The LG LSM-100 Scanner Mouse is for users who don’t want a dedicated flatbed or sheet feed scanner, but just need a device that can quickly scan documents or parts of documents to a standard resolution [see picture].
The Scanner Mouse was launched in August, and costs £89.99.
The scanning hardware is located under the mouse [see picture below], and can scan whole pages, or parts of pages, creating the electronic equivalent of what it has scanned in system memory.
The software running the mouse, LG’s Smart Scan, can put scanned images or documents directly onto Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or send as standard email attachments, if users have accounts set up.
Smart Scan can also be used to paste images into standard graphics packages, paste text converted using in-built ABBYY's optical character recognition (OCR) software into standard word processors, or just save and print the scanned documents.
Installing the mouse and Smart Scan software was simple. Connect the mouse, wait for the driver to load, and it checks your computer’s performance, looking at CPU, GPU, system memory, video memory, USB version, and OpenGL version. Install then takes under two minutes [see picture]. OS support however is limited to Windows.
The first screen users will see is LG’s Smart Scan application. This offers user options and shows which buttons to use to start scanning [see picture].
Controls on the mouse are simple. The same button starts and stops the scan, which is displayed in real time on the LG Smart Scan application page.
It’s easy to scan parts of documents, but requires a bit more skill to scan a whole A4 page.
To scan a whole page, users move the mouse in a minesweeping-type fashion, letting the scanner pickup up scanned chunks of the image/document, which it stitches together in real time.
This worked well, but scanning did stop temporarily if the mouse was moved beyond the end of the page, or was lifted off the page.
Another problem users might find a bit irritating is that when we were scanning magazine articles, the cable from the mouse sometimes got snagged on the pages.
The cable also tended to drag the mouse out of line, which can lead to parts of the image scanned being skewed slightly. We think a wireless version of this device would be far more convenient.
Smart Scan software
LG’s Smart Scan software controls the mouse scanning functions, and there are seven options.
The most interesting one is the share option, allowing users to quickly add scanned images into social media applications like Facebook, Flickr and Twitter quickly and easily [see picture].
The editing functions are limited to changing hue, saturation, brightness and contrast of the scanned document or putting a different background behind the image.
Paste Text allows users to use word processors such as Microsoft Word to paste in text. Similarly, Paste Image allows the scanned document to be pasted into graphics programs, such as Adobe FireWorks or Corel’s CorelDraw.
Save and print are self-explanatory. The settings option allows users to, for example, configure software updates for the mouse, set the scanning resolution, and which file format the scan documents are saved in.
LG’s Scanner Mouse is slightly bulky compared with standard mice due to the embedded scanner, but with sufficient care can effectively scan A4 and A3 documents, or sections of them.
Potential users might think it’s pricey, but it’s a good option for those who don’t have or want a standard flatbed or sheet feed scanners, such as mobile workers.