Review: Canon P-215 portable scanner

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The life of an auditor or travelling accountant can be stressful. Constantly moving between multiple locations can be tough enough, but keeping track of each client’s paper trail needs careful management and clear archiving is essential. Canon appears to have addressed this specific challenge with its new P-215 scanner; a device designed to cope with a heavy workload on the go.

When it first appeared on the Gadget Zone desk, it was hard to believe that such a small piece of kit to keep up with even the everyday office scanning tasks. However, its robust design and reassuring heft suggested it could put up with a fair amount of punishment, convincing us to put it to the test.

Getting started couldn’t have been easier. With just one USB cable providing both data and power and a single quick scan button, it was a matter of moments before the P-215 was cheerfully chugging through a ream of papers sourced from the usual ambient clutter. Each page was saved as a high quality PDF (or a range of other exportable formats) and it took less than 20 seconds (even in its low-power mode when connected to a USB 2.0 port) from insertion to saving a file.

Delving deeper into the software, installing the full suite of tools yielded additional handy features, including the ability to automatically upload all scans to cloud services including Evernote, Google Docs and Microsoft’s SharePoint to make for easy remote access and safe archiving. As with any scanner software, there’s still a required element of human intervention to properly sort through pages but added features such as the ability to automatically detect two-sided printouts and even process laminated and embossed ID cards without ever the hint of jamming made it a relatively hassle-free process.

At just under £230 from online retailers, the Canon P-215 is far more expensive than other, less portable solutions, but fills a very specific function that, for the right user, could prove invaluable.

What we liked:

·         Quick and easy to use.

·         Cloud support for secure, reliable, automatic storage.

·         Small but highly robust form factor for excellent portability.

·         High quality scans with little risk of paper jams.


What we didn’t like:

·         Very expensive for a niche device

About Henry Osadzinski


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29th Mar 2012 12:22

Doxie scanner

I recently bought the Doxie scanner from Firebox ( It's cheaper, at £169.99 (incl VAT & delivery), but, best of all, it's not only portable, but works fully independently of the computer.

The Doxie is approx 10.5" x 2" x 2" and rechargeable, so it doesn't need any power supply during operation. It also has an internal memory, so you can take it to a meeting without a laptop and scan sheets into it. When you get back to the office, you connect it to your PC or laptop via  USB cable and the supplied software allows you to save the documents in a variety of formats and even to 'staple' different images together into one PDF if you prefer.

It also has the ability to save to the cloud (like the Canon), but I have not used that functionality.

I got mine a few weeks ago and it's been very useful.

....and no, I do not work for them or get any commission from them!

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