One of the coolest things about going to the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show is seeing “what’s new.” Of course, we expect to see new lines of paper, the latest die-cutting gadget, but sometimes we see things that make us stop and go, “wow.” The Flip-Pal Mobile scanner is one of them!
Let’s start with the basics: what is it? As the name implies, it’s self-contained mobile scanning unit that runs on batteries and stores both the images and the software on the included SD card. It’s compact, about the size of a Kindle, and surprisingly lightweight. (My guess is 3 lbs or so.) After opening the clam shell packaging, the only thing I had to do to get it set up was: a) pull the tab to activate the batteries and b turn it on! Really. It was ready to go.
So first I put a photo from my wedding album into the scanner and hit the green “scan” button. Here’s my original and the scan:
So then I tried scanning a photo through the plastic sheet protectors. This required popping off the lid and flipping the scanner over. It’s see-through, so it was easy to align and scan just what I wanted!
And here I scanned a photo on the scrapbook page (no protector.)
As you can see, the scans were good. (So good, you might want to keep a soft, lint-free cloth handy. I forgot about lint!) And for this first round, I just removed the SD card, took it to my laptop, an popped it in.
My computer recognized the card and launched the Flip-Pal software immediately. I copied the photos in to my Window Photo Gallery- Poof! There they were, ready to use! (By the way, if your computer doesn’t have an SD card port, they conveniently provide a USB adapter. Nice.)
I was a little intimidated to try the “stitch” feature, in which you can make multiple scans of a larger image and then…um…stitch them together to form a larger photo. I decided to make a scan from an art book of a painting by Cezanne.
Following the instructions, I scanned my large image (it took 3 scans) overlapping a bit using the guide lines on scanner itself. I just eyeballed it.Â And honestly, I was really skeptical on how this was going to work. I inserted the card into my laptop & got ready to “stitch.” To give you the best explanation, I took shots of my computer screen.
Then, you let the magic happen. All by itself, it “looks” at your scans and matches them up- like magic. I didn’t have to do ANYTHING! (I thought I might have to try and line them up or something.) Here’s what Flip Pal did for me:
Wow. It was so cool! My brain is bubbling with applications for this feature. But there’s another amazing feature that I have to share with you- the color “restore” feature. I have a bunch of photos from when I was little that have gone completely orange- here are the screen shots of the original and after “restoration:”
This feature is worth the price of the Flip-Pal alone! (Honestly, I got a little teary at this point.) So many of my childhood photos are basically ruined- but now, with the Flip-Pal, I can scan and restore them with one tool, and reprint them at home OR share them with my family, digitally. Priceless.
I also shot a little video review showing you some of the features of the Flip Pal:
So there you have it. I can’t say enough GREAT things about the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. A must for every scrapbooker and family historian. Definitely “CraftTestDummies Approved!”
Update: Creative Goddess Vicki O’Dell has a lovely jewelry project she made using the Flip-Pal. You should check it out!