Thursday, October 20, 2011

Technology Thursday - Flip Pal Review October 20, 2011

When I saw ads for the Flip Pal scanner on several blog sites I follow, I was intrigued. Was it just another gimmick? Could it really do what it claimed? After staring down the huge pile of photographs sitting in my upstairs closet, and fumbling with my current scanner, I decided to try the Flip Pal.
The Flip Pal arrived at my door a couple of days ago, and it was love at first sight. As advertised, it's small (roughly the same height and width of an iPad but maybe double the thickness), lightweight, and extremely easy to use. Set-up consisted of: 1) taking it out of the box; 2) removing a paper tab to activate the batteries; and 3) flipping the on switch.
Since its power source is AA batteries, you can scan virtually anywhere without your computer. Scanning is easy: 1) open the cover, 2) position the photograph or other small document; 3) push the green scan button. There is a small screen on the top of the scanner that previews your scan once it's complete.
Since the Flip Pal is so small, its optimal use is scanning photographs or other small documents. "Small" in this case means 6" x 4". I haven't tried the scanning and "stitching" feature yet, which allows you to scan larger documents, photographs, and other objects in sections, then "stitch" them back together using computer software. I'll review that feature in next week's Technology Thursday post.
The scanner comes with a 2G SD card and USB adapter. After scanning 80 photographs in less than a half hour while watching television, I popped the SD card out, put it into the USB adapter, then plugged the adapter into my MacBook Pro. In less than 5 minutes, I had everything uploaded to my iPhoto library. I opened a few images to check scan quality, and it was great!
The only issues I've run across so far:
1. It does suck battery juice. It takes two AA batteries, so my suggestion is to make sure those are rechargeable batteries. I'll be buying a battery charger and rechargeable batteries this weekend.
2. Make sure whatever you are scanning is flat. The majority of the photographs I was scanning are older (from the '60's, you know which ones I mean) and were curled from being stored scattered in a box. If the object you are scanning is not flat, it's hard to lay it on the scanner bed to get a straight scan. I had a few that scanned crooked, but was able to straighten them with the iPhoto software.
If you have a closet full of photos to scan, but hate the thought of sitting in front of your computer for hours on end, this is the gadget for you.
Next week: Flip Pal's scan and stitch functionality.


  1. Thank you for the review! I have the Flip Pal on my Christmas list and was really hoping it worked as well as everyone seems to be saying it does!

    I look forward to your post next week about the stitching function.

  2. Why not remove the lid and flip the unit. Then place on top of your curled photo. That should apply enough weight to take a flat view of the image.

    Sounds like you haven' yet flipped to take pics, say from a book... try it. that is what sets this apart from other small scanners.