Maginon Portable Document Scanner HS120 first look

We reveal how this small, light and portable scanner compares to its competitors.
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01.Scanner details


Price: $69.99
Available from: Saturday, 27 April

4 stars out of 5

The HS120 scans in colour or mono, with automatic colour balance. It scans at an optical resolution of 300 dpi, with 600 and 900 dpi via interpolation. It handles single-sided, single-page documents up to 216mm wide, and scans long documents up to 127cm.

A 4GB microSD memory card is supplied for storing scanned document images, plus an SD card adapter, so you can also use it with the full-size SD Card slot on your computer or card reader.

The HS120 comes with four AA batteries and a USB cable and power supply unit for plugging into mains power. You can also plug directly via USB 2.0 for copying scans to a computer. It also comes with a handy carry bag.


Compared to the portable document scanners in our recent round-up, we found the speed and scan quality of the HS120 to be acceptable for documents, although our test unit had a tendency to slightly skew some pages. We also looked at the quality of colour and black/white photo scans and like most portable document scanners, which are designed primarily for scanning text and lines, the image quality was relatively low compared to what you can expect with a flatbed photo scanner.

Overall the HS120 achieved a total performance score (speed and scan quality) of 50, which ranks it below most of the other models we tested - although it comes at a fraction of the price and it still ranks higher than a couple which cost a lot more.

With the HS120 the emphasis is on portability. It is battery operated and can be used completely independently of a computer. It only scans directly to a memory card and OCR is done on a PC afterward via the included AABBY FineReader software, making it a multi-step process. Scans can be saved in either JPG or PDF formats, but the OCR software only works with the JPG format.

We found it easy to adjust the scan settings via the onboard control panel and LCD screen, but annoying that the settings weren’t remembered after powering off. If you don’t go with the defaults, they have to be set each time.

CHOICE verdict

The Maginon HS120 offers the convenience of versatile, take-anywhere scanning. It lacks some of the features of competitors and wouldn’t be a good choice for high-volume scanning, but its very low price makes this model very good value. For high-volume scanning you’ll be better off with a double-sided scanner fitted with a document feeder, but for occasional document scanning the HS120 will have you asking why you should pay more.



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