QuickLink Pen Review

Program Requirements:
Desktop:
Windows 98/95 or NT 4.0, 16MB of RAM, 8MB hard disk
space

The QuickLink Pen by Wizcom Technologies Ltd. is a pen sized text scanner that can scan full lines of printed text (regular, bold, italic, inverted and underlined)  in 6-22 point size with  97% accuracy. The pen can store up to 1,000 pages of text (based on a 8.5″ x 11″ page using a 12point font).

Specs:
Processor: ARM 7 TDMI Processor
Memory: 2MB of ROM, 2MB of Flash RAM, Socket for 4MB Flash memory upgrade chip
available separately
Serial Communications: IrDA and RS232
Optic Head: 128 pixels linear array image sensor, 400 DPI resolution
Screen Dimensions: 61mm x 2mm
Size: 6″ x 1.5″ x 1″
Weight: 3 oz.
Power: 2 AAA’s

The pen also comes with a CD that has the QuickLink desktop applications.

Notes: Free form information database with file management features.
Address Book: Scan business cards and synchronize your records with desktop program such as Microsoft Outlook.
Internet Links: Scan URLs and allows you to open them in your browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Tables and Charts: Captures tables and inputs them into a spreadsheet.

The pen is made of sturdy plastic with seven easy to press rubber buttons. A large non-backlit mono LCD is your interface to the pen functions. The LCD is easy to read in most lighting conditions. The scanning tip of the pen has two little red rubber rollers that you roll across the page.

Using the QuickLink pen is pretty easy. You just turn the pen on and choose what type of info you want to scan. Notes (text from books, magazines, etc.), Addresses (business cards, etc.), Internet links (URLs from books, magazines, etc.), or Tables (columns and rows of data). You then hold the scanning tip of the pen pretty much perpendicular (75-90 degrees) to the paper and roll it across the line of information that you want to capture. You scan from left to right by default. But, if you are left handed, you can change the settings so that you can scan from right to left. What’s nice is that you don’t have to slowly roll the pen across the page. You can do it pretty quickly. Just as long as you hold the pen in the  upright position.

The QuickLink pen only captures/scans one line at a time. After you have scanned a line of text, you can look at the LCD and see if the pen correctly interpreted the info. You can then edit or add text if needed by using the buttons and onscreen keyboard. However, editing text this way is very tedious and time consuming. After that, you can immediately scan another line of text.

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Another way you can manually input text is thru the Opticard. This is a sticker on the back of the QuickLink storage case. The sticker has barcode representations of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation characters and symbols. By scanning over a specific barcode, you enter that associated letter. This works quite well and I think it is quicker than using the onscreen keyboard.

Scanning notes is the easiest operation to perform with the QuickLink pen. You just scan a line at a time until you have created your note. Scanning addresses takes more time. You have to scan each part of the address individually. First name, Last name, Title, Company, Address line 1, Business phone, Business fax, Mobile phone, E-mail, Web page, Home phone, Home fax, and Notes line 1. The only trouble I had with scanning addresses was in scanning business cards that didn’t have a solid background behind the text. The QuickLink either wouldn’t scan the text at all, or would give incorrect information. Scanning URLs was as easy as scanning notes except that quite often you find URLs in magazines where often the URL is printed over a picture which the QuickLink doesn’t like. Scanning tables is a little more nvolved. You scan info cell by cell. You can set the pen to auto advance to the next cell or you can use the arrow keys to go to the next cell. Other onscreen controls allow you to insert rows and columns as well as delete them.

Once you have some information stored in the pen, you can then send it to the PC desktop application via the included  serial cable or IR. This works quickly with the desktop application. You can also use the pen in the Scan to PC mode. In this mode, anything you scan with the pen will automatically be inserted into your current application. For example, if you are working in Word, you can scan a line with the QuickLink and it will automatically show up at your current cursor position just as if you would have typed it. I tested this and it worked quite well. It would be a great way to add recipes from magazines into a database, or for copying a quote into an email, etc.

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The QuickLink pen can scan a variety of text sizes, fonts and colors. But it can’t scan text that is red on white, white on red, blue on black, black on blue. I tested the QuickLink on different media such as books, magazines, and newspapers. The pen scanned everything just fine as long as the background was a consistent color. I found that it would not scan text when it was printed over a picture. All in all, the pen preformed really well. Every once in awhile, I would scan something and the pen seemed to ignore me. I think this was probably because I wasn’t holding the pen correctly at the time.

In addition to sending the scanned text to a PC, you can also beam scanned addresses and notes to a Palm OS device and visa versa. Beaming back and forth was very easy and fast. Beamed notes will automatically be stored as a memo in the Memopad application on the Palm. Addresses get beamed into a new address contact. I also tried beaming info to a Casio E-100 and E-115 but was not successful. The E-115 recognized that a QuickLink Pen was trying to talk to it, but it never got beyond that point.

The QuickLink pen is a handy tool for people that need to scan little bits of info into their desktop applications. It works great for scanning lines one at a time. It shouldn’t be used as a heavy duty scanner though. If you need to scan whole pages at once, the QuickLink probably isn’t the best tool for you.

SDK $399 (standard version), $1999 (enterprise/professional version)
4MB Flash Memory Upgrade $50 (est.)

Price: $179 (30 day money back guarantee, 6 month
limited warranty)

Pros:
Small, easy to use.
Can scan text directly into a desktop application.
Can beam notes and addresses to and from a Palm OS device.

Cons:
Wasn’t able to beam to a Pocket PC.
Can only scan one line at a time.
Text has to be on a solid background in order to scan correctly.

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Product Information

Price:$179.00
Manufacturer:WizCom Technologies Ltd.
Pros:
  • Small, easy to use.
  • Can scan text directly into a desktop application.
  • Can beam notes and addresses to and from a Palm OS device.
Cons:
  • Wasn't able to beam to a Pocket PC.
  • Can only scan one line at a time.
  • Text has to be on a solid background in order to scan correctly.
33 comments… add one
  • Julie February 5, 2003, 3:52 am

    Post your comments here on the Mitsumi USB Bluetooth Adaptor Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/mitsumi-usb-bluetooth-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • plainsong February 5, 2003, 6:16 am

    The TDK BT dongle has a better range at about 60m real-life (I know this because that’s the size of our apartment, and I have bt coverage through the apartment. 🙂 ). Meanwhile I don’t think my D-Link BT dongle gets even 10m.

    I also have to use Mocha to get web browsing to work. Over at Palminfocenter they supposedly have gotten the WinRAS to work, but I never could. Windows always assigned the wrong gateway. Neither my Mac nor Windows running Mocha had this problem though. 🙂

    In the meantime it sure would be nice if Palm would fix that bluetooth bug that causes a soft reset every time you try to access the network via bluetooth. I mean, didn’t they think that people might actually try that? There’s some discussion of that over at Palminfocenter as well. 🙂

    Great review. I’ve been looking to replace the D-link dongle on my Mac, and have heard conflicting things about the Mitsumi’s range. Your review settles it. 🙂

  • PDA Maven February 5, 2003, 2:58 pm

    Julie,

    I recently purchased a Belkin bluetooth adapter and like you said hotsyncing is awesome. Like you I have a Fujitsu P2110 and it does not have an infra-red port so the bluetooth alows me to leave the cradle home. I was wondering if you could run a comparison between bluetooth speed and the infrared spped.

    Great review.

  • Julie February 5, 2003, 3:04 pm

    Plainsong:

    I’ll have to try to get my hands on the TDK dongle… I have some ideas for some really cool things if only I could have a little bit better range.

    PDA Maven:

    I’ll see if I can find a laptop with an IR port and do a test.

  • Matt February 6, 2003, 3:17 am

    Does the problem with the reset a bug or problem with the adaptor? Is this plug and play if the computer is on like the keychain drives?

  • Julie February 6, 2003, 3:24 am

    Matt:

    The bug is with the Palm OS.

    No, it is not plug and play. You also need to install the drivers and config app on the PC.

  • Matt February 6, 2003, 4:34 am

    So once it is configured to the computer you have to keep it in. You can’t take it out and put it back in a laptop?

  • Julie February 6, 2003, 1:29 pm

    I’m not sure I understand your question… The module has to be plugged into the PC or Notebook that you want connect with your Tungsten (or other Bluetooth device). It’s not going to work if it’s not plugged in 😉

  • _Q_ February 6, 2003, 8:26 pm

    I think what Matt’s asking is this: after you install it the first time, if you can disconnect and reconnect it without changing any settings. In other words, if you have to disconnect it to use some other USB device, can you then reconnect it as is or do you need to reenable anything?

    One of those “no obvious reason why not but good to be sure” type of questions…

    Matt, please tell me if I’m way off base (or on track) here…

  • Matt February 6, 2003, 10:33 pm

    Originally posted by _Q_
    I [B]think what Matt’s asking is this: after you install it the first time, if you can disconnect and reconnect it without changing any settings. In other words, if you have to disconnect it to use some other USB device, can you then reconnect it as is or do you need to reenable anything?

    One of those “no obvious reason why not but good to be sure” type of questions…

    Matt, please tell me if I’m way off base (or on track) here… [/B]

    That is exactly what I am saying.
    thanks:wow:

  • Julie February 7, 2003, 1:00 am

    You just have to make sure the Bluetooth suite is running.

  • Matt February 7, 2003, 2:39 am

    Ok,
    So you could install the software once on both of my computers then turn on the bluetooth and basicly plug and play.

    😉

  • Julie February 7, 2003, 3:12 am

    Yes 🙂

  • Matt February 7, 2003, 3:26 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    Yes 🙂

    I think we both got it now Julie, hehe:wow:

  • kstedman February 8, 2003, 2:27 am

    Im actually posting these comments with a Bluetooth connection to my PC with an Ipaq 5455. I use a Belkin BT Adapter and have DSL.

    I opened the links that you posted and the pages opened up in about 1/2 the speed of the TT. Is it possible that the ppp connection is slowing it down somehow?

  • Julie February 8, 2003, 2:45 am

    It’s very possible. Another factor might be my satellite system. There is a latency issue.

  • Matt February 8, 2003, 4:17 am

    your saying your bluetooth on the TT is faster then the PPC?

  • Julie February 8, 2003, 2:39 pm

    In some instances surfing webpages via Bluetooth on my TT was faster than surfing the same webpages on the iPAQ 5455 using WiFi.

  • Matt February 8, 2003, 2:50 pm

    Isn’t it easier to surf with the PPC being it has internet explorer on it.
    Don’t you have to add a third party browser to the Palm platform to surf and check emails?
    I am toying with the idea of internet and email with my next pda. Not sure what would be faster and easier to use a TT with an addition of a bluetooth adaptor to my laptop or a PPC with built in WIFI. I would think the signal from WIFI then converting to bluetooth would really slow down. Anybody know??
    I also want to be able to connect from a remote location with a phone line type of modem so I can dial into my ISP. Any ideas the best units out there for this?

  • Julie February 8, 2003, 3:12 pm

    The Tungsten comes with a browser on the CD which is actually pretty good.

    If you know you’re going to be surfing a lot with your PDA, I would go for a Pocket PC with WiFi because of the bigger screen and greater range.

  • Matt February 8, 2003, 6:04 pm

    Now with a PPC and a WIFI setup can I do everthing on internet explorer like I can now on my desktop? Does the email program and browser look the same as XP?
    I know Palm used web clipping for a time for internet access, this is no long true with the software on the CD for the TT?:confused:
    I am not stuck on having the TT either, I don’t know the abilities of the other Palms to access WIFI.

    Now with a Tungsten W i could in theory receive an alarm as email comes in correct? I would have to subscribe to ATT service tho. Do the TT and TW need some kind of sled for WIFI?

  • kstedman February 9, 2003, 1:39 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    In some instances surfing webpages via Bluetooth on my TT was faster than surfing the same webpages on the iPAQ 5455 using WiFi.

    Have you compared the 5455 bluetooth connection? Its faster than the TT cause Ive tried both. At least from what I have seen.

  • Matt February 9, 2003, 3:32 am

    Your saying the 5455 WIFI connection was quicker then the TT bluetooth?

  • Julie February 9, 2003, 4:02 am

    I couldn’t get Bluetooth to work on the 5455 when I had one.

  • Matt February 9, 2003, 4:09 am

    Has Judie had good luck with her 5455 since she decided to keep it? Did HP release a patch of some sort to fix the problems you had Julie?

  • Judie February 9, 2003, 4:23 am

    Matt,

    I am growing slightly happier with my 5455, but the TT is still my main PDA.

    To the best of my knowledge, no patches have yet been released…

    Judie :0)

  • Matt February 9, 2003, 4:25 am

    You did end up sending it in to HP to get everything fixed?

  • kstedman February 9, 2003, 6:01 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    I couldn’t get Bluetooth to work on the 5455 when I had one.

    Thats suprising. I found the Bluetooth Manager on the 5455 to be much more user friendly than the TT. Granted, the Tungsten shipped with phone drivers which helps but I like the PPC version better.

    For those that are wondering, if your PC has a bluetooth adapter and a DSL connection to the internet and own a 5455:

    Open Bluetooth manager and set up active sync via Bluetooth.

    After you set it up an activate the Bluetooth Active sync, open up IE on the PPC and start surfing. It was that simple.

    This is much easier than the setup with the tunsten. In addtion, I have not dropped any connections unlike my connections with Mocha ppp with the Tungsten.

  • kstedman February 9, 2003, 6:12 pm

    Originally posted by Judie
    [B]Matt,

    I am growing slightly happier with my 5455, but the TT is still my main PDA.

    To the best of my knowledge, no patches have yet been released…

    Judie :0) [/B]

    Got rid of my TT for the 5455. Never looked back.

    The Tungsten Files:

    1) Slider loosened after 1 month. Too many moving parts causes problems which is also why I avoided the NX Clie.
    2) Dust showed up. Gadgeteers – throw an all black background and check that reflective screen for white particles.
    3) The Audio Patch was finally released….last week. Unfortunately, so was the price drop to $399, the announcement that the Treos are discontinued with the Tungsten W on the shelf ready for shipment, Jot II and OS6 may not be compatable with the TT, and that the TT wasnt selling as well as everyone thought…and the beat goes on with Palm

    I was always a heavy promoter of Palm OS devices.. I was extremely excited with the TT and I can honestly say it will probably be the last Palm OS unit that I ever own. They have got to start listening to what people want and ship it. Not wait until they complain and patch it.

    They are beginning to cut corners and raise prices…these 2 dont mix.

  • Matt February 10, 2003, 4:23 am

    Originally posted by kstedman
    [B]Got rid of my TT for the 5455. Never looked back.

    The Tungsten Files:

    1) Slider loosened after 1 month. Too many moving parts causes problems which is also why I avoided the NX Clie.
    2) Dust showed up. Gadgeteers – throw an all black background and check that reflective screen for white particles.
    3) The Audio Patch was finally released….last week. Unfortunately, so was the price drop to $399, the announcement that the Treos are discontinued with the Tungsten W on the shelf ready for shipment, Jot II and OS6 may not be compatable with the TT, and that the TT wasnt selling as well as everyone thought…and the beat goes on with Palm

    I was always a heavy promoter of Palm OS devices.. I was extremely excited with the TT and I can honestly say it will probably be the last Palm OS unit that I ever own. They have got to start listening to what people want and ship it. Not wait until they complain and patch it.

    They are beginning to cut corners and raise prices…these 2 dont mix. [/B]

    Very interesting views. I did have alot of concerns for the TT slider but like the idea of built in bluetooth and the price drop. I found alot of my programs that I had as hacks wont make it to my OS 5 unit.
    I am really have been researching what I want and have never played with a PPC for any amount of time. I had an ipaq for a week or so that was it.
    I few of the things I would like to do is sync wirelessly and experiment with recieving email and surfing the internet in my house on my WIFI network.I know with this adaptor or the one Palm sells I could sync wirelessly via bluetooth but don’t know about surfing. Email is more important I guess then surfing I like the idea of a TT and a XT keyboard for email.
    What scares me of PPC is size, cost of programs and availibility, battery life, cost , compatibility.One thing I have been thinking about is the amount of PPC you see other there. I know two people with PPC and I know more then dozen with Palms. I bought two magazines for researching my choices. Handheld Computing and Pocket PC.
    With Sonies new TG-50 with built in bluetooth and keyboard along with the new 3600 garmin I don’t know if now is the time to buy alot of new units coming by April. I guess you can always wait.The beat goes on!!

  • Matt February 10, 2003, 11:46 pm

    I wonder how this adapter compares with the Palm version and the D-link version.

    http://www.dlink.com/products/usb/dbt120/

    Up to 725mbps doesn’t list range.

    http://store.palm.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1248764&cp=1254470.1254471&parentPage=family

    The one Palm sells says a distance of 50 meters or 150 ft. That is pretty good. Also up to 1mbps.

    Anybody know how these compare??

  • blackrat March 28, 2003, 12:01 pm

    I read with interest your review of the Mitsumi USB Bluetooth dongle used to connect your Palm Tungsten T to the internet running on your computer. I have recently acquired a Tungsten and the Mitsumi dongle, and am trying to get to the point of being able to surf the net on my tt. (I must confess that I am a complete novice to Bluetooth technology, actually to Palm computing in general as this is my first handheld acquisition:)

    I have installed the Mitsumi Bluetooth Suite and MochaPPP but cannot work out which COM port I need to enter to try and be able to sync, let alone connect to surf the net. Is this info displayed anywhere within the BT suite, and is it possible for the user to set the COM port number? I always get the message “Error: Serial: timeout. Could be bad cable or faulty Modem. (0x0305)” when trying to connect through prefs, network on my tt. The bluetooth is switched on as I’m able to send a file from the tungsten to my PC with BT, but I’ve not been able to hotsync with the PC via BT either.

    I am running AOL as my ISP. Will this cause any problems when trying to surf on my tt, and will I need to change the procedure from what you have posted on your review of the Mitsumi dongle?

    Any light you can shed on these problems will be much appreciated.

  • erniecookie December 1, 2005, 9:58 am

    Hi

    I have this old dongle, mitsumi model WIF-0402C which I have lost the driver… I tried the web without success… would appreciate if you could point me where i can get this. Thanks.

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