Your documents scanned anywhere . The Brother DS-920DW is a portable bar scanner that you can take with you in your briefcase or backpack. A versatile device that includes a 4 GB SD card to store all the scanned files. But in addition, it can also be connected to the computer through a USB port to use the dedicated software and transfer the scanned documents directly to the PC. Or use your WiFi connection to download files to your computer, Android device, or iPhone . All with speeds of up to 7.5 ppm color and 5 ppmwhen using its double-sided scanning feature . A very complete solution for the professional who has to constantly work with documents on their trips and trips. The Brother DS-920DW is available on the market for a price of 230 euros . We have had the opportunity to test it in depth, we tell you our impressions.
A scanner with multiple usage options
Today, versatility is a key concept for mobile professionals (and increasingly for home users). The Brother DS-920DW more than meets this requirement. On the one hand, this scanner is capable of working without the need to connect it to a computer. Scanning options are configured via buttons built into the layout (we'll talk about the interface later) and documents or images are saved directly to an SD card. By the way, so that we do not have to make any additional expense, an SD card with a capacity of 4 GB is included. A detail that is greatly appreciated. This option is the most comfortable when we are in a hurry and there is no computer at hand.
If we want to squeeze all the juice out of this model, it is advisable to connect the scanner to a PC through the USB port and use the programs included on the CD. In the case of not having an optical drive, the applications can be downloaded through the Brother support page . The advantage of this mode is that the configuration is more complete. In addition, the result of our scans is seen directly, since the resulting files appear directly in the interface itself.
Third, the Brother DS-920DW also has a WiFi connection . Once we activate it, the scanned documents can be accessed through the browser itself on the PC or through a dedicated app on both Android phones and tablets, as well as on iPhone or iPad . In short, an excellent range of options to use at all times.
Average quality and speed
The Brother DS-920DW is designed to offer performance adapted to the usual needs of a mobile professional, both in quality and speed. The documents that we are going to digitize can be saved in JPEG, TIFF, BMP or GIF image formats or in PDF format . The maximum resolution is placed at 600 x 600 dots per inch (optical). This scanner allows you to vary the resolution depending on whether you want a higher quality scan or a faster job.
Speaking of speeds, the scanner achieves maximum figures of up to 7.5 documents per minute in both color and single-sided black and white. In case we take advantage of this function, the speeds drop to a maximum of 5 ppm . Precisely, another of the options that can give us a lot of play is to be able to scan double-sided documents. It is common for office printers to incorporate an automatic document feeder to use the scanner function, but for many only the single-sided option is available. We have run our own tests so that you know the scan speeds in typical use (not intended to be scientific tests, just an approximation). For this, we have used the scanner connected to the PC through the included software. You have to take into account a time deviation of a couple of seconds each time. The reference format is PDF.
Speed chart (PDF)
|LEAVES||ONE SIDE / DUPLEX||COLOR / B&W||RESOLUTION and TIME|
|6 sheets||Two faces||Color||100 dpi - 1:31 minutes|
300 dpi - 1:32 minutes
600 dpi - 2:41 minutes
|6 sheets||Two faces||Black and white||100 dpi - 1:36 minutes|
300 dpi - 1:37 minutes
600 dpi - 2:32 minutes
|6 sheets||One side||Color||100 dpi - 1:33 minutes|
300 dpi - 1:34 minutes
600 dpi - 2:31 minutes
|6 sheets||One side||Black and white||100 dpi - 1:27 minutes|
300 dpi - 1:28 minutes
600 dpi - 2:25 minutes
|1 sheet||Two faces||Color||100 dpi - 12 seconds|
300 dpi - 12 seconds
600 dpi - 21 seconds
|1 sheet||Two faces||Black and white||100 dpi - 11 seconds|
300 dpi - 12 seconds
600 dpi - 21 seconds
|1 sheet||One side||Color||100 dpi - 11 seconds|
300 dpi - 11 seconds
600 dpi - 20 seconds
|1 sheet||One side||Black and white||100 dpi - 11 seconds|
300 dpi - 11 seconds
600 dpi - 20 seconds
The scanner Brother is designed to work with all kinds of documents from pages in A4 format plastic cards through business cards or receipts. To scan receipts, the company has included a plastic carrier sheet where the papers are inserted. This model is designed for continuous but not very intense use, with a limit of 100 scans per day.If we are using the scanner without being connected when we insert a document in the slot it is fixed in the unit and we have a couple of seconds to rectify the position before the automatic scan begins. In case you are using the PC functionality (connected by USB), the document is only fixed and scanning does not start until the job has been configured in the application.
In the case of using paper, the admissible weight is between 60 and 105 grs. Formats move between documents A4 format to the B8 format . The maximum dimensions with which the Brother DS-920DW works are 215.9 x 273.4 millimeters. This device also works with plastic cards such as ID card or a driving license with a maximum thickness of below 0.8 mm and lengths of 40-86 mm both lengthwise and widthwise. As for receipts, you can work with paper widths up to 215.9 mm and length up to 406.4 mm.
Design and interface
The Brother scanner has a very easy-to-carry stick-type format that fits easily in both a briefcase and backpack. It has a weight of just over half a kilo , which favors its grip in one hand and does not add much extra load to the back. Brother has chosen white throughout its design, with some touches of color on the buttons on the right side and with the document loading area in black. By the way, in this area we have a guide with the different marked document sizes. To adjust the sheet or the support that we are going to scan, a single stop is moved along this area. Documents enter through the front slot and exit through the rear slot. One detail that we may miss is some kind of tray to collect the documents that are being scanned. There is also no automatic document feeder, although this feature would dramatically fatten the scanner design and be counterproductive for many professionals.
To configure the scanner, we can use several buttons that are located on the right side of the equipment (we can see them in the image above) next to a small LCD screen . Above all, we like the ease with which the most basic options are configured. Thus, we have a button to switch between color and black and white, another to switch between double-sided or single-sided scanning and a button to switch between PDF and JPEG (the most common formats when digitizing documents.
The menu button is used to configure other options of the equipment. These are: the resolution at which the documents are scanned ( DPI ), the time setting ( TME ), the scanner calibration to ensure that the scans are correctly output ( CAL ), the automatic shutdown function when the equipment carries five minutes of non-use ( PWT ) and the option to format the SD memory card (FMT). Keep in mind that only three letters appear on the LCD screen for these options, so this menu can be somewhat confusing at first. Of course, after seeing the meaning of each of them in the manual, it is quite comfortable to use.
We also have an OK button to accept configuration changes and start PC mode when the DS-920DW is connected to the computer via a USB port. To turn off the equipment, keep the power button pressed for a few seconds. This button has an LED indicator that lights up in green and red to remind us that the scanner is on or to mark some type of error. The button to activate and deactivate the WiFi function is located on the side. This feature takes about forty seconds to be available once we turn it on. In case of working correctly, we will see a blue LED light shining steadily. We will explain how this feature works later. Finally, on the LCD screen there is also an indicator with the battery status in three levels (full battery, medium battery and low battery).
Another strong point of the Brother DS-920DW is its WiFi connectivity. When we have it activated, the device creates its own WiFi network to which we can connect the PC or our smartphone and directly download the scanned files. In case of using the PC, the first thing to do is enter the password that comes by default with the scanner. Then, we enter in our browser the default IP address of the device "//10.10.100.1"(without the quotes). The first step the scanner requires is to create your own username and password for added security. Once inside, we will see on the browser screen all the documents that we have scanned in the form of thumbnails. By the way, one of the curiosities of this interface is that we have to divide the displayed files between PDF files or JPEG images . At any time we can make a selection of files and download them to the PC. In short, it is a fairly simple but very easy-to-use interface that avoids having to go through a PC to choose a scan. Of course, it must be recognized that the alternative of removing the SD card and inserting it in the laptop or computer is very agile (in those devices that have a slot).
Regarding the connection with mobiles and tablets, an external app called ScanHub is used that can be found for free for both Android and the iPhone and iPad . This app is quite a useful bridge to download files directly to the smartphone, although it must be recognized that it is somewhat more confusing than access through the browser. Furthermore, in this case thumbnails of the scanned files are not shown, so it is necessary to try each file until the correct one is found. All in all, one more option to squeeze all the juice out of this scanner.
DSmobile Capture and Button Manager V2
Brother has deployed several applications to be able to configure the scans directly on the PC. One of them is DSmobile Capture. This application has a very intuitive interface that will allow us to handle the vast majority of the options after a few minutes with the program. Of course, its interface is very reminiscent of programs from another era, with the dominance of gray. One of the key functions that this application brings us is the option to directly choose the format in which the scan will be output. The options are: BMP, GIF, JPEG or TIFF images or PDF documents . Besides, we can also create multi-page PDF files or multi-page TIFF files. Within the configuration we can handle other sections such as color or black and white mode, double-sided scanning or the quality of the file.
Once we create a multi-page file and start the scan, each time the scanner finishes with a sheet we have a period of time ( 30 seconds by default ) to insert the next sheet or press "Cancel" to finish the job. In the area on the left we will see some small thumbnails of the documents that we are scanning and the option to see the result by clicking on any one (in multipage documents, all pages are always opened). Finally, the folder where the documents are saved is chosen at the top of the screen.
The other option to take advantage of this scanner through the computer is Button Manager V2 . In this case, a more classic application format is abandoned and a more modern look is adopted. The app menu appears in the lower left corner with several buttons for quick actions. First, we can directly scan the document to a file on the PC. But there is also the option to pass the scan directly to another application, such as Paint or Photoshop . Without a doubt, this is a very useful function to work directly with the image.
In addition, we have a button to print the scan without going through the computer (very useful if we are in the office) on a connected printer or use a shared folder or a network folder. Or send the scan directly via email. Its interface is very intuitive and fast, something that professionals who do not want to waste time working on will appreciate.
Autonomy, price and opinions
Brother has not offered specific data on the autonomy that this scanner has. In our tests, we have been able to use this equipment without problems beyond three hours with the WiFi functionality turned on (this feature consumes more power) and scans from time to time. Or, several days in a row with sporadic use without having to charge the battery. All in all, a very reliable device to take anywhere. What Brother has explained is that charging the battery takes approximately four hours. One of the great advantages of this scanner is that its connection is MicroUSB, that is, the same one used by the vast majority of mobile devices. Thanks to this, we can connect the device to a mobile charger or use its USB cable to recharge it through the computer. The price of the Brother DS-920DW is placed at 230 euros.
In short, we think that this scanner shows an excellent balance between speed, ease of use and above all the versatility of its different modes of use. A really useful accessory for those users who move regularly and need to have a reliable tool at hand to scan their documents, business cards, invoices or receipts.
|Speed||Up to 7 ppm black and white and color / 5 ppm duplex|
|Color / Mono||Color|
|Resolution||Up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi (interpolated), up to 600 x 600 dpi (optical)|
|Maximum daily cycle||100 scans|
|Dimensions||308 x 66.9 x 41.2 mm|
|screen||LCD panel (mono)|
|Formats||Paper, ID, Business cards, Receipts|
|Scan to||Email, OCR (editable document), File, App, Printer, Shared folder, FTP, Cloud, SharePoint and Memory card|
|Memory||4 GB SD card included|
|software||Button Manager v2, DSmobileCapture|
|Feed slot||1 sheet|
|Automatic document feeder||Not|
|Others||Carrier sheet for receipts|
|USB ports||1 x USB 2.0|
|Scan to mobile||Through the NewSoft ScanHub App|
|Own battery||Yes, it charges in four hours|
Price 230 euros