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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner (2 of 2)

Reported by Dana Vitek

I first laid eyes on the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner at the Summer 2010 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show. There was quite a buzz about it during the Innovations Showcase for new products (I was a part of that buzz… I leaned over to Executive Editor Simone Collins and told her I wanted one, pronto). I was not surprised at all when it won for best new product. So, when the review opportunity came up, I was the first to raise my grabby little hands.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner is small and portable, but that’s not what makes it awesome. It’s awesome because you can remove the lid, hold it up to stuff, and scan it. Just think about the possibilities: you can scan objects and photos that you can’t remove from the wall, say like vintage wallpaper or cool graffiti. Or maybe a tile motif.

Or, say you need to make a bunch of name tags for your next high school reunion, and can’t face the thought of wrangling the yearbook onto a flatbed scanner and scanning whole pages that you have to break down into a bunch of little pics.

Here I’ve removed the lid and flipped it over to scan

This is the display screen on the back of the scanner

 

surrounding photos  were blurred for privacy; they were crystal clear on the scan

My hair has changed, but my attitude is the same.

This was a cinch. Really.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner is also great for scanning cool textures that you definitely wouldn’t be able to use a traditional scanner for:

Carpet:

yes, this is my nappy carpet

Dog Fur:

this is my not-so-nappy dog

And with a little Photoshop magic, you can use those textures to create digital elements for your scrapbook pages… there’s all sorts of things you can do:

A plain flower

A wooly flower, a “felted” digital image, with the carpet scan used as texture
my dog’s name
my dog’s name, written in her scanned fur

Here’s another thing that the Flip Pal is perfect for… tattoo artists.

What? Hear me out (and thanks to Editor-in-Chief Sarah Moore for this idea)… traditionally, when a person goes into a tattoo shop for a cover-up of say, someone’s name permanently inked on her shoulder:

who thought this was a good idea?

the tattoo artist would have you basically do a backbend over a photocopier, to photocopy your tattoo, so they could design something snazzy to cover it.

I don’t know about you, but my backbend days are long past. Here we used the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner to scan my tattoo.

Here’s what the scan looks like:

Into Photoshop for some design work:

yum.

my old tattoo is going to get all swirled into that luscious hair!

My new tattoo is going to be so epic. You’d better believe I’m going to glitter him up so he shimmers when I go out on the town.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas of how you can use the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner for more than scanning old photos (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and I plan to do that as well). This is one of those pieces of technology that I’m going to use in my daily life, and I LIKE that. A lot.

Pros:

  • Very portable. This will fit in my purse.
  • Being able to remove the lid to place the scanner flat against a wall or photo album: genius.
  • I’m looking at the world in a whole new way; now I can scan pretty much anything!

Cons:

  • It’s not pink. I prefer my tools be pink.
  • Hey Flip Pal…I could use a little carrying case for it! 
  • That’s it, really.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner retails for $149.99, and I definitely think it’s worth the investment. Be sure to visit their website for some demos and other ideas.


Giveaway!
The fine folks at Flip Pal are giving away one of the Flip Pal Mobile Scanners to one of our lucky readers. Leave a comment on any “Vendor Spotlight: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner” article (this is the second of 2), and answer this question:

What would you scan with the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner? Don’t be afraid to think outside the “old photo” box!

One comment per person, per article, please.  You have until Monday, December 20th at 6pm CST to enter.

Disclosure

* in the interest of full disclosure, “Curtis” is my husband, Curt,  and that “tattoo” is Sharpie markered on. But the idea holds, for sure!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner

Reported by Rachel Johnson


Years ago, I worked for an art magazine, and scanning fine art images was a big part of my job. Since I had access to a professional grade scanner at work, I never got around to purchasing a scanner for home use. Since nearly all of my photography is digital, I mostly got by without one, but there were always instances when I wished I could scan an old photo or an illustration. It just never seemed worth it to go buy a huge, desktop scanner/printer combo for just a few projects or photos. It was a constant conundrum — I wanted to scan things, but I didn’t want to own a bulky scanner that would just take up room on my desk.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner solved my conundrum! The Flip Pal is a mini, battery-powered scanner that you can take anywhere. It is approximately 10 inches wide, 6.5 inches tall, and about an inch thick. It weighs about 1.5 pounds. It comes pre-loaded with batteries and a 2GB SD memory card. All you have to do to start scanning is take it out of its packaging. You don’t need to hook it up to a computer or plug it in; just switch it on, and press the scanning button! Magic!
The Flip Pal also comes with a simple instruction booklet and a handy thumb drive “SD to USB converter” that you can use with the SD card to load the scanned photos onto you computer. The thumb drive also contains special Flip Pal photo software that runs on Windows computers and can help you edit photos and stitch together large photos from multiple scans. However, I use Mac computers, so I was not able to access the software. Instead I used iPhoto and Photoshop to easily edit all my scans.

I got married long, long ago in the age of analog photography, and for years I have been meaning to scan some of my wedding photos. A perfect project to test out my new Flip Pal!
The scanning surface is 4 x 6 inches and can scan at a 300 dpi or 600 dpi resolution. Three hundred dpi is a standard print resolution, and scans made at that size can be printed at their original size. Scans made at 600 dpi resolution can be successfully printed up to twice their original size. Many professional scanners work at much higher scanning resolutions, but for nearly all hobby and craft purposes, 600 dpi is plenty large. Plus, each scan is very fast! I scanned over 80 wedding photos and didn’t even use up half of the battery power!

Each scan is displayed on the scanner’s small screen after it is completed. The digital display helps you make sure you positioned the scanned item correctly and allows you to review all of the scans you have made during a session.

Another great feature of the Flip Pal is that you can remove the cover and “contact scan” larger pieces or things that will not fit under the cover. Once the cover has been easily pulled off, you can flip the Flip Pal over and scan… well, really anything!

The clear back allows you to position the scanning surface correctly. I scanned a few of my large wedding photos and also a few older photos that are affixed to a scrapbook this way.
It was incredibly easy to import the scans onto my computer. You simply put the SD card into the USB converter and plug that into your computer. Then, you can import photos just as you normally would off of a digital camera. If you have an SD slot on your computer, you can use that instead of the USB converter. I imported my scans into iPhoto and did a little bit of cropping and editing. The whole scanning process was completely user friendly and easy.

I am thrilled that I finally got some of my old photos scanned, including the two above of my grandparents. I love my new Flip Pal!
Pros:
  • Small size makes it completely portable and easy to store.
  • User friendly and extremely easy to use.
  • No set up – simply open it up and start scanning!
  • Patented flip-and-scan technology – literally flip it over and scan anything!

Cons:
  • The included Flip Pal software only works on Windows computers.
  • The scanning surface is small – 4 x 6 inches.
  • Maximum scanning resolution is 600 dpi – some project may call for a higher res.

Giveaway!
The fine folks at Flip Pal are giving away a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner to one of our lucky readers. Just leave a comment on any Vendor Spotlight: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner article (there will be 2) answering the following questions:


Have you ever used a portable scanner, like the Flip Pal? What projects would you complete if you had a Flip Pal?

One comment per person, per article, please. You have until Monday, December 20th at 6pm CST to enter.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer

Reported by Heather VoinskiAt the mere mention of the word Polaroid, a ton of memories come flooding back to me from my childhood. I still remember the day that my Dad came home and surprised my Mom with one of the instant cameras. I have pictures from Christmases when I was little that are the best because of it. We had such fun with it! I was more than a little sad when I heard that they were ceasing production of their instant film, you know…the kind we grew up with. When I heard about it I ran out and bought some!

The Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer is part of Polaroid’s new digital line. It’s a compact printer that you can take with you and print borderless 2″ x 3″ pictures instantly from your digital camera or compatible cell phone.

The PoGo is small; it measures 4.7″ x 2.8″ and is powered by a rechargeable 7.2v lithium-ion battery. It comes with an ac adapter for charging. There are no ink cartridges to deal with on this little printer. The PoGo uses Zink Zero Ink technology; it’s all in the paper! Just insert a paper pack and you are ready to print. You can print smudge-proof, water-resistant images in 60 seconds. Paper packs are available in sheets of 10, 30, or 80. Walmart sells the 30 sheet packs for only $11.00!




I added the PoGo to my wish list this past Christmas as soon as I saw it. The thought of printing Polaroid prints right from my cell phone excited me; I am a picture person! Santa surprised me with it on Christmas eve. I got right to work playing with it.

It was easy to set up a connection between my cell phone and the printer. It comes with easy step-by-step instructions and in under 60 seconds I was ready to print (and I did).

Here is how easy it is to print your pictures:
1. Select your picture to print:


2. Select print via bluetooth:


3. Select your Polaroid printer:


4. Print:

I’ve tried printing pictures from my husband’s cell phone as well, and it was equally easy to do. For printing from your camera, you simply connect your camera to the printer via your USB cord and turn your camera on. It automatically walks you through the rest.

I had been snapping pictures of our daily doings for a December Daily album, and I started by printing a few pictures of them. These little pictures made it a cinch to put together because they are peel-and-stick. You can peel the backing off of them and stick them anywhere. Here is a sample from my December Daily album using them:


I’ve kept up printing pictures after this album was done, and I started a little project with them that I am also happy to share. By mounting the little borderless 2″ x 3″ pictures on white cardstock, I made some faux Polaroids (it’s become an addiction).

They’ve found a home on my inspiration boards in my craft area. I love the way it came out. Now I can still have the Polaroid look in an instant!!


Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Instant smudge-proof pictures in less than 60 seconds
  • Ability to print from your camera or any compatible cell phone
  • Peel-and-stick pictures
  • No more shaking your Polaroid Pictures!!

Cons:

  • I’ve found that I must charge it every time I want to use it. Doesn’t hold a charge well.
  • Running out of pictures to print (but it’s not a problem if you’re like me)
  • No more shaking your Polaroid Pictures!!

The Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer retails for $99.99 and can be found online at Best Buy, Target, but Amazon has the best deal online, and if you buy it through the link below, you’ll be helping support Craft Critique!

All in all, I am happy with this little printer and will continue to use it. I’m already working on another display of pictures.

We would love to hear what you think of this product, and if you own one, please share what you have done with it!

UPDATE: Regarding the image quality…You don’t get the same quality that you would get from your photo lab or from printing from a photo printer but the pictures are decent. Some of the colors are muted (like classic Polaroid pictures). Out of all of the pictures that I have printed so far (over 100), I have 2 that I am not happy with and I have chalked them up to the bad lighting where we took them. Hope this helps guys.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!