December 29, 2010

The Flip-Pal Scanner - Review Part I - The Carrying Bag

By now, just everybody knows that one of my Christmas presents was the Flip-Pal Scanner.  It was not only at the top of my wish list, it *was* my wish list.  I could not think of anything this Christmas that could be of greater benefit for my research than this neat little item. 

The Flip-Pal runs on batteries so no need to drag along a laptop if you aren't going to need it just to plug into a USB port.  Hoping I would receive this scanner, I began to watch for sales on batteries.  Lo and behold on Black Friday, Lowes was selling 60 alkaline battery packs for $6.00.  I couldn't pass that up.

The scanner is 10.25″ x 6.5″ x 1.25″ or pretty much the same size as a Netbook.  It comes with four AA alkaline batteries installed.  Included is a 2GB SD memory card already installed and USB to SD adaptor. When you want to load the memory card onto, say a computer, to look at or share the photos or documents you have scanned, the card actually plugs into the USB adapter.  A really neat little feature!

Stitching and color restoration software is preloaded.  With the stitching software you can scan very large photos or panoramic scenes. According to web site, "there are times when you want a panoramic photo, a very wide or tall picture that captures a large scene. If you don't want to use a wide-angled or fish-eye lens for your camera (or don't have one), one way is to take separate overlapping pictures of your surroundings and then use a special program to stitch them together. The free and/or open source software listed on this page do exactly that: they allow you to automatically align and stitch adjacent shots that you may have taken of your scenery, whether horizontal or vertical or both, and create a larger panoramic photo that integrates all the side-by-side frames. Some, if not all, allow you to make a 360° (360 degrees) picture. Photos are, of course, not the only use for such software; they can be handy if you are creating other types of images as well, such as maps."

Last but not least it comes with a window protector sheet, Quick Start User Guide, and a one year limited warranty.

This scanner has been the rave of all who purchased it at a conference last August, receiving their scanners this past October.

It is great to have the Flip-Pal but now I was concerned as to how I would transport it safely when going out to scan photos or documents. 

I could have purchased a Flip-Pal bag but it would only hold the Flip-Pal.  I know what it is like to travel with cameras, scanner, laptop, rechargeable batteries and battery chargers - plus luggage if traveling - so I wanted to find sort of an "all-in-one" so that the number of items needed to carry everything would be limited.

First I purchased a SwissGear Sleeve for a 10.2 Netbook or iPad.  It had a front zippered pocket.  I liked it very much and thought this was the perfect solution.  The Flip-Pal fit snugly, which is what you would want, and I could store several batteries and USB adapter in the front pocket.  What I did not like about it is that it did not have a handle by which to carry.  I'm not entirely crazy about electronics that have to be carried under my arm if I'm taking nothing else along.  After promoting this bag a bit I decided that since I was not entirely happy with this item, I would go out shopping.  I went to all of the stores that carry electronics and accessories from Salem, New Hampshire back to Methuen.  Included was Staples, Best Buy, two Walmart, two Target.  At the Target near home I found a Belkin Top-Loader Messenger Bag for laptops up to 10.2.  It has two compartments with zipper, two outer compartments, handles and a shoulder strap to boot if I choose to use it or I can remove it.  Bingo!

This is a photo of the bag sold by It is not quite like the one I have. Mine has a blag strap, red stitching but no red zipper tabs. The price of the bag I purchased is $19.99. and I also like that it fits right into the bag in which I carry my laptop in its sleeve (again with handle). I like just the touch of red stitching on mine. By the way, this photo makes the bag look larger than it really is.  At Target it also comes in the jet black with gray trim.

When I arrived home, I put the Flip-Pal in one of the compartments of the Belkin bag and it was a nice snug fit.  That was my greatest concern on the way home.  In the other compartment I can put plenty of batteries if I'll be gone for a good while, USB adapter, thumb drives and even my small 60 gig hard drive if I wanted to.

Please know that I had read other blogs and the items purchased to carry the Flip-Pal around, etc. but I really had to find what would work best for me.. and I have!  I think everyone has to do that. If anyone who received a Flip-Pal is like me when it comes to transporting electronics, I highly recommend this Belkin bag.  (I receive no funds for endorsing a  product.)

Review Part II to follow.

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
December 29, 2010

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