Unfortunately, Brother does not quote Mean Time Between Failure hours. When you start to get repeated misfeeds, it is time to replace the separation pad (rated for 10,000 sheets and costs about US$20) and pick up roller (rated for 100,000 sheets and US$25). Sorry, there is no Australian pricing yet.

Brother ADS-1700W

Bus power mode

In keeping with portable, the unit can draw power from a PC over the USB-A/MicroB cable. We tried this (Wi-Fi, scan to USB and long/thick paper scans are disabled) and it worked well. Our tests include direct connection to a USB-A 3.0 port on a laptop and a variety of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 powered docks.

Brother ADS-1700W
Micro-B is backwards compatible with Mico-USB

The wall charger provides 5V/3A for that little extra horsepower.

Wi-Fi and USB – no Ethernet port

It has Wi-Fi N single band 2.4GHz. In theory, this is for two reasons. First, it increases the distance you can place it away from a router and second the scanned images buffer in 4GB of eMMC storage to avoid overload the Wi-Fi connection (files up to 6MB are possible).

But, in practice we found Wi-Fi ‘iffy’ to set up, and it could not maintain a connection over about 10 metres. Be careful – some routers enable a single SSID for 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and it can miss the 2.4GHz band.

We also found multi-page 600DPI scans taking around 60 seconds to transmit to storage presumably from lack of local buffering. This was not an issue over USB.

If you have trouble setting up Wi-Fi, call Brother’s helpline.

File types and locations

Documents can output into JPEG, PDF, PDF/A, Bitmap, PNG, Text, TIFF, and RTF. A 600DPI A4 scan can be up to 6MB.

This is more a feature about the Brother PC/macOS drivers than the scanner. When connected to a USB port (under Windows or Mac) it can access anywhere the PC can be that local, FTP, email, USB, Cloud or mapped network storage.

If you install Web services as well, you can scan to cloud. iPrint and Scan software enables scanning from Android and iOS devices.

There are comprehensive instructions for both Windows and macOS.

As a stand-alone device, the options are more limited to what you can set up on the LCD screen and save as a short-cut.

Brother ADS-1700W

Software

The Brother Windows twain driver is comprehensive. It supports Auto colour detection/adjustment; Auto De-skew; Auto Scan Size; Automatic Image Rotation(PC); Base Colour Removal; Blank Page Skip Adjustment; Colour Drop Out(PC); Scan Margin; Show through Removal and more.

The interface feels a bit dated, but the versions I used were from August to December this year.

It comes with Brother SE version of Nuance PaperPort for Windows (not macOS and free after registration) and PowerPDF (trial). PaperPort is the gold standard to scan, OCR, organise, search and share documents and photos quickly and easily from a PC or Mac.