Craft Product Review: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

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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:

Flip-Pal 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!

The scanning bed is see-through, with registration marks on the glass to help you line things up.

Flip-Pal scan: you see a bit of the reflection from the plastic protector.

And here I scanned a photo on the scrapbook page (no protector.)

Flip-Pal scan: crystal clear!

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.

The software is right on the SD card, including the "Stitch" and "color restore" software.

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.  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.

I selected the “stitch scans” and then followed the prompt to select the photos to stitch together. This is easy to do, just hold down your “ctrl” key on your computer and then click with your mouse.

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:

Flip-Pal "Stitched" Image- impressive!

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!

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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10 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner”

  1. Rachel Says:

    That’s interesting. I am not convinced I need one, but it’s interesting.

  2. Robin Says:

    WOW I can’t wait to try one! I am into genealogy and I always wish for a portable scanner for relatives pictures, It would save me from having to borrow them! This would be perfect!!

  3. Jenny Says:

    And Robin, you don’t even need to take the out of the scrapbook or frame! I was really impressed with the Flip-Pal.

  4. Colleen E Scott Says:

    Nice review of what looks like a great product. Thank you

  5. Nancy Martel Says:

    This is really cool! I LOVE that the scanner is see through.

  6. Phyllis Says:

    Thanks so much for this review/how to about Flip-Pal. Very informative. Phyllis C.

  7. karen Says:

    My sewing machine does not have a usb port, will I be able to download onto my PED Basic card and get the same results?

  8. Jenny Says:

    Karen- the flip pal is not compatible with sewing machines.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Flip Pal Giveaway WINNER! | Craft Test Dummies - December 31, 2010

    [...] I got so many great ideas for how to use the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner from all of the wonderful comments left on my post about preserving my Great-Grandma’s quilt. [...]

  2. Not a Locket - Photo Keepsake Necklace with Flip Pal Mobile Scanner | Vicki O'Dell... The Creative Goddess - November 15, 2011

    [...] more about the Flip Pal and what it does you might want to read the Flip Pal Product Review at CraftTestDummies. It earned the Craft Test Dummies Seal of [...]

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