The scanner (5.3 cm long)
After Canon's calculator mouse, this latest Inspector Gadget style creation from LG has a built-in scanner that's 5.3 cm long (see above).
The Scan button and (underneath) the scanning zone marked out with arrows
Once you've installed the driver (Windows only), you can instantly switch the mouse been regular mouse mode and scanner mode by pressing a handy button under your thumb. The computer screen then goes black, and as you sweep the mouse over a document, the scanned image starts to gradually appear onscreen before your eyes. You don't need to be too precise about things either—you can use the scanner a bit like an eraser, moving it around quite randomly. A software application then does the job of piecing the image back together, and even straightens things up so your document looks perfectly lined up onscreen. Check out the process from A to Z in our step-by-step storyboard below:
Once you've resized the image, the next job is to choose what you want to do with it (share, save, print etc.).
Paste Image, Paste text, Share, Save, Print, Edit, Settings
Once you've decided what to do with your scanned image or text, open the program you want to send it to (word processing document, spreadsheet, photo editing software, e-mail etc.), then simply press the relevant button in the LG software to transfer it instantly.
Individual characters are recognised very well, but if you're scanning a language that uses accents then you may find they aren't always reproduced correctly! The formatting of the original documents is reproduced well too, with line breaks and all. Note, however, that you do lose any pictures when you choose the 'paste the text' option. To keep ALL the scanned elements (margins, image and text you can edit), you need to save your scan then export the results as a PNG, JPG, TIF, BMP, PDF, XLS (Excel) or DOC (Word).
The mouse works well for scanning documents, magazines and images, but doesn't do as well with business cards, which could ultimately be the most useful thing about it. We had to try several times to scan business cards effectively, as they kept slipping around all over the desk as we tried to scan them. However, it seems that LG does actually supply this mouse with a special holder to get around that very problem. Unfortunately this accessory had gone missing from the box of the mouse we were sent to test so we weren't able to try it out! Here's a picture of what it looks like:
Needless to say, we're pleased to see this accessory included given how much the scanner mouse costs!
- Built-in scanner
- Good character recognition
- Export to PDF, spreadsheets, e-mails, text files, image files etc.
- Glossy finish gets dirty quickly
- Too big, too angular, handling could be better
- As a mouse, it's quite basic
With a more subtle, comfortable, ergonomic design, the LG LSM-100 Scanner Mouse could have bagged itself a fourth star as its scanner function could (occasionally) be pretty useful.