The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a new device which has taken the genealogy and historical world by storm.
"Mobile. Versatile. Safe. Accurate. Easy and Quick."
The above are the words the manufacturer uses to describe this nifty product.
To those, I would add Innovative, Durable, Flexible, and Indispensable.
About the size of a netbook computer (10.25 x 6.5 x 1.25 in.), the 16.5-ounce scanner runs on 4 AA batteries, and saves images to an SD card. No need to have a computer, or electrical power, to operate this one!
According to the company, you can expect to get 150 scans from 4 good-quality batteries, or 500 scans from photo lithium batteries. I found that the batteries it came with didn't last very long - probably about 100 scans, which seemed like no time at all! - but that my rechargeable batteries just seem to keep going and going, like the bunny in the TV commercials!
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner comes with a 2 gb standard SD card, although it supports SDHC cards of 4 gb or higher. It is also compatible with the DCF (Digital Camera File System), and with wireless Eye-Fi SD cards.
For devices which do not have a slot for SDHC cards, the scanner has an adapter which plugs into a USB port on your computer, into which the SD card can be inserted. Photos can be transferred to your hard drive in this manner.
Although the maximum size of one scan is 4" x 6", the scanner comes with software (the Flip-Pal Toolbox for Windows) which allows you to "stitch together" several scans of a photograph or object which is larger than the scanner's surface. Effectively, then, there is no limit to the size of an object which you can scan.
The stitching software works 'like a charm'. The first time I tried it, I couldn't figure out how to access it. But I'm one of these people who can't be bothered looking at the instruction booklet, until I run into difficulties!
Once I followed the instructions, it was very easy to use, and the results were great! The stitched photo may be a little rough around the edges, but that is easily fixed by cropping in a photo editor. The photo itself is completely seamless, and you would never know that it had been scanned in several pieces!
The scanner also can scan photos through plastic or glass (such as in a picture frame or a photo album), creating a clear image without glare. No more flashbulb reflections on the photo!
Although it has a lid which can be closed on small photographs, effectively making the Flip-Pal mobile scanner a flat-bed scanning device, the lid is removable. Flip the scanner over (with the lid removed), and it will scan a photo on the table, on a wall, or wherever it happens to be!
Scanning can be at 300 dpi or 600 dpi. Scanning speed at 300 dpi, for one 4" x 6" scan, is 6 seconds, or 11 seconds at 600 dpi.
I set mine to 600 dpi. I'm amazed at the clarity of the photos it scans!
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner comes with software, batteries, and a 2 gb SD card installed. It is ready to use, out of the box. Just stock up on batteries (I would recommend a set of four AA rechargables), and enjoy!
The following video demonstrates just how powerful this little gem really is.
Those in the genealogy world, as well as scrapbookers and baby boomers, have found the Flip-Pal mobile scanner to be an amazing "boon" in preserving and organizing old photographs and other family history memorabilia, as it copies the items where they currently are stored, without damaging them.
It will scan newspaper articles, large documents, and even small coins and buttons. It works equally well on documents bound into volumes as it does on loose photos, or photos in frames.
It also is the only type of scanner allowed in many archives, as it will not harm the fragile items being scanned.
The following are some sample customer comments regarding the Flip-Pal mobile scanner:
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For those wanting to buy a Flip-Pal Scanner in Canada,
Go to 'Flip-Pal mobile scanner now in Canada'
Go from 'Flip-Pal portable scanner: Product Review' to Product Reviews
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Heard the buzz about the new Flip-Pal scanner? See my review, here, or click on the ad, below, to go directly to their website.
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