For a long time we had been using the scanner feature of a multi-function printer to reduce the paper clutter in our office, but needed something more. After comparing several similar products we decided on the Brother ADS-1500W because of its compact size and our previous favorable experience with Brother products. This product doesn’t disappoint.
Brother ADS-1500W Scanner Set-up
The set-up of the product was fairly easy and we had this unit up and running in about 15 minutes over our wireless network. The set-up of the “One Touch” buttons on the scanner itself takes a little more time and admittedly, we had to contact Brother Tech Support for a little help. To be clear, the buttons worked as they were supposed to, we just didn’t understand the instructions. It should also be noted that (we believe) Brother provides free tech support for the life of the product.
Brother ADS-1500W –Scan Quality
The scan quality is great. We love the automatic two sided scanning and the automatic blank page removal works perfectly every time. Scan quality is crisp and clear. The Brother Control panel for the Mac is a bit dated and, based on the diagrams in the user manual the Windows version looks more up-to-date. However the software works well and we was able to configure it to do everything we want it to do. Based on the speed of this unit, we have cut our scanning time by more than half.
We have seen several reviews that complain that the two sided scanning is slow. While there is a momentary pause in the scanning process between pages, we find it to be minimal and when you consider the time it takes to turn a page over and scan the back side in a regular multi-function one sided scanner, this delay is really not an issue. The automatic document feed works well although at times, an original in poor condition may get pulled in unevenly and either jam in the machine or need to be re-scanned because it was not straight. Good quality originals don’t have a problem. That said, Brother should consider adding something to hold the pages down as they sit in the document feeder as pages that have been previously folded tend to “jump” above the edge of the paper guides.
Brother ADS-1500W – Card Scanning
There is a slot on the back of the unit to allow the scanning of credit cards, store reward cards, etc. Several reviews and videos have complained that they haven’t been able to get this to work. We didn’t have that problem. The secret is to make sure the cover is closed before you scan the card. Also you need to select the Plastic Card option in the Brother software. This seems to make all the difference. In any case, it has worked well for us and we have scanned all of our credit cards to keep a permanent record of numbers, expiration dates, etc.
Brother ADS-1500W Software
Overall the software that comes with this unit is pretty comprehensive. It allow for scanning to email applications on your computer but you can also set up groups of email addresses in the included database and automatically send out broadcast emails based on your scanning of a document. We haven’t had a need to do this so we can’t say exactly how well it works but this is the type of feature you would expect from a unit costing much more.
You can also use the buttons on the control panel to direct where the scan gets delivered. We have the scanner set up in a downstairs office but have a preset button set up to deliver the scan to the computer in an office upstairs. This is a nice feature and avoids having to set the document in the scanner, go upstairs to start the scan and then return downstairs to pick up the paper.
You also get access to the BR Receipts software which helps scan and organize receipts. We have only spent a little time experimenting with this software and the included document carrier that is used to scan all of those small register receipts that fill our wallets. The video tutorial that Brother provides on its web site makes the software look easier than we found it to be. Also, we question if we really need to scan every receipt and put it into a database like BR Receipts. That, of course is a personal choice but it’s nice that the option exists with the unit.
The Bottom Line
We are a long time fan of Brother products having used their ink jet and laser printers for years. In general we think Brother makes a great product and sells them at a reasonable price and the Brother ADS-1500W Scanner is no exception. If you are looking for a compact unit that is well made and preforms great, you should definitely check this one out.
The Brother ADS-1500W Scanner is available on Amazon
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