The Visioneer Strobe 500 functions as both a desktop and mobile scanner. Attached to its docking station is a 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF); when the ADF is detached, the scanner becomes portable. It weighs about 2 pounds. There's no power brick; rather, the Visioneer scanner draws power from a USB port. Reviewers say the image quality is excellent. They also like the included software, which scans to searchable PDF files, and includes an optical character recognition program that turns a scanned document into editable text while preserving the original layout. The Strobe 500 is compatible with Macs and PCs.
Images as good as a document scanner, but from a portable device. Reviewers say the scan quality on the Visioneer Strobe 500 is excellent, rivaling a nonportable document scanner. That said, document scanners are never going to turn out terrific photographic images, and this scanner is no exception, critics write.
Easy to set up; sometimes harder to use. Users find that the Visioneer Strobe 500 scanner is easy to set up and get started, with good drivers that make it easy to use with other programs. That may be a good thing, because while some praise the software that comes with the scanner, others dislike it. The document feeder can be prone to jamming, users say, and it doesn't handle nontraditional paper (such as receipts) well.
Most report good experiences. Most users who reviewed the Visioneer Strobe 500 scanner say they have no issues with it over time, though a few run into hardware failures.
A good warranty, well supported. The one-year limited warranty on the Visioneer Strobe 500 is standard among better-quality scanners, and Visioneer customer service appears poised to help with problems, even when they're posted in consumer comments online.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Visioneer Strobe 500 is a PCMag.com Editors' Choice, and veteran reviewer M. David Stone explains why in his detailed review. He sums up his appraisal: "The Strobe 500 is easy to recommend. Judged strictly as a desktop document scanner, the combination of hardware and software makes it a better package … than some more expensive choices. And if you can occasionally take advantage of its portability, consider that even more of a plus."
Review: Visioneer Strobe 500, M. David Stone, March 12, 2010
2. PC World
Review Credibility: Excellent Richard Jantz's full-length review accompanies an article that compares five portable scanners, including the Visioneer Strobe 500, based on tests. The Strobe 500 is named the top pick of the five. Jantz writes that it earned the top ranking because of its "combination of superior performance, excellent image quality, versatile features, and easy operation."
Review: Visioneer Strobe 500: Top-Performing Scanner Offers Easy Operation, Richard Jantz, Feb. 17, 2011
3. Laptop Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Although other reviewers find the Visioneer Strobe 500 more useful as a desktop scanner than as a portable one, Dana Wollman says, "We recommend the $349 Visioneer Strobe 500 as a portable scanner that's fast and functional." Wollman says its software "could be more intuitive," adding that "overall, the Strobe 500 is a winner."
Review: Visioneer Strobe 500 Review, Dana Wollman, Jan. 22, 2010
Review Credibility: Good A little more than a dozen people review the Visioneer Strobe 500 on Amazon.com, but the reviews are worth a look since they're based on use of the scanner over time. The majority of Strobe 500 owners say they are happy with their purchase, but there are several complaints about the automatic document feeder -- users say it jams or grabs two or three pages at once. One person writes that the process of getting the scanner into and out of the docking station is tricky.
Review: Visioneer Strobe 500 Mobile Duplex Color Scanner with Docking Station ADF 600 DPI and USB, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good A handful of tech-savvy reviewers give the Visioneer Strobe 500 scanner an average of 4 out of 5 eggs, praising its ease of setup, the speed of its scans and its ability to handle double-sided pages. It won't handle more than about 10 to 15 pages at a time, users say, and it's best with normal paper, not receipts. Most didn't care for the included software.
Review: Untittled, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of December 2012