The $439.85 Raven Original Document Scanner (2nd Gen) is virtually the same document scanner as the Editors’ Choice award-winning Raven Pro Document Scanner, but with reduced capacity and speed. The Original has the same 8-inch touch screen, preinstalled scanning interface, and document management software as the Raven Pro, but at a cost of around $200 less. Its automatic document feeder (ADF) holds half as many pages, its daily duty cycle is 4,000 versus 6,000 pages, and its scanning speed is one-third slower. The Original and Pro scanners are identical in terms of functionality, making the former a less robust but still capable entry-level solution.
- Onboard editing and document preservation with precise OCR
- The scanner interface and document preservation software are both excellent
- Raven Cloud storage is completely free and infinite
- Support for Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB drives
- ADF of a small size
- There isn’t a specialized app for handheld mobile devices
RAVEN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SCANNER SPECS
|Maximum Optical Resolution||600 pixels|
|Mechanical Resolution||600 pixels|
|Automatic Document Feeder||Yes|
|Maximum Scan Area||8.5″ x 35″|
This Isn’t Your Average Scanner
With its trays closed, the Raven Original measures 6.5 by 11.2 by 7 (HWD) inches and weighs 9.8 pounds. Although the gadget is a pound or two heavier than three Editors’ Choice honorees: the Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600, and Brother’s ADS-2700W Wireless High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner, those measurements are approximately average among several comparable models. Epson’s WorkForce ES-580W and Canon’s imageFormula R50 are two additional potential contenders.
The Raven Original’s most appealing feature, like the Raven Pro, is its 8-inch touch screen. From the front of the scanner, you can build, change, and save workflow profiles that define and take your scans from hardcopy to searchable archives and everything in between.
The front panel has a strong scanning interface, optical character recognition (OCR) to convert pages to editable text, and a choice of resolution, destination(s), and file formats, in addition to a traditional touch screen for navigating menus and executing instructions (Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat image or searchable PDF, Excel, and so on). In other words, instead of using your PC, you get a comprehensive scanning solution and document management program, as well as the option to edit your scans once they’ve been completed, all on the scanner’s face.
To be clear, Raven’s scanners aren’t the only ones with enormous touch screens and up-front interface and archiving functions. Canon’s imageFormula ScanFront 400 was reviewed by us almost five years ago. It boasts a full 10.1-inch tablet-size touch panel, but it’s bigger and costs nearly four times as much. The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600, a Best of the Year pick for 2021, offers a 4.3-inch display with similar capability, at least when it comes to setting up and running scans from the device. The integrated ScanSnap Home software, on the other hand, contains the majority of the iX1600’s document management functionality.
Raven Desktop, a scanner interface and document management software that you may install on your Windows or macOS desktop or laptop, is included with the Raven Original and Pro. (In the next section, we’ll go through software and connectivity.)
The Original’s document handling consists of a 50-sheet automated document feeder, which is half the size of the Raven Pro’s ADF and is rated for 4,000 scans per day against 6,000 scans per day. The Epson RR-600W and ES-580W, on the other hand, both include a 100-sheet ADF and can scan 4,000 pages per day. The Brother ADS-2700W and Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 both have 50-sheet ADFs with scan duty cycles of 6,000 and 3,000 scans, respectively. Finally, the Canon R50 scanner holds 60 sheets and is capable of 4,000 scans each day.
Software and Connectivity
The Raven Original, like the Raven Pro, does not support handheld devices (smartphones and tablets) directly, though it does come with and support TWAIN drivers for connecting to and scanning into third-party programs. (Examples include Adobe Scan for Android and iOS.)
USB, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Ethernet are the scanner’s basic interfaces, and you can scan directly to USB flash and other storage drives rather than a computer. While Raven Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, and Evernote do not support scanning directly to mobile devices, you can connect indirectly via Raven Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, and Evernote.
Owners receive a Raven Cloud online storage account that is both free and unlimited. You are not required to use it, but you must create a Raven Cloud account in order to use the scanner. You and your team can also connect to the Raven Original through a wired or wireless network using the Raven Desktop software that comes with it.
You may scan to a Windows PC or Mac, as well as any of your favorite cloud destinations, with Raven Desktop. Raven Desktop and the front-panel integrated interface are similar enough that switching between them was simple. Both provide adjustable workflows and wired or wireless connectivity.
Competitive OCR Accuracy at Entry-Level to Moderate Speeds
The Original produces 40 one-sided (simplex) pages per minute (ppm) and 80 two-sided (duplex) photos per minute, according to Raven (ipm). I used a USB connection and a touch-screen interface to conduct my experiments. (I ran some tests on our Intel Core i5 testbed running Windows 10 Pro and obtained comparable results, however scanning to a flash drive gave me a minor performance improvement.)
I timed the Raven Original as it scanned both one-sided and two-sided 25-page text documents, then formatted and saved the scanned text as image PDF files for my first round of tests. The Raven Original averaged 41.6ppm when scanning a one-sided text document. It scanned the two-sided pages at a pace of 82.8ipm on average.
The Raven Pro is about a third slower than these results. The Canon R50 (also rated at 40ppm/80ipm) was the only non-Raven scanner to outperform the Original in simplex mode by 1.3ppm, however it trailed by 1.7ipm in duplex mode. In duplex mode, the ScanSnap iX1600 was 3.1ipm faster. All of the others trailed by a small margin, but not by much.
After that, I timed the device as it scanned the same two-sided (50 sides) text document, converted it to the more adaptable searchable PDF format, and stored it. The Raven Original took 40 seconds to accomplish the assignment, from hardcopy to editable PDF.
This is 16 seconds slower than the Raven Pro, but it’s in the middle of the pack. Both Epsons took 45 seconds to complete the task, while the Brother took 50 seconds. With a time of 37 seconds, the Canon R50 came in second behind the Raven Pro.
The quickest scanner in the world, however, is useless if you have to fix a lot of conversion errors. However, as I’ve mentioned numerous times recently, it’s difficult to find a scanner these days that isn’t precise enough for the usual home office or corporate environment, whether it’s a $100 portable or a $2,000 office workhorse.
The Raven Original scanned our Arial and Times New Roman test documents error-free down to 5 points, much like its Pro brother. Except for Epson’s ES-580W, which managed 4 points error-free in both tests, this outperformed or tied all of the scanners featured below.
I also scanned a few piles of financial documents, like as receipts and invoices, to check how well the Original gathers and manages financial information. This worked as intended, and the computer seemed to understand where to put particular figures the more I scanned.
An Excellent Price/Performance Ratio
The Raven Original gives half the capacity and around two-thirds the performance of the Raven Pro for about $200 less, or two-thirds the retail price, which is fine if it matches your needs. You and your team can use the front of the scanner or any of the PCs on your local network to access all of the scanner’s functionality. Yes, the Pro model is faster and well worth the money if you need 6,000 scans every day, but the Raven Original is a wonderful price if you don’t need that much volume.