Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tech Tuesday-A Magic Wand for your Genealogy

A while back I read about this thing called the Magic Wand by Vupoint Solutions over at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. It's a hand held scanner that fits into your purse, briefcase or maybe even your coat pocket. After reading the reviews and noticing that several individuals were using it for genealogy, I decided I had to have one and ordered it.

I've now had the opportunity to use it on several research trips and have fallen in love with my new portable scanner. This has opened the door for paperless research for me. That's right; no more photocopies. Plus the Magic Wand is way faster than any photocopier. While researching in several books this summer, I've used the Magic Wand to scan the book covers, title pages and whatever interior material is of interest. I can remain seated with my research material so there is no more running back and forth to the copier, which saves a ton of time.

The only possible drawback I have been able to find is that a steady hand is really important. So if you are trying to scan something that you want a super image of, the Magic Wand may or may not work for you depending on how steady your hand is. However, for the copies where I am just after the information, it's perfect, fast, and there are no pieces of paper to keep track of when I leave.

Here's an example of a scan and a picture of the Magic Wand. The scan has not been edited. That's what was scanned with the Magic Wand and uploaded to my computer.

[I have no affiliation with VuPoint and have not been paid or received anything to write this testimonial. I'm just a GeneaGeek who spent her own money on a new toy tool that she loves.]

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Sounds awesome...I read someone else's review on this a week or so ago and I WANT one :)

  2. Uh-oh. I might have to go shopping! When you scanned, how long did it take to do one page? Is it quiet? Is there some way you can see, while still at the library, if your scan was a decent one?

    Thanks for the review of this product. I can see where this would be SO useful.

  3. Karen - It just take a few seconds to scan and is totally quiet. If you want to see what you scanned while still at the library, you can upload the images to your laptop either via a SD or the firewire that comes with it. I usually do that although I've gotten comfortable enough with the Magic Wand that I can pretty much tell if I've scanned the item "good enough" for whatever my purpose is.

  4. I'm really impressed. The scanned image came out great!

  5. My wand produced similar results on my recent research trip. The steady hand is a must, and also books with strongly curved pages or small inside margins may present a bit of a challenge. The other thing I noticed is that when I set my wand on "black and white," it only produces the jpeg image, but when it is set for "color," it also produces a photo-quality image.

  6. Greta, I agree the small inside margins can be a bit of a challenge. I haven't really used the B&W on it much. I'm glad you mentioned it as I really should play around that part.

  7. Sigh... This makes me envious. But I know a lot of the archives around here will not let me use a hand-held scanner, so I can't justify the expense.

  8. Michelle,
    Thanks for adding to my wish list! Maybe I'll ask for it as a Christmas gift.