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Cooltools: scan important documents on the go with DocuPen 800 series scanners.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT A PROPERTY where the homeowner has a survey identifying an encroachment on their property but doesn't have a copy for you? Thankfully, there's a solution to this dilemma: Just pull out your handy PLANon DocuPen scanner and get a copy quickly on the spot.


Pocket-sized scanners have been on the market for years, but most are limited to scanning a few words at a time, making a full-page scan difficult if not impossible to capture. With the PLANon DocuPen scanner, though, an appraiser can scan a letter- or legal-sized document in just a few seconds.


Until now, I found the scanner to be a bit too pricey; however, PLANon recently reduced the price of its R805 pocket-sized scanner from $299 to $159. Its new DocuPen X Series, starting at $370, offers advanced features, but the $159 R805 scanner does a great job with color, monochrome and black-and-white images.


The R805 offers Mac and PC versions, each of which features a 24-bit color scanner with resolutions from 100 to 400 dpi. Users can select one of three color settings: black and white, 12-bit color or 24-bit color. With each of these settings, users can also choose whether to scan at low or high resolution. Image storage comes in the form of 8 MB worth of built-in flash memory plus a removable micro SD card slot for up to 2 GB of additional storage. Users will find that additional memory will be necessary when scanning high-resolution images, but the low-resolution settings will be satisfactory for most appraisers' needs.


The operation of the scanner is very simple, with just two buttons for selecting the two categories of quality settings. The button on the left selects the color mode, and the button on the right selects the quality of the scan. Rollers above and below the RC800's scanning element make it easy to sweep down the page smoothly from top to bottom while keeping the scanner parallel with the top edge of the page.

The scanner's design and engineering lets appraisers scan just about any type of document--from plot plans to surveys to photos and much more--in just a few seconds.

To transfer the scanned images to your computer, simply install the scanner's Twain driver and PaperPort SE Version 9.0 software, then connect the scanner to your computer with the included USB cable. PaperPort transfers your scans and then clears the scanner's memory. As an added bonus, the R805's built-in lithium-ion battery automatically recharges when plugged into the USB port.

Appraisers and researchers in my firm have used the PLANon scanner for the past five years and would not be caught without it. It is as essential to our operation as a clipboard, tape or the Disto measuring device.

Real estate appraisers work in a virtual world, collecting data from a variety of sources. To that end, the PLANon DocuPen R805 scanner can be a real time-saver. Supported by both Mac and Windows operating systems, the scanner is ideal for the real estate appraiser who needs to scan either color or black-and-white documents on the go.

For more information about PLANon's 800 Series Docu-Pens, visit To see a brief video describing the scanners' features, load, search for RC800 and play the "DocuPen RC800 on HG TV" video.

R. Wayne Pugh, MAI, is CEO of R. Wayne Pugh and Co., a real estate consulting and appraisal firm he founded in 1975 in Baton Rouge, La. He also heads Software for Real Estate Professionals Inc. and Real Estate Data Services. An active member of the Appraisal Institute for three decades, Pugh served last year as immediate past president. For information on his Appraisal Institute Cool Tools seminar, visit
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Title Annotation:cooltools
Author:Pugh, R. Wayne
Publication:Valuation Insights & Perspectives
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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