The best document scanners can make nearly any job easier, store documents and contacts efficiently, and streamline most management functions.
One of the most valuable pieces of equipment in any office is a good document scanner.
It doesn’t matter whether you use it to scan the occasional document or card, or if you’re looking to digitize all of your physical documents into a searchable computer database.
But, there are a lot of different types of document scanners on the market, and it’s easy to become quickly confused by the different varieties and price ranges. What’s the difference between a duplex scanner and an auto scanner?
Does paying a couple of thousand dollars to ensure that you’ll get a document scanner that will suit your business needs?
This article should answer a lot of your questions and leave you a more informed shopper by the end.
10 Best Document Scanners
|Fugitsu ScanSnap: x500 Scanner||1200 dpi monochrome scanning||$575|
|Kodak i3300 Sheetfed Scanner||250 page auto-document feeder||$3,670|
|Panasonic KV-N1028X Network Document Scanner||Share scanned documents straight from the color touch screen||$1,475|
|Cannon CanoScan LiDE 220 Photo & Document Scanner||4800×4800 dpi Maximum Optical Resolution||$279|
|CZUR ET16 Plus Scanner||Ability to be plugged in to a computer or projector for presentations||$425|
|Brother Image Center ADS-2800W Document Scanner||Scan to multiple locations or devices||$429.99|
|Brother DS-620 Mobile Scanner||Small enough to fit in a bag and isn’t heavy||$81.77|
|Doxie FlipMobile Flatbed Scanner||Completely wireless||$174.99|
|HP ScanJet Pro 3000 s3 Sheet-feed OCR Scanner||
|Canon imageFORMULA DR-C225W||Built-in wireless network that multiple devices can synch up to||$549|
It’s capable of scanning in 600×600 dpi in color, but what’s impressive is the 1200 dpi in black and white.
It scans around 25 pages per minute, and can scan both single and double-sided pages in just one pass. It also has a 50-sheet automatic document feeder.
Scanned documents are converted to a searchable PDF database, as well. It does a great job of scanning business cards, too. And, you can connect to it via either wi-fi or USB.
- 1200 dpi black and whites
- Searchable PDF database
- Scans business cards well
- It has wireless connectivity, but can only connect to one computer at a time
- You can’t perform scan functions from within an application
- Getting it to scan to some programs can be difficult and require several steps
It can scan at a lightning-fast rate of 70 pages per minute, and does it in a consistent 200-300 dpi in color or monochrome.
It’s also got a massive auto- document feeder that holds 250 pages, which is great for large documents.
Another useful feature is a “straight through paper pass” option that bypasses the usual rotary feeder and lets you feed long or thick documents through it.
And, it helps make storing and accessing scanned document files easy by recognizing and streamlining repetitive tasks and frequently used file destinations.
- 70 pages per minute
- 250 page auto-document feeder
- It takes a while to search the searchable PDF database because it’s slow
This scanner makes scanning in large volumes a breeze. It has a fairly large (5.6’’) color touch screen display that’s easy to use and to navigate.
You can share scanned documents straight from the screen. There’s a double-feed prevention roller, and a sensor that detects double-feeds, as well.
You can scan long documents in “long paper mode”, in which there is no paper length limit.
The software allows you to perform a ton of image processing functions: such as: automatic cropping, hole removal, brightness adjustments, removing blank pages, and more.
And it’s got a decent (100- page) automatic document feeder on it to make scanning multiple documents easier.
- Share scanned documents straight from the touch screen
- Double-feed prevention features
- 100-page auto-document feeder
- Software with a ton of features
- A bit expensive
- You have to buy individual workstation licenses, which can add up quick
It has an MOR (Maximum Optical Resolution) of 4800×4800 dpi.
With its 48-bit color depth, it can produce at least 28 trillion colors, which makes for high-resolution photo and document scanning.
It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you can fine or make space for this scanner easily. It comes equipped with a stand for vertical scanning, which saves space.
And, its single USB cord is not only for power, but data as well, reserving the number of cords needed in order to use it.
It’s very easy to use, having auto- scanning functions that are capable of detecting what you’re scanning and adjusting the settings accordingly.
Scanned documents get converted to PDF and other common fie types that are searchable and allow you to edit their text.
- 4800×4800 dpi
- Stand for vertical scanning and space-saving
- PDF files that are searchable and editable
- The software is pretty limited in function
- Not very intuitive. One command will work for one thing one time, but might not work for the same thing the next time
It can not only scan documents and books, but also physical objects.
Other hardware highlights include a 16-megapixel Sony HD camera and enough lights on the scanner so as not to create glare.
The software is pretty useful and makes organizing scanned documents easy.
Once scanned, you can convert the files into easily accessible common file types, such as JPEG, Word or PDF files. It can also synchronize your files to all of your devices so that you have access to them.
One interesting feature that’s handy to have in an office environment is its ability to be plugged into a computer or projector for presentations.
- Scans most any physical object, document or otherwise
- Synchronize your files to any device and access them
- Plugs into a computer or projector for presentations
- The software isn’t exactly intuitive an you’ll likely have to learn to use it
- You don’t want to use it around bright lights
6.Brother Image Center ADS-2800W Document Scanner
It can scan around 40 pages per minute in both color and black and white. It can scan single or double-sided documents, as well.
Not only that, but it has a continuous scan mode that allows you to scan an unlimited number of documents into one file.
There are a lot of sharing and connectivity features that make it a good choice for offices and other businesses, as well, including wireless network capabilities.
The ability to scan documents and upload them to Cloud-based storage applications like Google Drive, the ability to scan to multiple different locations and its plethora of ports.
- Continuous Scan Mode
- Lots of sharing and connectivity features
- It’s pretty big and bulky, which may make it unsuitable to use if you’re low on space
It’s definitely an alternative to the more clunky, stationary models because it’s small enough to fit in a bag and isn’t heavy.
Being portable isn’t the only feature that it boasts, either. It can scan both black-and-white and color documents as fast as 8 pages per minute, which is fairly good for a mobile scanner.
And, its software makes it compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux systems. It also comes with some document management software so that you can easily store and access scanned files.
- Lightweight and portable
- Software that makes organizing and accessing scanned documents easy
- It doesn’t handle business cards very well
It runs off of AA batteries, which you would think would be nearly useless in terms of power consumption.
But, it can run about 200 scans before they die. The batteries don’t seem to take away from the quality of the scans much, either. It’s capable of scan qualities up to 600 dpi.
It’s pretty quick, too, scanning 300 dpi documents in around 7 seconds. It’s pretty easy to use and there is very little setup required to use it.
It comes with some pretty standard accessories, such as the companion software, along with some pretty nifty ones, such as a 4GB SD card and a USB SD card reader.
It even comes with the batteries. It’s got a few cool features, as well, like the ability to detach the lid, and the ability to share documents in the form of JPEG or PNG files to other applications, like social media.
And, they released a software update that includes a feature that can sort of auto-detect documents and then stitch them together.
- Completely wireless
- Lots of software features
- It’s too big and bulky to be easily moved around often, and is easier used as a stationary scanner.
9.HP ScanJet Pro 3000 s3 Sheet-feed OCR Scanner
It can scan at speeds up to 35 pages per minute, and it can scan two-sided documents in one pass.
It’s also got a 50-page automatic document feeder, so you can quickly digitize your documents without having to be present during the scanning.
The software features allow you to crop, orient, remove holes, merge pages, erase edges, clean up the background and more. And, there’s an optional wireless network adapter that you can purchase.
- Great for personal use and medium-sized jobs
- Software has a lot of editing features
- You have to buy a wireless network adapter separately
- In spite of all its claims of fast scanning, the primary scanning utility is actually pretty slow compared to others on this list
It’s got built-in wireless capability that multiple devices can synch up to.
It also does duplex scanning (both sides of the page). Its software is fairly useful, as well. Scanned documents are converted to common file types that can then be edited, organized and searched.
Scanning business cards allows you to quickly and efficiently store and organize contacts. And, not only can you store and organize scanned documents, you can share them.
- Wireless capability that multiple devices can synch up to
- Useful software with lots of features
- Business card scanning features are fairly minimal
There are a lot of things to consider before you make the decision to purchase a document scanner. Will more than one person be using it?
Do you need to save scanned documents in more than one location? Do you need it to be portable? Here are some of the features you should consider and things you may run across while shopping.
Auto Document Feed Scanners
These scanners are equipped with automatic document feeders, which makes larger jobs go faster. You largely don’t have to do anything when using one of these because it does the work for you.
It would be a good idea to get a document scanner with this feature if you have to regularly scan documents that have more than 2 pages.
Wireless Network Capabilities
This particular feature is useful for anyone, but particularly if more than one person is going to be using the scanner.
In addition to wireless capabilities, you also want to make sure that it will scan to more than one location and synch to more than one device. This ensures that everyone can use the scanner, and access the files.
Portable Document Scanners
There are lots of reasons to consider a portable document scanner. If you want one that will move around the office, or do a lot of your business on the go or in more than one location, portable scanners are the way to go.
They’re usually lightweight, as well, which is something to take into consideration if you know you’re going to have to move your document scanner.
A good portable scanner will do everything that a stationary one will, and ideally will fit into a bag.
What type of media you’re scanning makes a difference in which sort of document scanner you purchase. If you plan on scanning business cards, for instance, you need to find one with this capability.
Comments and reviews will aid greatly in telling you how well it scans business cards. Some document scanners even come complete with software that creates a searchable contact database from scanned business cards.
And, if you plan to scan particularly long or thick documents, it’s a good idea to find a scanner that has features that accommodate your needs there, as well.
There are a lot of scanners on the market with features like “long paper mode” that override the rotary scanner feeders for thick media, or automatically detect how long the paper is.
Duplex scanning means that the scanner can scan both sides of a page at once. So, if you’ve got to scan a lot of documents that have print on the front and the back, this is a feature that will end up making your life a lot easier.
Duplex scanning, when combined with auto document feeders is very efficient and useful.
The Bottom Line
There are lots of different reasons that a person may need to purchase a document scanner, and document scanners have a variety of uses.
So, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for, how many people will be using it and what features you’ll need before you dive in and buy just any old document scanner.
But, with proper forethought and planning, a new document scanner can be the most efficient and useful piece of equipment in your office.