In this article, we feature all of the best portable scanner options for taking your work on the go.
Let’s take a look at why this might be an important purchase for you. Do you find yourself always on the road? You’re not alone; more than 3 billion people travel per year.
While most go around the globe for leisure, you might have to travel for work. Sure, you can bring a phone and laptop to take your responsibilities with you but what happens when you need to scan a physical document? How will you deal with physical contracts, advertisements, and paper presentations?
You need the best portable scanner that can meet your needs.
There are many in the market, but which one packs in all the features you need in a portable design? Don’t fret – we’ve got it all figured for you.
Read on and learn more about the best portable document scanner around.
Which Features Are Important?
All that said, which features define the best portable scanner? Buying a scanner is like getting a good coffee maker — you want an easy-to-use device that produces high-quality results.
We’ve got a list of important ones you should consider before spending cash:
1. Document Size
Scanning an A4 document? Fortunately, most portable scanners are big enough to handle that type of paper since it’s one of the most common in the industry. However, you may run into issues when scanning bigger documents.
Not many portable scanners can handle something as big as an A3 or A2 sheet. If they could, they’d be a bit too large to stay portable. That said, a good feeder might allow you to slide in an A3 horizontally.
2. Battery Life
Make it a point to check how long the battery lasts. You don’t want to be out on the road, in the middle of a transaction, only to discover your scanner won’t last long enough to finish scanning important papers.
3. Image Resolution
There’s no point in getting a portable scanner if the end result is a messy, blotched, and unclear image. To avoid this, look at the maximum resolution features. At the bare minimum, the scanner should be able to produce images with a 600 DPI resolution.
4. Feed Type
There are two main feeder types to look out for: one is a direct or single pass feeder and a flatbed.
As the name suggests, a flatbed requires you to lay the document on the scanner. A direct feeder is thinner – you have to manually insert the document through it. It will scan the paper as it passes through the device.
Flatbeds are easier and quicker to use but they take up more space. In contrast, direct feeder scanners are more portable and often consume less power.
Product Roundup: Best Portable Scanner for Documents & Photos
Here are the SmartHome picks for the best portable document and photo scanners.
When it comes to size, this Epson scanner is a little larger compared to the average devices in the market. In comparison, you could put it besides a good 3D printer and they’ll look like a matched pair.
That said, the best part is that it still doesn’t take up a lot of office space. The slightly larger size is a small price to pay for the functionalities it offers.
This scanner is wireless and can sync up with your computer as well as your smartphones and tablets.
Epson also offers a free bundle of software that gives a lot of other functionalities. It’s an addition to its general compatibility with most office applications. With this, it’s the one scanner that can handle almost any job you give it.
When it comes to size and weight, the Doxie Q can weigh less than two pounds. It’s not even a foot long, with a slim and compact build. What this means is that you can take it to your car seat and take it wherever you go.
Doxie has a lot of other portable scanners, but the Doxie Q is one of the few that can do it all. Its features make it the brand’s premier model. It features a built-in Wi-Fi and it has an 8GB-memory—pretty impressive for a scanner this size.
What this means is that the Doxie Q DX250 Model has the means of storing about 7,200 images. You can get it to access your smartphones to get your images.
These features ensure that you keep all of your stuff integrated. It also comes with wireless capabilities along with a rechargeable battery.
When it comes to portability, this mobile scanner is one of the most reliable of its kind. It runs using four AA batteries, meaning no need for cords to drag around. If you need to save, you can use either a USB key or an SD card.
Now you don’t need to use a computer. It’s quite annoying to receive prompts that tell you to put your laptop in before you can use it. You also don’t need to spend a lot to get a computer and get all these features.
It’s especially the case if you want to save money when buying business laptops. The average price for a more basic model is at least $300. The price can increase tenfold if you want to get the high-speed models that boast a large storage capacity.
You can see the results on the LCD display as soon as you can. Flip-Pal makes it more convenient by doing an automatic save to a USB flash disk or an SD card. Its only downside is that it doesn’t allow you to edit images in it, but it’s a minor one at that.
The scanner is great regardless of whether it’s handheld or plugged into its auto-insert dock station. It gives you the flexibility to scan more material like books. It’s loaded with all the necessary software, producing up to 1,200 dpi resolutions.
The Magic Wand has the means of scanning documents up to 10.5 inches long. This device has a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. If you don’t use it for a while, it turns off by itself, meaning you don’t need to worry about its battery draining while you’re on the move.
This scanner also comes with a small LCD screen. It allows you to see the resulting images as soon as possible. It has WiFi capabilities with a built-in 32GB memory.
This Fujitsu scanner has all the standard capabilities of a portable scanner. It has the means of digitizing up to 12 pages each minute, regardless of whether it’s black and white or colored. The images are double-sided.
It works by using an auto-feeder that senses the documents’ size and color. Like the Epson scanner, it can communicate with popular cloud services. It’s important to have this kind of compatibility since about 8.4 billion devices, such as the best smart locks, have a connection online.
This model improved over its previous versions with more streamlined features. It’s pretty wide, so it isn’t as portable as the other ones on this list. But with all the features it has, it’s a small drawback.
This wireless portable scanner boasts ease of use when you need to do business while traveling. It’s easy for you to scan documents since it has an auto document feed. This has a 20-page capacity, taking in receipts up to 34 inches in length.
You need a Micro USB 3.0 connection if you want to transfer your files to your desktop. It doesn’t need any software to scan since it has mass storage support when scanning to a USB device. This allows you to get the files using a connected PC with its internal drive.
Its software comes with a lot of perks. You can scan your documents to specific destinations, allowing you to organize your files and avoid cluttering one location. It also weighs like a small laptop, meaning that you can take it no matter where you go.
While Epson offers a few models for their scanners, the WorkForce is perfect for small jobs. It doesn’t have the same set of capabilities compared to ES-300W. But if you’re scanning credit cards or business cards, the scanner does a splendid job for you.
The WorkForce reads fonts accurately, allowing you to convert your files into editable documents. As for compatibility, it’s good for both Windows and Mac. It’s also a nice addition for small businesses due to its decent price tag.
It comes with extra features such as carrying bags and a USB cable. You need to install the software on your computer to use it. It has a document management suite that comes along with it.
This document wand can fit in the palm of your hand. It’s the most affordable option since it only costs around $50. It’s easy to carry due to its 12-inch length, and it only weighs less than a pound.
Its specs allow you to get an image with a maximum of 900-dpi resolution, making it the best portable scanner in terms of image quality. It supports memory cards up to 32 GB, making it more convenient if you’re scanning a lot of photos and documents.
The great thing about this handheld document scanner is that you can plug it without the need of a driver. It’s intuitive to use since its light turns green while scanning—it turns red when you’re scanning too fast.
Benefits of the Best Portable Scanner
First off, why invest in the best portable scanner money can buy?
- The main advantage is that you can scan and save documents on the cloud even when you’re on the road. Realtors, for example, could scan a contract with a home-buyer the moment it’s been signed. They can then send the digital file to their company’s cloud storage account, ensuring the document never gets lost or stolen. It also quickens the transaction because the company no longer has to wait for the agent to return to the office with the physical document in tow.
- Portable scanners also improve security. Going back to the example above, the realtor won’t have to worry about delicate documents, such as a contract, getting lost or stolen. The file is now in a password-secure cloud storage account like Google Drive.
- The main benefit, especially in comparison to traditional scanners, is that you don’t need a power source nearby. Most portable scanners run on batteries, ensuring you can scan documents instantly even when you’re outdoors or in a vehicle.
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.