Out today from Readdle is Scanner Mini, the free, lightweight version of Scanner Pro that TNW reviewed favorably. If you need the ability to scan, but just on the occasion, spending the $7 for Scanner Pro might not make sense. Scanner Mini could be just the ticket.

TNW tested the new application, and found that it performs as expected, in line with its big brother, with certain limitations. The core functionality that makes Scanner Pro a delight remains, with certain saving capabilities reserved for the paid version. One key difference between the two is that in the free version it appears that you cannot sign or annotate forms or email PDFs.

There are a plethora of applications in the App Store that will turn your phone into a scanner. However, as you have likely come to understand, most apps are poorly thought out, and sport user interfaces that have been known to cause cancer in several states. The Scanner series is not part of that group.

It’s attractive to use, and well-appointed. Now, what can the free, ‘Mini’ version of the app do? Like its predecessor, it scans well, auto-syncs to iCloud, mounts as an external drive to your PC or Mac, and saves scans as PDFs. That’s a strong feature set for a free application. If you need more, the Pro version has the capability to employ AirPrint, send scans via fax, and save scanned items to Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive.

2012 12 18 09h56 15 220x327 Meet Scanner Mini, the free app that turns your iPhone into a scanning boss

It’s interesting that Readdle has released a free version of its Scanner tool, as its Scanner Pro product appears to be selling well at its high – for an app store – price point; the current version of the app has 445 reviews alone. Perhaps the company decided that they could widen their funnel by creating a wide base of basic users that it can convert to paying customers.

Of course, that Readdle has managed to command a strong price for its application isn’t a surprise; create something lovely with high levels of functionality that solves a real, daily problem, and people won’t mind paying for it. Happily, for you out there on a budget, you can now get most of the paid app for free.

➤ Scanner Mini

Harrison Weber contributed to this report.

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