Plustek BookReader V100

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					DECISION-MAKER              review                                                                                           DANIEL SULLIVAN




    Plustek BookReader V100


     p         lustek Technology’s BookReader transforms printed
               words into text or PDF files with audio output, which
               can be saved in MP3 or WAV format for future access.
     With the press of one button—and some editing to clean up the
                                                                            COMPANY            Plustek Technology, Inc.

                                                                            PURPOSE
     optical character recognition (OCR) errors—the Plustek
                                                                            Scan documents and books for audio playback
     BookReader converts printed text into speech with a relatively
     lifelike voice, given that it is a computerized one. Additionally,
     when in use, the BookVoice software vocalizes many of your             STARTING PRICE
     computer’s navigational actions and offers other accessibility-        $699
     friendly features.

     INSTALLATION AND SETUP                                                 REVIEWER’S VIEW
        Installation is plug-and-play easy: Unlock the BookReader           Plustek Technology’s BookReader transforms printed words
     by pulling back the lock head on the bottom, plug the USB              into audio output, which can be saved in MP3 format for
     cable into your Windows XP or 2000-equipped PC, and plug in            future access. With the press of a button (and some editing)
     the unit. Switch on the Plustek BookReader and insert the CD-          the Plustek BookReader converts printed text into an audio
     ROM into your computer, which self-installs and automatically          file, which can then be read to you in a digitized voice.
     restarts the computer. On restart, you are prompted to load the
     BookReader “BAT” disc, which then provides a digital version
     of the eight pages of instructions. (Note that the navigation in
     the digital version is ill-conceived, requiring the user to return   and globalization issues. While most users aren’t surprised by
     to the first page to move to a subsequent one. It also doesn’t       the awkward translations of help manuals, FAQs in online help
     offer search. In this case, the printed booklet is much more         sections should be worded carefully. The BookReader’s FAQ
     usable.) Ultimately, installation is so simple that it hardly        included questions such as: “[W]hat are the computers operating
     requires instructions at all.                                        systems [that] will be needed for Plustek BookReader?” and “Is
        The best software installations prompt me to download from        the scanned result [...] editable?” For a company to succeed in
     the web, so I’m sure to have the most current version. The next      consumer-direct (rather than OEM) initiatives, issues such as
     best software installs and then pushes me to the web to check for    these as well as the navigation of the digital manual and updater
     updates. Unfortunately, the Plustek did neither. When I visited      support must be addressed.
     the site and checked the FAQ, I saw the question, “How can I
     update my BookReader software version?” The answer was that          ABCS OF SCANNING
     I should open the BookReader software, go to the menu, select           Of the seven buttons (which feature Braille) on the scanner
     Help, and then update online. However, this doesn’t refer to the     that list what appear to be 14 potential functions, only three
     default BookVoice software; it is actually in reference to the       are operable. According to the manual, the rest “are for future
     OCR software included, ABBYY FineReader (which end users       
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Plustek BookReader V100 scanner is reviewed.
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