I bought my first scanner when I was in collage, an HP Scanjet 4c. This was way back in the late 90’s and like all things from that era, it was large, bulky, and weighed an astonishing 22lbs. It also had an average scan time of about 1000 years per page. Fast forward to today and most scanners these days are now much smaller, lighter, and faster. However the technology in these scanners hasn’t really changed much, until now. Enter the new CZUR Aura Smart Scanner. Unlike traditional flatbed scanners, the CZUR Aura utilizes a 14MP HD camera powered by Panasonic which literally snaps a photo of whatever your scanning in high resolution and takes up much less space.
The first thing you’ll notice about the CZUR Aura Smart Scanner is the size. It’s an upright scanner which means the base takes up far less space than a flatbed scanner. However, you will need the space for the scanning mat when you need to scan, but this can be stored away when not in use. Also, if you compare this new CZUR Aura to the previous CZUR ET16 Plus, you’ll also see that unlike the fixed “L” shape, the CZUR Aura can be folded away. The top portion of the upside down “L” can be folded down to further conserve space. This also gives it a much cleaner look when not in use.
The base of the CZUR Aura is mainly made of plastic with a rubber bottom. It’s fairly thick and heavy though so it should stay put pretty well. There is a single dial/button that you use to control the whole scanner as well as indicator lights that show what mode you’re in. Attached to the base is the main body, which is made of metal. It’s like a hollowed out rectangle that houses the main unit while it’s folded. It also helps protect the main scanning unit while not in use.
Now to the main scanning unit. This is also rectangular and houses a lot of the scanning goodies that make the CZUR Aura so special. Like I stated above, the camera is a 14MP unit powered by Panasonic. Surrounding the camera is an array of LED lights covered with what looks like a light diffuse. I’m sure this is to help evenly spread the light and cut out reflections. Underneath, you’ll also find three lasers. These are used in conjunction with the Aura’s AI algorithm to straighten book curves. That means that when scanning books, you do not need to flatten the pages or unbind them. On top of the main scanning unit is a tiny screen so you can see exactly what the camera sees.
There is a couple pieces you will need to install on the CZUR Aura that isn’t built into the main body and that’s the side lights and the USB Foot Pedal. The side lights are used to reduce glare on glossy materials while the foot pedal is used to make scanning easier. When scanning books, you usually need to use both hands so you would use the foot pedal to scan pages. Lastly there’s the black work/scanning mat. It’s a large mat that should accommodate anything you need scanning.
Out the box, the CZUR Aura kind of looks like a desk lamp and you’d wouldn’t be wrong to think so. That’s because as is, that’s basically what it works as. If you just plug it into power, you can turn on the LED lights and it functions just like a regular desk lamp. It’s not until you install the CZUR scanning software that it can function as a scanner.
The CZUR Scanning Software is a full featured application. It can be used to scan flat documents, photos, books, drawings, and even 3-dimentional objects. You will need to tell the app what you’re scanning. Most importantly, if it’s a book because this will let the app know that it will need to flatten those pages out after the scanning process. The app can also automatically detect edges on documents as well as straighten crooked scans. You can scan in 5 different color modes and there’s even a built in editor to fine tune each scan. You can even batch scan and add all the scans to one .PDF file.
In terms of how it functions, it couldn’t be easier. Just place what you want to scan on the work mat, and then have the scanner snap an image of it. You can do this on the app manually, have it set to automatically scan when something is placed on the mat, or use the foot pedal to scan. If you’re scanning a book and need to hold the pages down, the foot pedal is probably the easiest or have it scan automatically. Speaking of book scanning, the CZUR Aura does include these little finger cots that when used, the software will automatically remove your fingers from the scans. What I think you’ll be impressed by however is the speed in which it scans. It literally takes just a second or two to scan a document which makes scanning a lot of documents so much faster than with a traditional flatbed scanner.
I did mention that the CZUR Aura has two light sources. There’s the main array of LED’s that for the most part is what you’ll be using most of the time. However with some gloss materials, you’ll get a glare or reflection from those lights. That’s no good when you’re scanning. So the CZUR Aura has a secondary light source that’s on the side and shines light down at an angle. This effectively still lights up what you need to scan while removing any reflections you would have had from the top light source. These side lights however can only be turned on during scanning mode, not when you’re using it as a lamp.
As a scanner, the CZUR Aura might just be one of the most interesting scanners I’ve ever used. I’ve had several flatbed scanners in the past and this one blows them away in terms of speed. Everything about the CZUR Aura screams speed. Scans take seconds, and editing is just as quick. Again I can’t stress enough just how fast the whole experience is.
Quality wise, you won’t be disappointed with the scans the CZUR Aura produces.
With that said, the CZUR Aura isn’t quite available to the public yet. I just happened to get an advanced sample and what I’ve seen so far is very impressive. If you’re interested in owning a CZUR Aura, you can check out their Indiegogo page right now. The product has already been fully funded with estimated deliveries scheduled for December 2018.