The instructions are lacking, but persevere and the eScan A150 is a decent scanner with useful online features, ideal for digitising multi-page documents. There's some great third-party software thrown in too.
Compact, big screen with a good UI, can scan directly to major cloud services, includes Abbyy OCR software
Convoluted initial set-up, no Ethernet cable included, very light colours aren't detected
Maximum resolution: 600dpi
Automatic document feeder capacity: 50 sheets
Scanning speed: Up to 17ppm/34ppm
Scanning area: 13.2x13.2mm to 216x356mm
Paper size: 50.8x50.8mm to 244x356mm
Connectivity: WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0
Display: 7in IPS touchscreen at 1280x800
Processor: RK3188 Cortex A9 quad-core GPU at 1.6GHz
Standing over a scanner or multifunction printer with a flat bed, manually scanning each side of each page at a time, can be a dreary chore. This is where a device like the eScan A150, with its dual-sided automatic document feeder, can come into its own. Simply load the pages you want scanned into the tray, hit a few buttons and you can do something more productive while the job completes itself.
The eScan A150 aims to make this process even simpler. The interface is largely one big scan button, and it's network-focused to the extent that it doesn't need to be hooked up to a single PC to operate. However, while it is indeed easy to use once up and running, actually getting to that point can be a struggle.
Physically readying the scanner isn't a problem. It requires a single piece of completely straightforward assembly - attaching the feeding tray - which is done by pulling out the front panel, clipping in the tray and pushing the panel back. From there, it's merely a case of plugging it in and switching it on, at which point it can start scanning to a USB stick immediately. Calibration is optional, but since it only involves scanning an included piece of card, there's little reason to skip it.
Enabling the eScan A150's network capabilities is a bit more complicated. This is largely because the instructions stop where that last paragraph did: at calibration. For instance, connecting to WiFi, what we thought would have been an integral part of the set-up process, is instead buried in a system settings menu.
Even weirder, the bundled DVD includes two pieces of third-party software but not the eScan client itself. This must be found and downloaded from the Plustek website or transferred from the scanner, via USB, to the PC, where it can be installed. Again, there's nothing about either of these options in the instructions.
Installing the third-party software - Abby FineReader 9.0 Sprint and Presto! PageManager 9 - is, by contrast, as easy as popping in and running the DVD. We're not sure why Plustek couldn't have just done this with its own software as well.
Another glaring omission is the lack of an Ethernet cable in the box. True, the eScan A150 is fully WiFi-capable, but it does mean that anyone who prefers the reliability of a wired connection will need to shell out extra for the cable. Rather gallingly, the printed instructions actually illustrate the scanner being wired up to an access point, rather than connecting over WiFi - so it depicts a set-up step which isn't even possible with the included equipment.