Wednesday, 25 January 2012

LG LSM-100 Review

Multi-tasking seems to be the key ingredient in the next gen devices. For instance, a phone should be capable of serving as a handy camera or a music player when required. Don’t you wish that there was one device capable of doing it all? If not all, LG has put to thought the amalgamation of two peripherals. So, how about a mouse that also acts a handy scanner? LG’s dual task peripheral, the LSM-100, looks and works as a mouse, but as soon as you turn it upside down, you will notice a compartment that equips components that help it work as a scanner. The thought seems just right, but is it capable enough to deliver an efficient performance? Let's find out.

Design and Build
As we said, it looks just like an ordinary mouse on the outside. A tad taller than the Logitech rodent I’ve been using, obviously, since it equips handy scanner components within itself, underneath. Sporting a glossy black hue, the upper surface has a spacious scroll wheel section lined with LEDs that emit blue light to indicate the scanning process. If you flip the device, you'll see that the lower side has cut a rectangular section that houses the scanning equipment, giving you a clear view of the mirror embedded on the side. Besides the mirror, there are four LEDs and a camera for swift scanning.
Scanner + Mouse
Scanner + Mouse

The glossy plastic is a finger print magnet and probably that’s why a cleaning cloth is bundled with the peripheral. Nevertheless, the mouse ensures a firm grip. It has two click buttons, a scroll wheel and two buttons on the left side with functions - scan and backwards. It is accompanied by an LG mousepad. It is a usual mouse pad with a plastic layer. This layer can be pulled up just like a flap to place material to be scanned such as photos. Although plasticy, the mouse looks sophisticated and it appears to have a solid built. The scroll wheel is light with fine clicks and the cable is thick and sturdy.

On installing the bundled software, it offers the choice to select from adjustable dpi resolutions from 100 to 320; dubbed as low, medium and high resolution. It has a maximum movement speed of 0.3ms. You can conveniently scan documents up to A3 size. The scanned image can be saved in JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, XLS, DOC and PDF format. It can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr using the Share button instantly.

The scanner compartment
The scanner compartment

One of its notable features is the OCR text recognition technology. With this technology, you can scan and even further edit documents on a Microsoft Word Document. You can even scan and add the numerical content to edit on an excel sheet. The interface offers options to select the entire scanned document or edit just a select area. Editing is simple and even pasting the image or a text is convenient. It lets you tweak the level of contrast, brightness, hue, saturation and the background editor. The inbox contents include, USB mouse, mouse pad, cleaning cloth, software CD and user manual. In the scan mode, the scroll wheel is used to zoom in/out of an image. It is also possible to scan a zoomed large image.
Simple interface
Simple interface

Setting up the mouse scanner is easy, plug the mouse into the system and install the bundled software CD. A simple and non-cluttered interface appears, clearly indicating the purpose of the buttons on the mouse. It ideally works as a normal mouse, and a pretty decent one at that. But on clicking the scan button on the left side, the scanner function gets activated. The LEDs emit light and you can then drag the mouse over the material, be it a large A4/A3 document or even photographs. Photographs can be placed behind the flap of the LG mousepad. Although the feature highlights drag and drop, you will have to move your hand sidewards, to the right and then back, the way you would usually wipe a glass frame. This needs some practice, as we didn’t get the desired output quickly, each time. The image was distorted at times, and at such times, you can stop scanning, hit on cancel and restart scanning. Moreover, it didn’t scan photos effectively. The scanning portion is small and the overall scanning is slow. 

Here’s how the scanner worked at highest resolutionAt high resolution
Scanned image at hi-res

Hi-res zoomed in
test image unzoomed

With the help of the zoom button, you can zoom into a image and then scan it. Here is how it looks at 100 percent zoom:
Zoomed in at 100%
Zoomed in at 100%

The LG LSM-100 is a space saving and easy to use mouse-scanner combo. However, scanning is slow and even otherwise it isn't as simple as placing a copy of document and simply pressing a button. But it seems to be a good option for documents, which can be edited after scanning or even numerical tables that can be easily fed to the excel sheet. Moreover, it seems slightly expensive at a price of Rs.3,500.

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