Review: Brookstone Scanner Mouse

She says she needs a copy of my receipt. She says she needs it immediately. I have the receipt on my desk, so I ask the lady on the phone to wait just a moment. I glide my mouse in one swoop over the paper slip, then I choose “Share” from a popup menu and e-mail it to her. She says she got the receipt. She says she got it immediately.

It’s just another day in the life of the double-duty Brookstone Scanner Mouse.

It looks just like a conventional, inexpensive get-gadget mouse — left and right buttons, a scroll wheel in the middle, and a laser sensor on the belly. But on closer inspection, one notices the sensor eye on the bottom is housed in a larger-than-normal opening, and that there’s a thumb button on the left side labeled “Scan.”

Somehow, Brookstone has cleverly incorporated a 100- to 400-dpi scanner into the mouse. Also, in the box is a CD with some capture software for Windows and Mac OS X.

My tests produced surprisingly good scanned images. I simply pressed the scan button with my thumb and slid the mouse over the documents. the results can be saved in half a dozen file formats, including JPG, PDF, and DOC.

The actual scanning process is as easy. I used paintbrush-like movements, swooping from left to right, then right to left, working my way down the page to capture a document. As I scan, the document appears on screen and the software works to adjust the edges and complete the image.

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