The act of scanning a photo hasn’t changed since scanning was invented. Sitting at a computer, waiting for software to figure out what the next step is, waiting while the scanner moans through a scan, waiting while the software shows you the image, waiting while you save the file to disk, waiting, waiting, waiting. Which is probably why a lot of people don’t bother to scan all the stuff they should be archiving.
Pandigital’s latest, the Personal Photo Scanner, helps to cut down on that process by eliminating the computer as part of the scanning process.
You can simply feed documents through it (up to 8.5 x 11 in size) and have them written straight to memory card (SD, Memory Stick, etc.) at 600dpi resolution, which could certainly speed up your workflow and let you run through reams of photos without lugging that dusty ‘ol album to your computer. (You can still connect it via miniUSB and do it the old fashioned way, if you like.) The one thing we’re not seeing in the specs is a battery, which would make this thing truly portable, but for $149.99 you can’t have everything. It is, at least, available now.
UPDATE: 7/19/2010 Engadget did a review of the scanner, more of a hands-on overview actually, with a couple sample scans that they didn’t link up at full resolution fro us to download, but it looks wickedly simple to operate and if image quality is decent, I can see myself scanning lots of old stills this way.