Taken from Dave Mitchell's original article in PC Pro Magazine on July 27, 2016

Visioneer’s Patriot D40 is an affordable USB desktop scanner offering simple, fast, one-touch scanning and versatile paper-handling abilities.

When not in use the Patriot folds up into a compact cuboid: this unfolds like a Transformer to present a generous 80-page ADF at the rear and a segmented lower paper tray at the front. The ADF has a handy latch that quickly sets the paper guides for A4 or Letter-sized paper. The output tray has a dropdown paper catcher at the front that helps stack standard documents, and an adjustable flip-up stop in the middle for smaller documents. Fold this away and the scanner can handle dot-matrix paper and documents up to 3m long.

Setup on our Windows 10 host took ten minutes, including the installation of a generous software bundle. This includes Visioneer’s own OneTouch scan-management utility, Nuance’s excellent PaperPort Professional 14 for document management, OmniPage Ultimate with its OCR tools, and Nuance Power PDF for creating PDFs from other file formats.

Once installed, OneTouch sits quietly in the background and links the scanner’s function button to nine configurable actions. The panel’s LED display shows only a number, so you’ll probably want to print out a list so users know what each one does. Available actions include scanning to an application, to local and network folders, to an FTP or SharePoint server, and to a printer, email or fax.

Helpfully, on installing OneTouch it scanned the applications on our desktop and automatically set up destinations for Word, Excel, Photoshop and more. With Outlook loaded on the host, we were also able to scan a document and open a blank email with the scan already attached. Visioneer provides add-ons for a wide range of enterprise document-management platforms too, including Xerox DocuShare.

The actual scan is a simple process: we loaded our documents, chose an action and watched OneTouch pop up and start the scan and conversion process. The scanner has simplex and duplex buttons that can be used to override presets. Documents can be scanned to Office file formats, or as text, BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF or searchable PDF. For cloud scanning, we used the Visioneer Connect web form to request add-ons for Box, Evernote, Dropbox, FilesAnywhere and Google Drive.

The Patriot impressed us with its performance. Visioneer claims 60ppm at 200ppi and 40ppm at 300ppi, but the scanner did rather better in our labs tests. At 200ppi, it quietly scanned both sides of our 50-page sheaf of bank statements in just 45 seconds, regardless of whether we chose 8-bit greyscale or 24-bit colour – an average of 67ppm. At 300ppi, the same test completed at an average of 45ppm, again for both greyscale and colour. Even when you factor in the six-second delay at the start of the process while OneTouch initialises, these are excellent speeds.

Scan quality is good too. At 200ppi, results are exceptionally clean, and will satisfy any document archiving system. OCR performance is great: we could easily search for specific payees in the PDFs of our bank statements. The OneTouch Acuity feature provides anti-skew, auto-crop, page rotation plus blank-page skipping and a handy option to redact selected areas of an image with coloured blocks. For images, we switched to 600ppi. This caused speed to drop sharply to just 6ppm, but our colour photos were reproduced very well with sharp focus, good colour balance and no graininess.

We can’t fault the Patriot’s paper handling, either. It took all our small receipts, courier flimsies, airway bills and registration cards in its stride without a single jam. It had no problems with plastic ID cards and embossed credit cards either, happily scanning stacks of them.

In all, Visioneer’s Patriot D40 is a terrific package. The combination of faultless performance, impeccable paper handling and a big software bundle makes it a perfect choice for small businesses with big scanning demands. It’s our new A-List scanner of choice. DAVE MITCHELL