DocuPen scanner is compact and convenient

Since the paperless office hasn't quite materialized, scanners continue to be standard workplace equipment. That's great if you happen to actually be in the office, but say you're meeting with a vendor at a trade show, you've signed a contract, and you need a copy to take back on the plane.

That's the kind of scenario that Planon System Solutions Inc.'s DocuPen RC800 (US$300), an ultraportable scanner, is aimed at simplifying. Forget running around the showroom floor to find a copier or fax machine, and instead whip out the wand-size DocuPen, place it on a sheet of paper and slowly slide it down the page.

The file is stored either on the device's 8MB of Flash memory or on an optional MicroSD card.

Pen scanners aren't exactly new. Models that scan one line at a time have been around for years. The RC800, which is shaped more like a wand than a pen, stands out as a portable full-page color scanner. It will scan in four modes: 24- and 12-bit color, grayscale and monochrome.

The RC800 is a model of compact design, weighing only 2 ounces. It's a slim 8.9 in. long and has a girth of 0.5 in. Tiny rollers along the bottom edge help to guide the unit down a page.

There's just enough room on the right-hand tip of the device for a Universal Serial Bus port. Along the top edge, a cover hides the MicroSD card slot, and there are buttons that turn on the device and set the scanning mode, as well as a lineup of eight LED indicators.