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The Neat Connect Scanner; not neat, but really neato

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Neat Connect

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Forget the preconceived notions of all-in-one scanners. Neat broke that mold some time ago with Neat Desk. Now, they re-broke it and re-molded it with Neat Connect.

First and foremost, it's not a scanner, it’s not a peripheral, it’s a “Scanning Wizard Machine” This means, that by owning it, you have a fully functional office addition. You can use to scan to the cloud (by way of a Wi-Fi connection to your network) without needing a computer as well as using it as a standard scanner as well. It’s the stand alone scanning to the cloud that made it so attractive though.

Neat software, in all versions that run on your PC, Mac OSx and the Web-based NeatCloud, is developed and designed to let you scan and organize receipts for expense and tax records, as well as handle business cards and documents.

If you take into consideration all that it can do, you would expect a massive footprint. Well its footprint is smaller than a MacBook air 11” and it has the ability of scanners and systems twice its size.

Technically, it’s very advanced, having a 600 pixel per inch (ppi) optical resolution and a speed rating of 24 page per minute

What makes the NeatConnect unique to all that the competition has to offer, is that the unit has an insert that fits over the input tray and offers three slots: 8.7 inches for documents, 3.5 inches for receipts, and 2.25 inches for business cards.

After setup, it was tested on both a MacBook Air running OSx Mavericks and a Windows Desktop running 8.1. The setup itself was so uneventful and fast that it was boring. Even the cloud (computer less) setup was completed with ease. Either way, the most novice of users will have this up and running in no time. The documentation is so well written that it is easily understood by any level of user knowledge.

In terms of the cloud, you can also set up the scanner for other destinations, thanks to built-in wizards for SkyDrive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. However, NeatCloud is the only choice offering the Web-based version of Neat software. Your purchase of the NeatConnect includes a three-month subscription to NeatCloud. After that, you'll have to a nominal fee. This was tested on Dropbox and Evernote as alternative locations.

You can also install the Neat program on your PC, which will let you scan directly to the PC over a USB cable as an alternative to scanning to the Cloud, and let you sync with NeatCloud or the cloud service of your choosing. This means that anything you do in either location will automatically show up in both. In addition, there are free apps for Android and iOS devices that allows you to truly have a mobile system.

So what was done? NeatConnect was setup for scanning to Neat Cloud, Dropbox and directly to a Windows desktop and MacBook air. This was flawless and was done in seconds. Also, to verify the “synching” changes were made in multiple locations to check and see if it took. It did, and again, in short time.

One feature that is always advertise and had to be tested was the fact that claims were made that it could scan receipts and put them in an expense report as well as scanning business cards and put it in your “contacts”.

The simple answer is “YES”. The complex answer is that it scans so well that you are going to start begging for business cards and receipts to make your life easier. Out of 30 business cards, it made only one mistake, which appeared to be caused by an @ symbol in the company name which made Neat Connect think it was porting an actual email address. Other than that, it was as smooth as glass.

Scanning is easy;

1. Choose the location (cloud based)

2. Hit “SCAN”

To scan to your PC or Mac, it is just as simple;

1. Launch the App

2. Choose the option

3. Hit scan

No matter where you are looking at the device options from, whether it is on the Neat Connect Panel, the Neat Cloud web based app or on your PC or Mac, this is a non issue. The graphics are crisp, the interface is smooth and easy to navigate, and the results are extremely professional. That should be more than enough to toss all other scanners to the side and make NeatConnect “THE SCANNER”. Learn more at www.neat.com or check out their full line at Amazon.com.

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