Brother ADS-1100W full review

Brother ADS-1100W review

Brother has recently released a pair of compact document scanners to complement their larger office scanner range, with the accent on flexible working while reducing cost and space requirements. See also Group test: what's the best scanner?

The basic unit is the ADS-1100W and in its unfolded state measures a very trim 285 x 103 x 84 mm. Styled throughout in elegant black, the smart patterned cover peels back to become the input tray for a 20-sheet ADF.

Two document support arms are then released from the cover's top edge and a pair of standard document guides at the bottom allow for sizes up to A4.

A colour touch-screen LCD control panel dominates the front cover below the ADF with a minimal list of options (Stop, Start, Wi-Fi, Error and four targeted scan functions) and just the power button for company.

Round the back you'll find a card slot, a USB Direct interface, an AOSS/WPS button and a USB connector. Your choice when it comes to setting up the Wi-Fi connection will make a difference to how you use this scanner as installing via DVD and USB cable will enable the two assignable scan functions on the control panel; these are unavailable if you follow the AOSS/WPS route.

If you then wish to establish 'one-touch' scanning it will have to be via Brother's supplied Control Centre 4 software which is at the heart of the operation.

The instructions are extremely clear – define your document type (photo, text either with or without graphics, or custom), perform the scan and then decide on your destination. The ADS-1100W is Windows and Mac compatible.

The built-in card reader works with plastic cards only – business cards have to be fed in via the ADF but both can be processed with the included NewSoft Presto! BizCard 6. You also get the latest version of PaperPort, the option to scan direct to a USB memory stick, and receipts can be safely scanned using the transparent receipt carrier sheet provided in the box.

Brother ADS-1100W review

Two other popular features for the Brother ADS-1100W are the ability to scan photos and documents to iOS, Android and Windows mobile phones and tablets using the iPrint&Scan app, plus automatic two-sided scanning. If you're willing to spend a bit more to include scanning to cloud services, then you might like to opt for the higher spec ADS-1600W.

The claimed two-sided scanning speed of 16 ppm for text and graphics documents we found to be pretty accurate, with single-sided scanning marginally faster. Scanning speeds to phones and tablets was equally impressive and the ADS-1100W scored highly for detail and contrast quality of images in particular.

The big disappointment, however, is with the paper alignment. There's simply not enough support for the sides of A4 sheets especially, leading to frequent instances of jamming, skewing and ruffling of edges. This will certainly need to be addressed for future upgrades if the ADS-1100W is to be seen as a reliable aid to the workplace.


Brother ADS-1100W: Specs

  • Wireless compact scanner
  • 128 MB standard memory
  • up to 1200 x 1200 dpi scan resolution
  • 16 ppm specified speed for single-sided, 32 ppm for duplex
  • 20-sheet ADF
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB 2.0
  • card reader
  • 285 x 103 x 84 mm
  • 1.5kg

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