The Paperless Office: NeatConnect Style

By David Sternlight

 

Summary

The NeatConnect document scanning and filing system is a brilliantly executed cloud-supported paperless system for businesses, small offices, and professional users. Integrating a highly user-friendly scanner, built-in processing software, wi-fi and hard-wired networking access, automatic cloud transmission and application software running on desktop and mobile devices, it provides a complete solution for the paperless user. Designed as a seamless solution rather than a set of piecemeal devices and applications, it reflects the insightful human factors notions that have been proven successful by some of the most advanced computer and software enterprises.

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Design and Setup

The physical design of the input device itself is an attractive package with separately sized slots for multiple standard business cards, standard cash register receipts, and full sized pages. Getting started is easy via the bright touch screen display and can be done either via wi-fi and the cloud, permitting complete usage without a computer, or via USB. Built-in wi-fi including both WEP and WPA security, or smart USB, communicates scans  to destinations including Neat's cloud, Evernote, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, FTP, email, a computer, or a built-in SD card slot. Password access to the device is optional via the touch screen. The paper feed is smooth and effective; and the design permits simple access to the internal feed mechanism for easy clearance of jams. A three-month subscription is included to NEAT's cloud permitting setup and usage out of the box.  The system is compatible with both PCs, Macs, and the Web via Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. Downloadable software is available for iOS and Android mobile devices as well.

 

User Experience

The device was well packaged and arrived protected against damage. Setup was quick and painless, guided step-by-step by the touch screen, connecting easily with the Neat cloud via wi-fi. Loading and scanning was a snap and flawless with the separate slots sized for business cards, cash register receipts, and 8-1/2 inch wide sheets eliminating the usual scanner fussing with differently-sized documents. An image of the scanned document on the touch screen made checking before transmitting reassuring. A single misfeed due to a faulty document was trivial to clear internally within a few seconds. Access to metadata of scanned documents at the destination end made categorization and classification simple for subsequent searches. While traveling, almost instant access to stored documents proved surprisingly valuable. In addition to obvious uses, merchants accepted mobile phone images of sales slips for refunds or price adjustments without hesitation. One major chain indicated this was a preferred form since they could look up the transaction in their database using the receipt code.

 

Conclusion and Recommendation

For the business, professional, or advanced personal user the NeatConnect system carries our highest recommendation. Compared to piecemeal solutions of simple scanners, separate software, and do-it-yourself storage, access, and retrieval elements, the NEAT system easily justifies its price both for business and professional use, and for active professional families. Technical details and further information may be found at http://www.neat.com/products/neatconnect