The days of fax machines and clunky printer-scanners is over. The best document scanner on the market will be easy to use, and produce high quality document and photo scans.
Who Needs a Document Scanner?
There’s no denying the modern world is keen on digitizing everything – from scanning money to important documents. Although there are still threats around, this method has become safer and more secure than storing information in its physical form. You’re also able to streamline some processes and access the files at any location.
Even the average household has a need for digitizing their documents and other files.
They can do this to store receipts, keep photos at their best forever, and share them over the internet. Whatever their purpose is, they need the best document scanner for the job.
If you’re looking for one that fits your needs, take a look at our list of the best scanners around and choose which one sounds good to you.
Features to Look for in a Document Scanner
With all the document scanners out there, how do you know which one to get? Don’t fret, we’ve got a short list of features you should keep an eye on:
The best document scanner produces clear digital files. The higher the resolution, the better.
Look for document scanners that can scan grayscale documents at a minimum resolution of 600 DPI when converted to PNG. If you scan the document and convert it to a PDF file, the scanner should be able to hit a range of 300 to 600 DPI to guarantee a clear image.
What’s the point in getting a scanner if it can’t accommodate the size of your documents? Most scanners can handle legal size documents but others are too small and will only take in A4 sheets. Make sure to double-check and identify the largest size the scanner can handle.
Like most 3D printers and other office utilities, every scanner comes with its own software. You should take the time to check the software and see what it can do. For example, double check if it can take the scanned document and convert it to a wide variety of file types like PNG, PDF, or JPEG.
You should also check which OS the software runs on. Some programs only work for Windows 10 while others will also run on Linux and MacOS.
For your home, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 is one of the most popular document scanners around. It can scan papers of standard sizes, receipts, business cards, and handwritten notes. It’s can also scan drawings and photos using a carrier sheet for the delicate ones.
This model is great for everyday use, but if you ever need to do some heavy scanning, this will do the job quite well. It can scan up to 25 pages in a minute, and you can do 2,000 scans a day.
Some of its key features include the software and its optical character recognition. The app ScanSnap makes it easy to access the scanned files, export to cloud, and extract receipts. It also has a business card manager called CardMinder that’s compatible with Outlook and Salesforce.
Epson claims that this is the fastest personal photo scanner in the whole world, and we can see how that’s true. Photos are somewhat slower to scan, but this document scanner can scan up to 1 photo per second. It even allows you to stack up photos of different sizes, including polaroids.
After scanning, its Second-Gen FastFoto software can organize and restore your photos. Through it, you can also share them on Facebook, Apple Photos, e-mail, and other apps.
It’s easy to use, too, with built-in wireless connectivity. This allows you to place it anywhere in your home without losing connection.
This one is a sleek, all-black printer that fits in any setting, but it has a number of useful functions, too. Apart from documents, the Perfection V550 can scan negatives, film, and 35mm slides. It does lack an automatic feeder, but you can still scan multiple photos as it saves each one as a separate file.
It’s not only about looks, though, as it produces some of the highest-quality scans around. It can scan with 6400 dpi optical resolution, ensuring your files stay sharp and vivid. This goes true even if you enlarge it up to 17 x 22 inches.
Because of the lower price and simplicity, this is easily the best personal document scanner on the market.
Its software offerings are useful, too, like the Easy Photo Fix that can restore your old photos. Another is the digital ICE technology, which can remove dust and/or scratches on your files. ABBYY FineReader Spring Plus OCR turns your scanned documents into editable text.
If you’re looking for the best portable document scanner, this one by Doxie might be it. You don’t need a computer to use it, allowing you to use it anywhere. It has a rechargeable battery, which allows it to perform up to 1,000 scans before you’d need to recharge it.
It comes in a small rectangular form – big enough for most papers – with a collapsible automatic feeder. If you insert a stack, your documents will turn into a multi-page PDF. It also has a direct feed slot so you can scan your receipts, photos, cards, and other fragile items with ease.
To access your scans, all you have to do is to sync it to your device via USB or Wi-Fi. It also has integrated apps for your desktop computer and iOS mobile. The Doxie Q wireless document scanner works with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC.
This is yet another document scanner you can bring with you on-the-go. It’s compact, measuring under a fuller ruler’s length. At less than 1 lb., it’s lightweight enough to carry with you anywhere.
One thing to note is that you need to download its drivers and utilities first from Brother’s website. You then have to install it before you can use it on your Windows PC, Mac, or Linux system.
It comes with a carrier sheet to allow you to scan small papers and items with odd shapes.
The Brother DS-620 is quite fast as a portable machine, being able to scan up to 8 pages in 1 minute. It scans both color and black with up to 600 x 600 dpi optical and 1200 x 1200 dpi interpolated resolution.
Looking for something more heavy duty for an office setting? The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W is a good fit for medium- to large-sized workgroups. It’s a little bulky, but that enables it to carry heavy-duty functions.
It can also scan receipts, business cards, and embossed cards. It can reach scanning speeds of up to 40 pages per minute, making sure to scan both sides in a single pass.
It also has a touch color display, from which you can send the scanned documents to a number of destinations. With its Web Connect feature, it allows you to streamline the workflow and send the files to cloud services and such.
The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W also cleans up the documents. It removes hole punches, dust, and scratches.
As it’s targeted toward businesses, you can be sure it comes with a host of security features to keep your documents safe. It comes with Enterprise Security (802.1x), Secure Function Lock (SSL), and more. One of the best things about it, though, is that it has free phone support throughout the lifetime of the product.
This is another great option for offices as it’s small enough for any desk. Still, it has high performance to go with its sleek looks. It can scan cards, IDs, and documents, then send them to cloud services or e-mail programs.
It’s fast at scanning, too – it can scan the first 10 pages 60% faster.
It also has the ability to spot data like financial information and barcodes. Once it does, it can export the documents with such data to the program you set. You can also convert the scanned documents into PDFs, JPEGs, BMPs, TIFFs, or RPFs.
With its graphical display panel, you’ll be able to view the paper ready status. You’ll also be able to see in an instant how many documents it has finished scanning.
As it’s designed to deal with sensitive documents, Kodak has also fitted the Scanmate i1150 with Intelligent Document Protection. This prevents damages by stopping the scan when it “hears” potential misfeeds or jams.
This one has a non-traditional design with the scanner hanging overhead. It also has lights on the side for illuminating the document. The CZUR set-up makes it possible to scan different types of documents, including books. It can scan both pages at once, and it will omit your finger if you use it to hold the book down.
What’s more, the ET16 Plus can understand 187 languages. It can even translate any of these to English or to another language you want. This makes it the best document scanner for language tutors or for companies that deal with international clients.
It’s fast, too, as it can scan documents and books in about 1.5 seconds. After scanning the documents, you can make edits via Word or a PDF reader.
Benefits of Having the Best Document Scanner
Why invest in a document scanner?
For one thing, your business can save storage space. You no longer have to keep all those physical files in large file cabinets. Everything now stays as digital files in a cloud space of your choosing, like Google Drive or Dropbox.
There’s also the convenience in regards to file sharing. Does someone need a file from a certain date or client? Retrieving it is now as simple as getting on the cloud and downloading it.
This also means you can share files to people half a world away. You no longer have to physically hand them the documents. It’s as simple as emailing the document and they’ll get it in minutes, if not seconds.
Last but not least is the fact a document scanner boosts security. Scanning documents enables you to lock the digital file with a secure passcode. You can even add a password when sending the file to ensure only the recipient can unlock and view it.
Benjamin is a gadgeteer and homebody who loves writing about the latest smart home technology. He is particularly interested in covering smart home products that automate (or make more efficient) mundane tasks that every home owner and apartment dweller face on a daily basis.