Image courtesy Planon Systems

Cliché or not, you’ve probably doodled the solution to a design problem on a cocktail napkin. And you’ve likely wanted to take the idea back to the office, but not necessarily the napkin. The Docupen RC800, a handheld scanner, will let you do just that the next time inspiration strikes in a bar or airplane.

Because users roll the 2-ounce, 9-inch-long, cordless device over the documents they wish to scan, rather than feed individual sheets through a slot, architects may find the Docupen helpful in situations in which pass-through-type portable scanners would be impractical. For example, it could be used during on-site meetings to digitize details sketched on a portion of a standard contract drawing sheet. The device produces reasonably legible documents, although the quality does not approach that of flatbed scanners.

The Docupen connects to a PC or Mac via a USB port for downloading and for charging the gadget’s lithium-ion battery. It is capable of scanning in four color or black-and-white modes. According to record’s not-so-scientific testing, the 8-MB memory can hold only two, full-color, 81¼2-by-11-inch images at maximum resolution. But it has the capacity for about 40 napkin doodles at the lowest black-and-white setting. Memory can be added with a MicroSD or TransFlash card.

The Docupen’s list price is $299.99. Visit for more information.