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Mobile Attorney Tool: Planon's DocuPen Scans On-the-Go

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Having a heavy caseload can mean having to create your own virtual office space. A busy airport or a courtroom cafeteria can all be good places to hunker down and get some work done.

Need to e-mail some forms to a co-counsel to get it signed? Alas, if only you had some sort of portable scanner!

Well, you could. If you're willing to spend some money on it, that is.

The Planon DocuPen portable scanner will run you upwards of $300, with older models coming in at a much less steep price of $70 at some online retailers.

But, like most tech gadgets, there's the good - and there's also the bad and the ugly.

The Good: You can scan, and scan easily! It's also relatively fast, and portable. Most attorneys might need to get work done on flights, at airports, or wherever you can find some time. The DocuPen can definitely deliver in convenience. At 8.9 inches, the DocuPen can also easily fit into your favorite briefcase.

And, make no mistake - while this is called a "pen" it's not what you would think of when you think of pen scanners. Instead of having to "highlight" each line in order to scan a page, you simply use the "pen" more like a wand - the entire length of the "pen" is a scanner, so you can just sweep the page with the wand, and you're done.

The Bad: The scanner doesn't work well with Mac products, reports CNet. And, of course, there is the issue of memory size. The DocuPen has 8MB of flash memory built in, which can be upgradeable to 1GB if you buy some third-party memory cards. But, the internal 8MB of memory does not afford much space. It can hold maybe two 8.5×11 inch color pages at 400 ppi, reports PC Magazine. Though, the magazine notes that a DocuPen could probably store hundreds of black and white pages.

The Ugly: The scanned documents. Literally, the scanned documents can turn out ugly. CNet and PC Magazine both indicate in their reviews that sometimes the images just don't turn out that pretty.

Like with most portable devices, you can upload your scanned docs to your computer after you are done. But, due to the scanner's small size, be extra careful - you wouldn't want to lose any attorney work-product.

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