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1.05.2011

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner








{Reported by Noel Culbertson}


When I received the Flip-Pal mobile scanner in the mail I was a little skeptical as to the necessity for a scanner to be small and portable. However, in an all too often bigger-is-better world, sometimes the best things come in small packages. The Flip-Pal is a hand-held, wireless and portable scanner. Upon tearing into the package, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came with everything you needed to get started including batteries, a screen protector, a 2GB memory card, an SD to USB adaptor and stitching and color correction software. To add to this sweet deal, the Flip-Pal was super user-friendly. I had it up and scanning within just a couple minutes.

Flip-Pal  in action


Flip-Pal  in action

One of the most handy features of the Flip-Pal is the removable lid and framing window. With the lid removed, simply turn the scanner face down on your item to be scanned, line it up through the framing window and scan away! This made fast work of the many old scrapbooks from my Grandma-in-law, all with memories firmly affixed to the page. When an item was too large to scan completely with one pass, I simply did multiple scans of the image being sure to overlap part of the previous scan.

Flip-Pal adaptor

When I had scanned to my heart's content, I popped out the memory card, placed it into the included SD to USB adaptor and plugged it into my computer. The pictures downloaded the same way they would from my camera. All ready to edit, print, email or upload to the internet.


Several of the photos and items I scanned were too large for a single scan. Flip-Pal has stitching software included on the memory card, however as of right now it is not compatible with Macs. Being an all Mac household, I wasn't able to test out the included software. I emailed Flip-Pal customer service through their website about the software. They responded in less than 20 minutes to my question (pretty speedy, I thought) about when a Mac version of their software would be available. Their response was thorough and friendly. Here is the portion that responds to my question:
We expect to have Mac compatible stitching software available by the end
of January (or therabouts). It will be provided as a free download on our
website to Flip-Pal mobile scanner owners. In the meantime, Mac users can
still use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner to scan photos, then load the scans
onto their Mac just like they would with a digital camera. They can then
use their own photo editing applications for color restoration.

Thank you for your interest and please tell your readers we love them too
and can't wait to have them as full members of our community.


Hurray for the soon-to-be-available free software! Since Adobe Photoshop also has stitching functions, I went ahead and used that to blend the multiple scans. Note: Both large black and white pictures, as well as the newspaper articles on the layouts below were all scanned and stitched together.

The Flip-Pal is also great for digital scrapbooking old photos, making textures for backgrounds or digital patterned paper and scanning 3D objects.



What I liked:
  • Absolutely everything you needed to use it were included in the package.
  • The fact that it is able to scan items that are not portable or larger than your typical scanner bed.
  • The quality of the scans for print. Everything that was scanned, as well as scanned and stitched, printed beautifully

What I didn't like:
  • The included batteries wore out pretty quickly. I'm not sure if it was due to the quality of the included batteries, or if the scanner was really sucking the juice out of the batteries.
  • The lack of software compatibility for Mac users. Although a remedy is on the way.
  • I found when moving the Flip-Pal with the lid off, it was really easy to accidentally push the scan button. I did this a bunch of times, especially when doing multiple scans of the same item. The accidental scans were easy to delete, and so it wasn't really a problem.


What I made:

Rolling Along

For this layout I was able to combine a picture and newspaper clippings about my husband's great grandfather that were firmly affixed in two separate and very old scrapbooks. I scanned all of the pictures at 600 dpi to get the highest quality for print.

Rolling Along {detail}

Rolling Along {detail}

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics; patterned paper: Making Memories, My Mind's Eye, Melody Ross;
safety pin: Tim Holtz; stickers: October Afternoon; ribbon: American Crafts


The Apple & The Tree

For this layout I combined a scanned photo of me as a child with a digital picture of my daughter I had on my computer. The vintage picture was scanned from a 3x5 photo and reprinted as a 5x7 then cropped.

The Apple & The Tree {detail}

The Apple & The Tree {detail}

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics; patterned paper: Little Yellow Bicycle, October Afternoon, Basic Grey;
brad: Cosmo Cricket; paper clip: Melody Ross; button: American Crafts stickers: October Afternoon;
ribbon: American Crafts, Little Yellow Bicycle


once upon a time
All supplies from Paislee Press, Once Kit, oscraps.com


Where and how much:

Product Name
: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
Manufacturer: Rocky Mountain Ventures Company
MSRP: $149.99
Available at: Flip-Pal, Amazon, HSN*


What do you think?
Tell us what your thoughts. Would you use a portable scanner? If you could scan anything without the limits of a cord, what would it be? Leave a comment by midnight EST Thursday to be entered to win your own Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner!

64 comments:

Rebecca Geile said...

I don't have a scanner, so this would be perfect for me.

Scrapycandy said...

Wow! Well, we enjoy visiting the National Archives for local history and they charge for every copy of anything. So we kept saying how we wish we had a scanner with us. This is so perfect! Thank you!

Tamikko said...

simply perfect to archive family history and kids artwork. This is a must have for me :)

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times I wish I had something like this. This would be great for scanning some of my husband's artwork. I really, really need to win this item.

Deb from MT

Deanne said...

wow I had never thought of this before but now that I see it I must have it! I could scan my sons art work, old photos at my Dad's house!wow too cool

Betsy said...

I have been eyeing these ever since I first saw one! What a wonderful way to be able to scan documents that are to "large" or bulky for traditional scanners. Good to hear there is a mac version coming out (I have a mac) I do have fusion and could run the software on the "dark side" of my mac ;)

Hee Jin R. said...

Cool! Perfect to scan pic that I need to do! Just what I need! Thanks for a chance to win!

Renee said...

What an awesome device. I would use it to scan family photos on visits. It would be so easy to use and then I'd never have to bug family to scan photos for me.

nina said...

Wow, what a nifty looking gadget! Too bad it doesn't come with an AC adaptor, but perhaps the cord would just get in the way. Would love to see a follow-up review of the stitching software once you are able to test it out...

Gabi said...

I honestly am not sure what I would use that for, but I loved how you scanned that paper article. I think it would be lovely to scan, say a bible verse to add to a layout or a card. Hm... Lots of ideas for this!
-Gabi from Savannah, TX

JJ Sobey said...

Oh MY! I NEED one of these!!! My family lives quite far away (and I only get back home twice a year). There's never time to spend sitting at a computer scanning things (and I'd have to bring the scanner if I did). But I could easily sit in the living room, catching up with family, and scanning at the same time if I had one of these. There are so many, many heritage photos at my mom's house that need to be scanned!!!

Thanks so much for the review - I hadn't heard about this device before.

Joni Parker said...

My parents have lots of old scrapbooks with articles & photos and family history. I'd love to be able to scan some of them on a visit home and make new layouts with my own added touches! Thanks for the review...and your projects are awesome!! Esp love one of gfather w/newspaper article and the apple/tree w/ you and dd photos!!

Lisa G. said...

oh wow! What an awesome tool...I can think of so many uses for this!! We have sooo many old pics laying around that I would love to scan and share!!

PamS said...

I think this would be the answer to my prayers when I visited relatives and wanted a copy of a picture that they had. My sister and were doing research for genealogy 2 years and we had hauled along a printer with a laptop so that we could scan items and pictures that relatives showed us. We could have saved quite a bit of room and frustration if we had brought one of these along.

Jingle said...

This is a great review. I have been curious about this product and now I think it may be something I could really use. The Mac compatibility would be an issue, but you mentioned that they are doing something about that, so that is a good thing! Thank you!

vegetablog said...

At first, I thought that this device would be redundant for me, since we just got a nice scanner/printer for Christmas. But then I saw you demonstrate it with old photos and realized how useful it could be! I recently got to see photos of my grandfather as a little boy (for the first time!!) and had the opportunity to scan them, and it was really difficult with the little scanner I had available at the time. This device would have been perfect! :)
~natalie

Lisa said...

sounds such a great product - I have lots of really old stuff my mum has given me to scan (old photo albums etc) and many of these items are too old and brittle to bend open in order to flatten down on a flat bed scanner - this sounds like a perfect solution! Thanks for a great review.

petunia670 said...

What a quick & handy gadget, great for preserving priceless memories. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Krystina said...

Something else I HAVE to have. I have been delegated to be the family record keeper and have my late grandmothers photos and scrapbooks. I would love to scan those pictures that are glued into old albums.

This sounds like a great value for the money. A must have!

Kelly Massman said...

Would love to win this! Thanks for sharing!-

sheryleberhardt1 said...

Have been wanting to look at scanners. My mother recently passed away and I have both scrapbooks from high school. I love your reviews. I check them everyday for whats new.

Cindy d said...

The more I hear about this, the more I want it! What immediately comes to mind is my grandmother's old scrapbooks that are too fragile to put upside down in my scanner.

Scrapamum said...

Love, love, love what you made!!!! I would definitely use a portable scanner. I can only imagine many things I would use it for.

Amy said...

Oh my gosh! I would have so many old things to scan. The first thing that comes to mind is old newspaper clippings. They are soooo hard to do on the regular scanner with their awkward sizes. Thanks for reviewing this, I hadn't heard of it before. It's kinda James Bond, isn't it?

Irit Shalom said...

Great toy!! Portable and usefull. Would like to have one for sure

Anonymous said...

I don't own a scanner so this looks great. Doesn't look too hard to use...which gives it bonus points!

Kathy R

Patchi said...

Oh I really want this scanner! I didn't hear about it before my Christmas list was made, but it definitely goes on the birthday one!

It would be great to be able to scan pictures in old albums - at my parents, in laws, grandparents... so many photos that have not been archived and are in "magnetic" books!

Linh C. said...

I wish I knew about this nifty device before visiting my parents at Thanksgiving. I would have scanned my parents' collection of old family pictures that are in their albums.

Anne Thompson said...

What a great tool! I've been looking for something like this to use to save images from my dad's sketchbook, but I can think of many more uses for it. Thanks for a chance to win one! Anne, yourmainestamper

Joli said...

I love the idea of scanning items that are already in books!!! Before I married my husband he did all of his own scrapbooking - all of his momemtos from the first few years in the Air Force are stuck into books with a glue stick! I have tried taking some out and ended up tearing a few.
I also like the ability to see exactly what you are scanning! The size of the machine is a huge plus for me!
Thanks for the great info!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review of this awesome product! My grandparents have so many wonderful photos and documents in scrapbooks... permanently attached with who-knows-what glue!! This would be perfect for making those items usable for me. Thanks for the chance to win!
- Heather B

Kate aka stinkydudette said...

I think this scanner is super cool!! I have heaps of photos of childhood photos (mine + my parents + nana) that are stored in those photo albums with the sticky back (remember those?) Tried to peel them off recently, and made small rips in them - not happy at all. This gadget will definitely come in handy scanning those photos without ripping them to pieces!!

CuddlyBunny said...

Thanks for this review of what seems a brilliant idea!

I can think of a million things to do with this, including work- and craft-related projects!

Neat!

Kim said...

Oh my, that scanner is awesome!!! It is a dream come true for scrapbookers, I would love to have one!!!

GottaScrapChick said...

Ok - this has to be the coolest techie toy in a long time! I have needed one of these for years! So glad someone read my mind! :)

Shawninaz said...

This would be great to take when traveling. You could scan ephemera you didn't want to keep a hold of a menu at a restaurant you visited or just about anything. How fun!

Yaritza said...

I've been removing my husbands baby pics from old albums that are falling apart and organizing them by age. This would help me even that much more cause I'll be able to easily scan them into my computer and fix some imperfections cause by age. Thanks for the chance to win.

beverlyd said...

This looks like such an exciting product! My parents have a ton of pictures in photo albums that the pictures cannot be taken out of or they will be destroyed. This would make scanning so much more easier than flipping pictures in and out of the scanner, or even pages of photos and then cropping them. Thank you for the opportunity to win :-)

Sue said...

Wow, this would be very cool to have. I'd love to keep it in my car and capture items that we come across at my sister's house, etc.

Amy Sorensen said...

This looks great---I would definitely use it, since I need a scanner but i am OUT of desk space!

scrapper al said...

Glad to see this got such a great review. I've this before, but wondered how well it worked.

Angie... by the said...

That is just amazing! What a wonderful invention. Great use of it Noel, to scan photos from older scrapbooks and albums. I've often had the problem doing research into family history that people don't want to part with their photos, even to let copies be made. This solves that beautifully!

csparky61 said...

wow, I can think of many ways to use, but I really think that my employer would benefit the most. I work at a print shop and the largest item we can scan is 11 x 17. A lot of our customers bring in items much larger for scanning but they will not fit properly on the copier bed.
Thanks for the offer.

Theresa said...

I have a regular scanner, but never thought of having something portable. Interesting idea - would love to try one out - I'm sure I could come up with all sorts of ideas for it!

Melissa said...

This sounds like an awesome tool. It would definitely come in handy with my grandmother's pictures. Right now I am borrowing a few at a time, scanning and then returning them. With this tool I could scan and hear her stories as she looks at the picture. How wonderful would that be?! I love your layouts, btw.

julie.schellin said...

What a great concept! My mom has all our old childhood albums which would be tough to scan on a traditional scanner - this handheld would be a great solution!

Elizabeth said...

That scanner will be great to scan all those old pics we have. It seems nice and easy. Great LOs Noel!!

Kathy Twigg said...

Noel..love your review...and I would LOVE to own this little scanner...imagine the possibilities...enjoying my grandkids artwork without the clutter...and digging into my families old photo albums and creating new and improved versions!

ArlaMo said...

I would love to have one of these! I have a pile of newspapers from my kids sporting events this year that need to be scanned and this would be perfect.

Kathleen M. in Nebraska said...

call me crazy {CRAZY!} but I would love to scan magazine pages! I always have a large stack of magazines in the car for when I'm waiting at schools, sporting events or in practice events. That's when I find time to flip through pages and tear out ideas, inspiration and recipes. This little gadget would be wonderful for archiving on the go! No pages to rip - and then an intact magazine is regifted to the next doctor's office I'm at!

Great review!!

debpaint16 said...

I have so many old photos & newspaper clippings that are to fragile to put in a regular scanner, so this would be the perfect solution to copy these to give to the rest of my siblings!! Thanks for an awesome opportunity to win this!!
debpaint16@aol.com

Rebecca said...

I've seen people use this to scan things (like blankets) and use the scanned image as a digital background. So cool!
:) rebecca keppel

suzeyq said...

Wow, what a great idea!

jknapp00 said...

Yes, of course, I would use a portable scanner! This looks just perfect for what I need it for - I have been scanning pictures from my family history and my aunts have many that they would rather not let out of their possession, so this would be perfect to take to their houses and scan away! Great review, by the way...

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

I love this! I didn't know it was so small! What a great review:)

If I could scan anything...I would do the wood from my husband's guitar, his arm hair--it's redish strawberry blonde brown--so cute!, and I would do our carpet--it's got a great design! I would def. do pics and the such too!!!

Thanks for the chance to win:)

Christie said...

This looks really cool! It would be great to scan those large items that won't fit on my regular scanner.

Victoria S. said...

Yes i would use it - the possibilities are endless. Would love one!

Cindylu2u said...

I would definitely use it, I think it would be a fabulous portable tool!!

annachinlai said...

My church has a lot of old pictures members who are now gone and we want to make scrapbooks to remember their stories. Having a portable scanner would help us out a lot.

Anke said...

This seems to be a great scrapbook- tool! Should love to try it.

Natalie said...

WOW. I never would have even known this gadget existed had it not been for this review. Thank you! It looks very useful! I love the projects you made. Just awesome!

JJ Sobey said...

Was a winner ever chosen for this ?

Joni Pipkin said...

Just a quick heads up: I got mine for Christmas, 2011. Barely used, it is now dead, and I didnt buy the warranty so I'm outta luck and scanner. Company did apologize.

محمد محود said...

a screen protector
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