Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flip Pal Mobile Scanner: A Review

Do you have a pile of photographs waiting to be scanned?

Do you have old photo albums which you want copies of but don't want to risk damaging the photos by removing them?

Or are you going to visit a relative or to a reunion where you might want to scan photos?

A photo scanned this weekend at my mom's of me, age 7, in our roses
Using a flatbed scanner is a tedious, time-consuming process which is more difficult to use 'on the go.' And, using a cell phone to capture images from a relative's scrapbook, which I've done in the past, produces poor quality copies (though they are better than not having any copies!)

I recently purchased a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner. Last week, I tried it on a scrapbook at home; and this weekend, I tried it on a box of photos at my mom's.

My first reaction is: WOW!

I've had piles of photos I've needed to scan, but the process takes so much time and effort that the photos have just sat there. With this scanner, the process is now quick and easy! I'm thrilled with my new scanner. But, there are also a few downsides to this little scanner.

Using the Flip Pal upside down to make copies in an album
  • It's FAST... about 7 seconds when scanning at 300 dpi and maybe 10-15 at 600 dpi (which you need for enlargements)
  • It easily scans photos still in scrapbooks or photo albums
  • It's lightweight and easy to transport
  • It saves files as .jpg instead of .tif (which gives better photo quality)
  • It's hard to see exactly what you're getting when scanning from an album (though it probably gets better with practice)
  • It has a small scanning bed (though it has a 'stitch' function which I haven't tried yet)
  • It chops off a part of the photo if you line it up against the edge of the scanning bed
  • It isn't easy to get a scan straight if you don't line it up against the edge of the scanning bed
The scanner isn't perfect. But, it is a wonderful tool that allowed me to scan more than 100 photos, put them in folders, and label them in only a couple of hours. In that same amount of time, I might have been able to do 15-20 photos with my flatbed.

Note: Though I think using the Flip Pal to scan photos is a wonderful tool, I would still take the time to use a traditional scanner to scan the most important images and save them as .tif files.

I'm excited to tackle some other scanning projects I've had waiting around the house! I've had two stacks of photos my husband's aunt let me borrow that I haven't taken the time to scan. Now, I will be able to scan them and give other family members digital copies of these photos! And, I plan on revisiting my aunt and uncle's house where I took hundreds of photos with my cell phone. This time, I'll use my Flip Pal and get better images from their scrapbooks!


  1. Thanks for sharing your pros and cons, I have wondered about those scanners.

    1. Thanks, Jill. I can't wait to tackle my box of photos and see how quickly it goes.

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