravelScan under Windows 95 or 98. We felt the build quality didn't deserve to be described as rugged, but the device should stand up to being constantly on the road. With only three moving parts, there's not much to go wrong or break.
Software is always an important part of the package, and Presto PageManager provides document management with PageType OCR letting you convert printed text into an editable electronic format. PageImage Folio, an unknown package to us, forms the image editing side of things.
We put the TravelScan through our usual tests and found that it was noticeably slower than other sheetfed scanners. Having said this, speed is not the main consideration, unless you are planning to scan scores of pages every day.
What the TravelScan is good at is Optical Character Reading. Processing our test page resulted in almost 100 per cent accuracy in terms of spelling, but formatting could have been better. Greyscale and colour purity did not impress us, so don't go for this model if you want to accurately scan lots of photos and other images.
At present you can buy this product only on Harvest's website.