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Plustek MobileOffice S420 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £198
inc VAT

This scanner has a good set of features and a useful docking station, but it's expensive and its scan quality is disappointing.

Plustek’s MobileOffice S420 is a compact scanner designed for mobile use. It comes with a USB data cable and a second USB lead for power on the move, but there’s also an AC adaptor and docking station that can be left back in the office. Oddly for a portable device, there’s no supplied carry case.

Plustek MobileOffice S420 closed

The docking station is quite novel, forming a proper document feeder for the docked scanner and letting you share it between two attached computers, but it’s disappointing in the details. Power and data come via captive leads you must plug into the scanner, rather than the scanner clipping into a connector, laptop-dock-style. The scanner sits upside down and isn’t securely retained – it’s easy to knock it out of position.

The software package is very similar to that supplied with the Plustek SmartOffice PS286, but with a newer and more basic version of ABBYY’s FineReader OCR software. We didn’t experience any problems when operating this scanner, but the quality of the results was disappointing. Colours were sombre, while the scanner couldn’t preserve the differences between dark or very light shades.

Plustek MobileOffice S420

There isn’t a great deal of competition in this class, but while Fujitsu’s ScanSnap S1100 (£158 from is simplex only, it’s cheaper than the MobileOffice S420 and comes with Fujitsu’s brilliant software. Alternatively, HP’s similarly priced ScanJet 1000 Professional (£201 from doesn’t have a docking station, but it is duplex. It produces better scans than the S420, feels beautifully made and comes with its own case.


Rating **

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview N/A
A4 document at 150dpi 9s
A4 document at 300dpi 15s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 19s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi N/A
Single 35mm negative at 2400dpi N/A
Single 35mm negative at max dpi N/A


Scanner technology document scanner
Max optical resolution 600dpi
Max interpolated resolution 1,200dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit
Maximum document size A4/Letter
Maximum transparency size N/A
Film formats accepted No
Function buttons 2
Scan head lock none
USB powered yes
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
Software included BizCard Finder 3, NewSoft Presto! PageManager, Presto! ImageFolio, ABBYY FineReader 9 Sprint


USB cable included yes
Interface USB
Size 50x295x50mm
Weight 412g
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption active 2W

Buying Information

Price £198

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