Have you priced a document scanner or business card scanner lately? I was recently in the market for both gadgets.

Have you priced a document scanner or business card scanner lately? I was recently in the market for both gadgets.

I found document scanners that ran the gamut from $50 for a closeout model to an $800 model that scans at 4,800 dpi. Business card scanners are less plentiful and less costly (ranging from $80 to $200).

But then I thought of my iPhone. Apple constantly boasts in their TV commercials how their phone's apps can do almost everything you could ever need done. Darned if Apple isn't right on this one!

DocScanner (currently on sale for $9 in the App Store) and CardSnap Business Card Scanner ($10 in the App Store; a Lite version with limited functionality sells for a buck) do exactly what their names imply. Both apps use the iPhone camera to make the actual scan.

In the case of DocScanner, you shoot a photo of a document, then fine-tune it with the app. This program crops, rotates and corrects the angle of your photo. It then automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the document you copied (though there are also controls to fiddle manually with both).

Finally, you save the scan as either a .jpg or .pdf file. The program can create multipage documents. It saves scans on your phone or e-mails them directly from the app.

To use CardSnap Business Card Scanner, you start by your taking a photo of a business card. However, this app ships the image to distant servers for processing rather than using the phone. In about 24 hours, you go back into the app and your processed cards are retrieved and posted to your iPhone's address book at no additional charge.

If you're so serious about using an iPhone as a scanner that you're willing to invest in a stand that was created to take perfect document photos, swing on over to Kyle Koch's Ponoko showroom (ponoko.com/showroom/kyleakoch). Koch offers three versions of his scanning stands, which range in price from $15 (for a cardboard model) up to $45.

I decided to forego Koch's scanning stand and stuck with my $19 worth of apps, which can do the work of $1,000 worth of dedicated gadgets.

To celebrate my savings, I invested those dollars (plus some) into a leading-edge LED HDTV from Samsung. I'll write more about that product here in Gadget Spot two weeks down the road.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com