Now, I wont say this is an essential… obviously not since I don’t see most people carrying it. However, I really enjoy my portable scanner. It is somewhat like the model below (a slightly newer version of my VuPoint Magic Wand).
Now, for my scanning at home I would never pull this out. It is too low a resolution, doesn’t interface well with a computer, and has some issues recording all the way to the edge.
However, it does something my home scanner just can’t do… travel. I pop in two AA batteries, a microSD card, and I am ready to go. These models do 600dpi, and have reasonable image quality. It has wifi and an app to transfer the files, but skip it unless you absolutely have to. It is just too much of pain. Instead just pop out the card and throw it in a phone or tablet with microSD support.
To top it off, it is $45-$100 (depending on accessories). If it gets dropped, stolen, or just dies on me, I can replace it.
Now, why would I want one? I like being able to provide a good digital copy to my customers. After all, badges get lost, or damaged. With luck the badge I made for them is special enough they would miss it in that case, and at least they would have the digital one. It also allows me to keep a copy of my work (so I can post for all of you regularly). And best of all I could actually reprint it. The techniques I use to make prints can turn out something really close, if someone actually needed it.