Dymo CardScan Executive 800c Business Card Scanner and Software – Review
The Dymo CardScan Executive 800c business card scanner, at 6.5 inches long (16.5 cm), 4 inches wide (10.2 cm), 1.5 inches high (3.8 cm), and only 1.23 pounds (.55 kg), is well-suited for the business traveler who receives a lot of business cards, and easily fits into a carry-on. Mine came with Dymo CardScan Executive software (version 8.0.5), an installation guide in seven languages, a USB cable, and is (according to the manual) compatible with Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000. It also worked with my new Windows 7 laptop.
After we completed our testing, Dymo introduced version 9 of the software with some additional features. Some changes might address some of the shortcomings we found.
SETUP AND INSTALLATION
Set up was simple. After installing the software and opening the Dymo CardScan Executive program, I plugged the USB cable into my computer. After starting the program, I clicked on Scan, then fed the first business card into the scanner. After the card had moved through the scanner, I clicked on Process, and the information from the card appeared as text with name, title, company, contact and address info in different categories, and a photo scan of the card underneath. Scanning additional cards automatically generated a list.
The simple act of scanning a card was fast, but I found that it was necessary to proofread the information that has been scanned before moving on to the next card. This is because the scanner would misread some cards, especially those with highly stylized fonts, logos, colors and designs. I found this to be the most time-consuming task in using this device.
I did have fun playing spot the scanning error. The logo for the Star Alliance, for example, became a “V” and the logo for Turkish Airlines became an “O.” Seemingly random capitalization and spelling errors occurred often: “SHANGRI-LA Hotels and Resorts” became “Shangri-LA Hotels End Resorts.” A stylized, italicized ampersand that appeared twice on one card became a “K” in one spot and quizzically, a “Q” in another.
I was surprised, however, that the scanner completely omitted some text that had simply been embossed on the card, rather than printed, although a faint outline of the text in question did appear in the photo scan.
Dymo CardScan Executive 800c assumed that because text was in a certain place on the card, it should appear under a certain category on the list. It therefore placed things accordingly. Of course, not all business cards have the same layout, so the software also allowed me to quickly edit and correct mistakes.
For example, where a contact’s title and name were on the same line on the business card, the title ended up right next to his name in my CardScan file’s list, rather than in the “Title” category. Sometimes, for no discernible reason, “@” symbols were omitted from e-mail addresses scanned in text format, as were entire e-mail addresses.
Oddly enough, a copyright symbol once ended up next to a contact’s. (Perhaps the card believed the contact to be a relentless self-promoter.)
Click here to continue to Page 2 – Working with the Scanned Data
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