Last Updated On April 14th, 2021
Scanners are a great home office and personal tool. Having the ability to scan documents from home, or even on the go, can be super handy when it comes to keeping your personal or business paperwork organised. Scanners are also a great way to archive and preserve old photographs or pictures that may fade and deteriorate in quality with time. Choosing the best scanner for you isn’t always that easy if you aren’t already familiar with this type of technology. Luckily, we’re here to help guide you with our top 10 list, paired with a buyer’s guide that explains some of the more technical aspects in greater detail.
Best Scanner Reviews – Top 10 Picks
The best scanner and Editor’s Choice on our document scanner reviews list is the Doxie Go SE. This sheetfed scanner is conveniently easy to use as well as portable.
The Doxie Go features wireless scanning with WiFi or USB file transfer capability. The built-in memory of this scanner can hold up to 4,000 scans and you can even expand its storage by 32GB by adding an SD Card. It has an 8-seconds per page scanning speed, which is decently fast, and up to 600 dots per inch (DPI) of resolution.
This document scanner is one of the best portable scanners on the market and also features a rechargeable battery that can scan up to 400 pages per charge. Doxie’s Brilliant software and an iOS app download are included that auto-adjusts your scans to be straight and cropped and optical character recognition (OCR) creates a searchable database of your scans so you can easily locate specific documents. This scanner also comes with a one year warranty.
Be aware, this scanner has a sensitive document feeder that may not run smoothly if the paper is creased and this device may take a bit of time to connect or be locatable over WiFi.
Our top luxury choice for a desktop document scanner is the ScanSnap iX1500. We love its automatic document feeder and duplex scanning mode which makes completing tasks easy and quick.
The ScanSnap iX1500 office scanner includes both WiFi and USB connectivity in its design. A large colour LCD touch screen display makes planning and executing scan jobs easier by providing a direct interface with the machine. This product has the ability to scan up to 60 images, or 30 sheets of paper per minute which is super fast.
The ScanSnap creates a searchable PDF and Jpeg database using OCR and its ScanSnap Home software. This scanner also includes bonus features like a receipt guide that improves alignment with thinner paper, maintenance notifications that alert you before scanning quality decreases, and the inclusion of a free mobile scanner with purchase redeemable after 30 days.
Keep in mind, the ScanSnap scanner may have a lengthier software setup and the app may not function on older operating systems but we think all of the luxury upgrades and high-quality design outweigh the cons.
The DeeCozy 900DPI is an excellent handheld scanner option that is easily portable and allows you to scan documents that are not completely flat, like pages from a book.
Due to the handheld design of this scanner, the scanning area that becomes available to you is seriously increased. The DeeCozy 900DPI scanner features a variable resolution that allows you to choose between 300, 600, or 900 DPI using the convenient LCD screen located on the front.
The DeeCozy 900DPI scanner uses a storage card to enable mobile scanning without the need for a computer connection. A USB cable connection facilitates file transfers. The iScan can accommodate a TF Card up to 32GB and it needs 2 AA batteries to power its operation.
The DeeCozy 900DPI isn’t the easiest device to use or the best for photos as it requires a steady hand and it doesn’t scan directly to your computer, instead, forcing you to transfer them manually. Also, the AA batteries and the TF card, both of which are required to operate, do not come included.
The Plustek Ephoto Z300 is our top choice for a fast scanner that is also easy to use. This heavy-duty scanner is an excellent choice if you plan on primarily scanning photos.
The Plustek Ephoto scanner is specifically designed to produce high-quality photo scans. It features a document feeder with a soft roller that protects old family photos when converting to digital files and only takes 2 seconds to scan photos, or 5 seconds to scan text documents. With its 600 DPI resolution and 500 scan daily duty cycle, the Plustek scanner should be able to handle all of your scanning needs with ease.
This scanner comes with software that includes image enhancement, auto-crop, and deskew capabilities to give you the best scan quality possible. A one year warranty is also included.
The Plustek EPhoto scanner is not as user-friendly for macOS and requires external power to operate which, combined with its larger size, makes it less than ideal as a portable option.
The Brother DS-740D is another great choice on our list with a highly portable design. This document scanner won the Good Design Award.
Brother scanners feature two-sided document scanning which can seriously reduce the time needed to produce a large batch of scans. It can scan up to 15 double-sided A4 documents per minute and can go as high as 1200 DPI resolution.
A USB 3 port powers this scanner using a USB cord connected to your computer or laptop. The sheet feeder design features a U-shaped paper path that minimizes the amount of space needed to operate the device. Brother scanners come with industry-leading software and a one year warranty to sweeten the deal.
Keep in mind, Brother scanners require a computer connection to power up making them less portable. Also, they are not as easily compatible with Mac computers and may require you to download additional drivers.
The Epson Perfection V600 is the best scanner for photos and possibly the best flatbed scanner on our list.
The Epson Perfection flatbed scanner is great at scanning photos with its exceptionally high 6400 DPI resolution. It features film holders to lock your slides in place, Digital Image Correction, and Enhancement technology that easily restores old and damaged photos and film. The Epson Perfection flatbed scanner has a highly variable scan speed due to the myriad of resolution and media type options.
The Epson Perfection photo scanner uses a USB connection and OCR to save searchable PDF files. One reason we named this the best flatbed scanner is because it features a preview window so you can adjust and resize prior to scanning. The Epson Perfection also has ReadyScan LED technology that saves energy and doesn’t need to warm up. A 12-month warranty is included with this flatbed scanner.
Epson Perfection flatbed scanners have a longer scanning speed due to all of the enhancements. Also, Kodachrome and silver halide film don’t react well with the infrared technology of the Epson Perfection.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i is a great option if you are looking for the best document scanner thanks to its high resolution, compact size, and excellent build quality.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap features an adjustable resolution that reaches up to 1200 DPI making it great for scanning documents. It has a 10-page automatic document feeder capacity enhancing the user experience if you need to scan several documents at once. The Fujitsu can scan as many as 12 duplex pages per minute.
Fujitsu document scanners use optical character recognition to create a searchable PDF database of all your scan documents. The intuitive software that comes with this Fujitsu scanner auto-corrects alignment and crops as needed. This document scanner can be AC or USB powered and comes with a one year warranty.
Fujitsu document scanners do not feature WiFi capability and their automatic document feeders may occasionally pull more than one page through at a time, however, we still think it makes a great document scanner overall.
The Canon P-208II is a great option if you are looking for the best portable scanner. This scanner is super compact and, of course, comes from the well-known reputable photo technology company, Canon.
The Canon P-208II scanner features 600 DPI resolution and can scan up to 8 duplex pages per minute or 16 images per minute. It also has a 10-page automatic document feeder capacity so you can set it up and let it complete a multi-page job without constantly feeding documents.
Canon sells an optional WU10 WiFi and battery combo unit upgrade that enables wireless scanning while also providing power. Without the upgrade, it is USB powered. This Canon scanner produces high-quality photo scanning on embossed or glossy paper. The Canon P-208II has a 100 scan daily duty cycle and comes with a standard one year warranty.
Unfortunately, this Canon scanner doesn’t support macOS Catalina 10.15 and the auto document feeder may be less reliable and fail to scan the occasional job perfectly straight.
Our top choice for the best budget scanner is the Canon CanoScan Lide. This flatbed scanner has a space-saving design and scans both photos and documents with ease.
The CanoScan Lide scans colour documents in 8 seconds and only takes about half that amount of time for black and white scanning thus potentially being the best flatbed scanner, too. It features an impressively high 2400 DPI resolution for creating precise and accurate scans.
This scanner comes with Canon Irista software that creates searchable scans using OCR and comes with 15GB of free storage. To establish the space-saving design which is uncommon for a flatbed scanner, a sturdy stand that gives the device a vertical orientation is included for optional use. This scanner is USB powered and also comes with a one year warranty.
Be aware, even though this scanner has a maximum resolution of 12oo DPI, the included software could limit photo scanning to 600 or 1200 DPI max. Additionally, the auto-cropping function on the software is less reliable.
Epson’s most compact and portable scanner model, the Epson WorkForce ES-60W is next up on our best-of list.
The Epson WorkForce scanner can handle scanning up to 15 single-sided pages per minute. This Epson scanner features a high 1200 DPI resolution capacity.
The Epson WorkForce creates a searchable PDF database using OCR and it features a specific scan card function for ID cards, a built-in rechargeable battery, and a mini LCD display screen to make scanning as easy as possible. For connectivity, this Epson scanner has both WiFi and USB options. A one year warranty is included with Epson products.
Keep in mind, the Epson WorkForce is not equipped for duplex scanning and is not the best with thinner documents and paper-like receipts. Additionally, there are consumer reports indicating a much shorter battery life that could last for only 30 pages of scanning, not 300 as Epson predicts.
Choosing a Scanner: A Buyer’s Guide
You have reached the end of our scanner reviews. Now you may be asking yourself, how do I choose a scanner with all of these great options? The following sections explain scanner traits and common questions in further detail in an effort to help you choose the best, most useful scanner for your specific needs.
What to Look for in a Scanner
The following traits help explain how we chose the products we did for our list and offer an explanation as to why these particular traits should be sought out in a scanner.
Scanning Speed and Quantity Needs
The scanning speed of a device is a great place to start when it comes to comparing scanners. If you plan on scanning many images or documents at a time, you may want to choose a scanner with a fast page per minute speed, like 10 or more. Often, a scanner with an automatic document feeder will provide you with the fastest scanning speeds and flatbed scanners will be the slowest.
The daily duty cycle or the maximum recommended daily scans advised, on a scanner may also be important if you plan on scanning large quantities of documents at a time. Choose a scanner with a large enough duty cycle to more than accomplish your projected scans in order to extend its working life.
How your scanner connects could also help you decide which model is best for you. Would you prefer wireless connectivity? Or do you prefer the reliability of a physical connection? If you choose not to go the WiFi route, examine the other connections available. USB is the most common, however, there are several types of USB ports, such as USB 2 or USB 3, so make sure you get the type best suited for your computer equipment or remember to purchase adapters as well.
Optical character recognition, or OCR, is a great tool that allows your scanning software to identify and categorise portions of the scanned images you create. This makes it easy to find a particular image amongst a large collection.
The maximum resolution listed for a scanner can help alert you to the quality of scans it will produce. A higher resolution scan possesses more detail and precision. Most scanners produce 600 DPI or higher and allow you to adjust the resolution to your preferred setting with each scan.
Duplex mode on a scanner allows you to scan both sides of a document simultaneously. This often speeds up your scanning work significantly and also reduces the manual interaction necessary for operation. If you plan on scanning primarily photos, this may not be as important for you. However, if you know you will be scanning two-sided documents frequently we recommend choosing a scanner that features duplex mode.
Choosing a scanner with a warranty often helps reassure you of its inherent quality. Companies that include warranties with their electronics believe in their products and the durability of their products which means, for the most part, you can too.
Types of Scanners
The two main types of scanners are flatbed scanners and document feeder scanners. A feeder style document or photo scanner can often be queued up to accomplish more than one scanning job at a time and tend to be more portable, at least on our list.
We don’t have many flatbed scanner reviews on our list because they tend to take more time to accomplish scanning jobs but they are able to scan some things that document scanners with a feeder simply can’t. A flatbed scanner has a flat scanning area that allows you to scan documents that are not themselves flat, like a book. Or, like the Epson Perfection, allow you to line up multiple images to create a single scan. However, flatbeds do tend to take up more space than feeder style document scanners and most flatbed scanners do not feature duplex mode.
Which type of scanner is best for you? Are you looking for the best flatbed scanner or is document scanning with a feeder more your style?
Benefits of a Scanner
Scanners allow you to make digital copies of documents and photos. Scanners also enhance your sharing capabilities and create more searchable databases for your important documents and old family photos. The ability to digitize a page, document, or photo can not only help to get you more organised but can help you handle more official work paperwork or even family expenses.
The Perfect Scanner for You
With all of your newfound knowledge of scanners and the scanning process, choosing the best scanner for your specific needs should be fairly simple. To help you make your final decision, let’s quickly review our Editor’s Choice.
The Doxie Go SE scanner features a highly portable design, built-in WiFi, a long-lasting rechargeable battery, OCR, a one year warranty, and a large storage capacity that can hold up to 4,000 scans even without the optional 32GB SD card expansion.
Which scanner will you choose?