Gone are the days when people used to stockpile all their documents in cabinets and then make it difficult for themselves to keep track of everything. Now, all you have to do is scan the most important documents and save them in your computer in the digital form. With the help of a document scanner, the organization and safety of your sensitive documents got convenient than ever. If you are looking for the right document scanner, you have landed on the right place.
Various types of scanners are available in the market, and every model serves different purposes. By first understanding the types of document scanners available, you can easily choose the best one according to your requirements and business.
Common Types of Scanners
This type of scanner is most commonly found in homes and offices. If you don’t have many documents to scan, then this one is the best option to get the job done. They are equipped with glass panes for scanning documents. All you have to do is place your document on top of the pane, and let the machine do its work.
Some flatbed scanner models are as thin as an inch for convenient storage. Their cost varies a lot according to their features and brand.
As the name suggests, sheet-fed scanners pull documents in from a feeder tray. The mechanism that pulls these documents also pushes them across an imaging sensor. If you have a lot of documents to scan, then sheet-fed scanners are a great choice. Some of them can even hold a stack of documents and scan them without needing any assistance.
Portable scanners are perfect for people on the go, be it working from co-working spaces or traveling for business. They are compact and lightweight. However, most portable scanners usually sacrifice on the resolution; this is why they have a lower resolution compared to sheet-fed or flatbed scanners.
If portability is your first priority and you don’t plan to do a lot of scanning, then a portable scanner is the way to go for you.
These are not ideal for office use. They require users to manually hold the documents in place and then drag the scanner over them to perform the scanning process. With a handheld scanner, one little shake of the hand can ruin your scan.
Some more types of scanners are drum scanners and photo scanners. These are not recommended for the average office use but are an ideal choice for photographers and graphic designers.
Questions To Ask Yourself before Buying a Scanner
What do I need to scan?
The scanner you are going to buy should be able to digitize and render a crisp image of the type of documents you want to scan. Are you planning to scan photos? Artwork? Paper documents? Receipts? What you want to scan should be your primary consideration before choosing a scanner.
Most document scanners are capable of scanning receipts, paper records, and photo identification without any problem. However, to scan photos in the best way, you need a scanner that is specially made for scanning images. Photo scanners offer high resolution and bright color, preserving the actual look of your photos when rendered digitally.
Do I need Optical Character Recognition?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is an advanced program that allows you to scan a document and convert it into machine-coded text (editable). Back then, OCR was developed to recognize printed text, but now it can also recognize handwritten text and convert it into editable text. OCR featured in your scanner is a huge timesaver for businesses.
How many documents do I plan to scan?
If you plan to digitize a copious amount of documents, you will need a high-end scanner that has more speed and ability to handle stacks of documents without much manual labor involved. High-volume scanners usually come equipped with an automatic feeder that can scan large amounts of paperwork without any assistance, allowing you to create a digital archive in your computer.
However, if you only want to use the scanner occasionally, then you are better off with a budget-friendly scanner that provides decent speed and performance.
What operating system do I want the scanner for?
This one is another essential factor to consider before buying a scanner. While most document scanners are compatible with Microsoft Windows, only a few work well with Mac. If you use Mac OS X, check if the scanner you are interested in also supports this operating system. Most scanners that aren’t compatible with Mac OS X out of the box can be made compatible using third-party drivers.
In some cases, third-party drivers can also reduce performance and functionality.
Our Top Picks
Looking for a scanner that is easy to set up and offers excellent performance? The ScanSnap iX1500 by Fujitsu is a great option to opt for. If you are going to use the scanner in an office and don’t plan to move it frequently, then the iX1500 is made this way. It is intended to stay in one place and handle pretty much any job you assign it.
It can scan up to 25 pages per minute and withstand as many as 2,000 uses per day. It has an adjustable auto sheet-fed tray that can handle documents of various sizes. Moreover, it features an intelligent system that can detect quality and correct it automatically. It supports duplex scanning for documents that have text written on both sides.
The best thing about this scanner is that it is wireless – and you can connect it to your PC or Mac via a Wi-Fi 80.211 b/g/n or USB 3.0. Additionally, it can also work well with your iOS or Android smartphone. You don’t have to download any third-party drivers or software as the iX1500 comes with its own software.
If you plan to buy an all-in-one scanner that can digitize your color photos, images, documents, and negative, then the Epson Perfection V600 is the best buy for you. With the V600’s energy efficient ReadyScan LED technology, you don’t need to wait for the machine to get warmed up before scanning your important documents, films, photos, or negatives.
Want to scan many photos in a single go? With V600, you can do so, and its auto edge detection will automatically crop each one and save them as individual digital files on your computer. The scanner also features ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR that works well in transforming your digital copies into editable text. Thanks to its 6400 x 9600 dpi resolution, you can expect sharp and dynamic images.
If your documents are a bit rough and need attention, then worry not because the scanner’s digital ICE technology works exceptionally well in erasing any scratches or dust on the film. Additionally, you can restore color to faded photos with just a click of the button. Once you have scanned your images, you can upload them directly to your cloud service as well as social media sites.
Is portability your first priority when it comes to buying a document scanner? If it is, then the Doxie Go Se portable scanner is the best buy for you. You don’t need to connect it with your computer and easily carry it anywhere you want to take it. To scan full colored pages, all you have to do is insert them one by one and it will scan it in just 8 seconds at a resolution of up to 600 dpi.
It features a rechargeable battery and included storage memory that can scan up to 400 pages per charge and store approximately 4,000 pages. Once the document is scanned, the Doxie Go Se automatically sends it directly to your favorite apps. It also features award-winning ABBYY OCR technology that can scan your printed documents and convert them into multi-page searchable PDFs. The scanner is backed by a 1-year warranty.
Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W wireless document scanner is a hefty one that might be a tight fit for small offices or rooms. But if you need a scanner that can fulfil your extensive scanning needs and have enough space for placing it, then look no further and get your hands on this beast of a scanner. It features several ports and connectivity options from Wi-Fi to a Gigabit Ethernet network.
You can digitize up to 30 pages per minute at a resolution of 300 dpi. Being a duplexing scanner, it also supports scanning double-sided documents. It comes with an automatic feeder that has a storage capacity of 50 pages. If there is a blank page among the pile of pages, it will automatically skip it. The scanner is a suitable choice for digitizing single-page and multi-page documents and photos.
It is wireless, which means you can directly upload your photos or documents directly to a cloud application without involving your computer. Moreover, the scanner has a 3.7inch touchscreen color display.
This one is another portable scanner on our list that is available in two models: iX100 Neat and iX100 ScanSnap. With the former one, you can track your expense management workflow that is needed in offices. With Neat, you can export your scanned data to Excel, Turbo Tax, Quickbooks, and more. The former one is a basic model without Neat – an excellent choice for people who want nothing fancy but a decent portable scanner.
It can scan a full colored page in merely 5.2 seconds. Once its rechargeable battery is fully charged, you can scan up to 260 documents in it at a resolution of 600 dpi. The scanner weighs only 14.1 ounces.
CZUR ET16 Plus is unique in its own kind. It can scan documents as well as about anything you want because of its overhead design and innovative side lighting. It is an ideal choice for scanning books. With its finger removal feature, your finger’s glimpse will be intelligently cropped out of the final scanned image if you are using your hand to hold the book down on the scanning bed.
The ET16 Plus is embedded with a 16MP Sony Camera that can scan both pages of an opened book in one go only in 1.5 seconds. The scanner is capable of recognizing up to 187 languages and converting all of them into English or any language you want. With its remarkable OCR feature, you can also convert scanned images into editable PDFs or Word files.
We hope you like this buying guide on document scanners. Summing it all up, if you are looking for a portable scanner that can digitize your important documents on the go, then you can opt for Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 Mobile Scanner or Doxie Go SE Portable Scanner. On the other hand, if you want a high-end scanner that can digitize copious amounts of documents and images without much of your interaction, then you can consider buying Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500.