KeyScan Melds Keyboard and Color Scanner into a New PeripheralBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-10-01 Email Print
The KS810 from KeySpan may be the perfect accessory for a business drowning in paper. Cramming a color scanner into a keyboard is no easy feat, yet KeyScan pulls it off at a price that most businesses can afford.
The typical business is awash in paper. There are invoices, purchase orders, letters, receipts and so on floating around on the typical knowledge worker's desk, sapping productivity and creating aggravation. Making that paper problem "go away" is the design goal of KeyScan with the KS810 keyboard scanner. At $159, the KS810 offers a multifunction device, which combines a USB 2.0 Hub, full-size keyboard and a single-sheet scanner that offers a maximum optical resolution of 600 pixels per inch.
The KS810 installs pretty much as any USB keyboard would, but does require a separate power brick. Setup is as easy as plugging the device in, running the software setup from an included CD and then powering up the unit. Everything pretty much takes care of itself.
One word of warning, though: There are no drivers for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, and as our luck would have it, we first tried to test the KS810 on a Vista Ultimate 64-bit system so we could play around with the scanned images in some high-end graphics software. Calls to the company did confirm that no 64-bit version of the driver was available and that there had been no demand for one. Interestingly, presenting a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma for the company, those running 64 bit Vista will not buy the KS810 because it does not support 64 bit, so in turn no buyers are requesting 64-bit support.
We overcame our 64-bit problem by running Windows Vista 32 bit in a VMware virtual machine on our host system. That allowed us to test the scanner and then copy scanned images from our 32-bit virtual environment over to our 64-bit Vista host. A contrived way to make the product work and one that is not recommended for the typical user.