5 BEST PORTABLE SCANNER REVIEW AND BUYING GUIDE
The advent of portable scanners has brought new and exciting prospects in the business world. Thanks to this great innovation you no longer need to go around town looking for a Flat-bed scanner to get some much needed information on a hard copy sent somewhere remote. Whether you are a business person who is constantly on the move, or someone home-based but needs a lot scanning, this gadget can literally be the difference between getting things done or not. Being aware of your need of one of these gadgets isn’t exactly enough as you will soon realize that behind the decision is the momentous task of choosing the best one for your needs. The market has a mammoth number of models with different features, advantages and disadvantages. Being someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time exploring peculiarities associated with tech gadgets, choosing the best machine for your needs can easily pile up another share of stress on the already complicated business schedule. This comprehensive review is geared to make the work easier for you through compiling what you need to know to make those minutes spent in the stationery shop worthwhile.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A PORTABLE SCANNER? IS IT ANY DIFFERENT FROM A COMPACT OR MOBILE SCANNER?
Traditional image scanners such as the Flat-bed scanners function in sync with a computer which is basically a control center and storage area for the scanned images. In principle, portable scanners are small sized, hand-operated scanners with the ability to function independent from the computer and have storage space used to store the scanned images for later use. The words portable and mobile are used interchangeably to denote the enhanced hand operability of the scanners whereas compact scanners bear a slightly different meaning. Compact scanners are basically somewhere in the middle, in the sense that they are designed for smaller workstations. In other words, they are not as huge as traditional scanners, they are not the kind of gadgets you can be carrying around on business trips but are perfect for a small to medium sized office or room.
According to expert opinion on businessdictionary.com, this type of a scanner is a handheld scanner that may be designed to read barcodes or RFID tags. This is what is mostly seen in shopping mall counters and it allows access to the stock goods with enhanced efficiency during operations.
The name definitely speaks volumes. It is an optical scanner which is adapted to provide high resolution scanned images of photographs. The standout feature of this type is that it provides high resolution images when compared to general scanners.
POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A SCANNER
- The purpose
It is extremely important to properly define what you will be scanning on a regular basis. If there’s a high chance you will be scanning nothing but texts or documents with no pictures or colored pictures, then it is logical to consider something on the lower range in terms of resolution. In this case, a scanner with 300 dots per inch (dpi) would be the most appropriate choice. On the other hand, if you are up for documents with color or pictures, something within the range of 600-1200 dpi would be ideal for great quality.
- The frequency of work
Portable scanners, though portable, come in different sizes in terms of the weight. If you are a paper-worm with dozens of documents to be imaged on a daily basis but still want to settle for a portable scanner, then it is prudent to pay special attention to the associated pounds or grams. In this case, it is best to make sure you settle for a scanner that combines efficiency and portability. To do this, you will need to compare the overall size and weight of the scanner with its direct competitors.
- The features
This cannot be overemphasized as it is virtually connected to the other factors in some way. It is always a great leap towards getting a satisfactory gadget when you take time to understand the associated terms and features. The resolution, OCR, file formats, appropriate paper sizes, dimensions, and other compatibility issues need to be cleared to make sure the scanner is of maximum benefit. Our product review will look into these features as they are associated with a number of scanners on the market today.
Always check if it’s compatible with your operating system
This is definitely an impossible point to overlook. Some scanners can be very picky when it comes to the associated OS’s. If you are using the Windows operating system, make sure the scanner of your choice is compatible, and the same applies to the mac OS.
Look at what other people are saying about the product
An impressive feature set isn’t enough to warrant any decision as in some cases it can only be a set of promises that a product may fail to live up to. Upon choosing what looks like the best fit for you, never forget to spend a few minutes looking at various customer reviews from authority sites like Amazon. These reviews can reveal some unknown truths concealed by the manufacturer that can only be exposed by real life experiences. Take a closer look and if there seems to be some crucial and consistent complaint, ignoring the product it does save you from the impending frustration.
Now, upon having the necessary knowledge relating to what you need to look at before delving into the models and their features, let’s proceed to some of the scanners available on the market today.
Brother DS-620 Mobile Color Page Scanner
Our expedition begins with the Brother DS-620 as one of the most familiar and leading brands on the market today. High review rates backed up by a promising feature set demands a few moments of consideration in this review. Let’s get started and see if it’s worth our time.
DESIGN AND KEY FEATURES
The overall design of this scanner presents a pleasing site to any keen eye that cares about looks and sleekness. It comes in white as a principle color with a dimensional profile that lives up to the adjective; portable. The length, width and height combination of the scanner is 2.1×11.4×1.4 inches. The weight shouldn’t bring any worries associated with carpal tunnel syndrome as it comes with a modest 14.1 ounces/400 grams.
The resolution shouldn’t disappoint at all as the figures show 1200×1200 dpi for interpolated and 600×600 dpi for optical scanning. The scanner is capable of handling 8 pages per minute which should come in handy when you have volumes of documents to turn into soft copies.
Perhaps you might be wondering about USB function, well, the scanner provides a conveniently placed USB port at the back for easy transfer of files. When it comes to operating systems, it shows quite a level of versatility as it can function with both Windows, mac OS and Linux operating systems. Additionally, the scanner comes with Presto Software which allows you to send images to other devices.
This is by all means a top of the range scanner that provides a great portable option without sacrificing quality and performance. The resolution is quite impressive, the speed is definitely above average and the build provides quite a reliable option that can stand the test of time.
There may be a few downsides to the product such as absent two-sided function which is provided by similar products like the DS-720D and the DS-920W. These may represent potential negativities but they are nothing more than a few blips in an otherwise impressive feature profile.
WHAT CURRENT USERS’ THINK
The product seems to live up to its expectation as evidenced by an Amazon customer rating of 4 stars out of 5 based on 839 reviews. Considering the sample size that was used in the survey, this is quite an impressive fit to achieve thus warranting a high degree of confidence and trust.
From our point of view, this is a 4.5⁄5 product based on the value it promises and the overall positive response from current customers. A few dollars splashed on this machine wouldn’t really be considered a reckless venture.
Epson Workforce DS-30 Portable Document & Image Scanner
Our second pick on the list is the Epson Workforce DS-30 which dares enough to display features that stand out from the crowd. If you are someone who is often around computers and their peripherals, you should recognize the Epson brand as it is one of the established brands that have led the peripherals industry for decades. This scanner seems to be another masterpiece of their craft as it promises a lot of value for the pennies spent. Let’s put it under the magnifying glass.
DESIGN AND KEY FEATURES
With the length, width and height combination of 276x50x37 mm and a weight of 330g, it definitely lives up to portability standards. When it comes to overall build and design, it falls on the average range, having a basic, solid, all-black build that shouldn’t bother the looks of your workstation overall.
To get into the specifics relating to features, the scanner has a resolution of 300 dpi which is a default scale mode. Upon testing, the scanner seems to go as far as 600 dpi in terms of maximum resolution. When it comes to the maximum paper dimensions. the scanner can go as far as 216x356mm with a minimum range of 52×73.7mm. The speed seems to edge our previous scanner with an estimated range of 13 second/page rate. The scanner also includes an installation disc in the package purposed to breeze you through the installation process.
Other functional features include an auto de-skeew, automatic B/W color original detection, text enhancement, edge fill, auto sizing and descreening. Additionally, the scanner also features a punch holes removal mechanism, predefined scan settings and USB functionality.
When compared to the first portable scanner and most of other scanners on the market, it’s easy to see that this scanner has an impressive array of features at your disposal. Firstly, the resolution and the speed set the bar quite high for most scanners. Secondly, the dimensions and the weight provide quite a really portable option and might be exactly what you need if you’re looking for something you can carry on those business adventures. Thirdly, a fully packed set of auto features should make your life with using the printer considerably simplified allowing you to focus on other important aspects of the work rather than the technicalities that come with handling a scanner to produce the best possible images. Lastly, the overall build and design is durable enough to let the scanner make it through the physicalities that come with frequent travelling and movement.
On the negative side, the most prominent shortfall that most people notice about the scanner is not as easy to install. The average time the scanner needs for proper installation is 13 minutes and it seems that you may need to install it on any new device. This gets rid of a few points on portability as you would expect it to kick start upon being connected to any device.
WHAT CURRENT USERS’ THINK
The experience so far demonstrates an encouraging record. Based on 574 reviews, the scanner managed to come up with an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is great testament of the difference the scanner has made in real people’s lives. A careful scrutiny of the customers comments show a constant pattern of themes of durability, efficiency and a relatively affordable price tag.
All in all, though there’s a few installation issues with the device, it is a remarkably well designed and high performance scanner with an impressive pack of features to edge most of its competitors. Definitely one of the best scanning innovations on the market today!
MSRM Color Mobile Document Scanner
Our third scanner under the magnifying glass is one of the most stubborn scanners when it comes to resolution and versatility, the MSRM Color Mobile Scanner. Having a total of 925 customer reviews on Amazon tells us a lot about its popularity among consumers. Let’s walk through its features and other associated issues to see if the hype has a solid and sensible background to it.
DESIGN AND KEY FEATURES
The scanner comes in a beautifully designed silver colored and wand shaped body that offers conveniently placed functional buttons with a LED screen on the top surface. The modest size of the scanner is backed up by 12.1×4.1×2 inches of length, width and height respectively. The scanner only weighs 10.4 ounces to keep you within your comfort zone when moving around. While most scanners can hardly go beyond 600dpi in terms of resolution, this scanner can be adjusted among 600dpi, 900dpi and 300 dpi. The associated memory is also way beyond average as the scanner is capable of supporting a 32G Micro SD card. The storage capabilities are also augmented by the inclusion of a USB port for easy transfer of files across devices. When it comes to power supply, the scanner needs 2pcs AA batteries to operate to near perfect efficiency. Another great feature that gives it an edge over Epson is that it incorporates a plug in and play feature that eliminates any need of drivers to function with any device.
The first and most noticeable feature of this product is its incredible resolution range. Going as far as 900 dpi isn’t as easy for most portable scanner manufacturers and this device seems to defy expectation and offers little more. Secondly, the storage features of the device provide a suitable option for those who get a little more hectic with taking image files, especially those involved in a lot of research. Thirdly, the ultra slim and lightweight design makes it one of the most practical scanners for those who are constantly on the move. The last positive aspect of this scanner is the highly affordable price tag. If you compare with most high end scanners, you will realize that this is one of the most affordable scanners which offer a lot of value that could justify any price hike.
On a negative note, the blip in the sea of excellence constitutes the lack of some of the auto features that can be pretty useful. The scanner does not support some features like the auto crop feature which can go along way influencing the image of the image.
WHAT CURRENT USERS’ THINK
This scanner scores the highest user rating on our list. Amazon reveals a 5⁄5 star rating according to 75 reviews from customers. In simple terms, it is evident that all of the current users are more than satisfied with the device in a real world setting.
Well, the users and the features say it all. At a price range of less than 60 dollars, the device gives a lot of value for the price tag. Lots of credit to the manufacturers for bringing this specimen of crafty design and efficiency on the technological landscape.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Portable Color Duplex Document Scanner
Fujitsu is another familiar and trusted brand in the technology world at large, and this seems to be one of their other high quality products standing up to the fierce competition on the market. This scanner is an improvement of the previous Fujitsu 300, which in itself is quite a great scanner. Let’s crossover to the design and features and see if it’s worth our time.
DESIGN AND KEY FEATURES
The length, width and height combination of 11.2×3.9×3 inches proves its ultra-portability. The weight is a modest 4 pounds, making it one of the most easy -to-carry scanners on the market today. The scanner comes in a silver and white durable build and has a maximum resolution of 600dpi. The speed challenges most scanners with figures soaring to 12 double sided pages/minute. In case you are not aware, the scanner is a duplex, which means that it is capable of scanning both sides of the document. Like most high end scanners, the 300i comes with a software, auto color corrections, auto deskew, and the blank pages removal. The package also features the OCR technology which allows users to create PDF’s which can be sorted and be organized in relevant folders.
A number of great features are worth noting in this product and these include, the above average resolution by portable scanner standards, double side scanning capability, high efficiency, user friendly software, high level of portability and a good supply of auto features that should make your experience as hassle free as possible. Additionally, the overall design is a delightfully neat addition to your mobile business inventory.
When it comes to the negatives, the price tag issue comes up. At a price range that is well over 200 dollars, this can be a bit out of reach for the budget buyer who is looking for something that offers a lot more than just the basic properties.
WHAT CURRENT USERS’ THINK
The reviews show an encouraging pattern as well. A 4.1 star rate shows the highest rate so far which speaks volumes concerning the high regard it enjoys in the consumer community. Not only that, it is also important to note that this isn’t from 1 or 2 people. These results were based on 1738 customer reviews, thus justifying any move to give it a try.
This is by all means a remarkable gadget that not only parades an impressive array of features but demonstrates its practicability in the real world. Our careful examination on what it brings on the table and how it performs leaves us with no choice but give it a 4.5⁄5 star rating.
Doxie Go SE
the intuitive portable scanner Our last review moments will be spent on the Doxie Go SE portable scanner. This scanner takes it all the way and combines great looks and high performance to buy a place among the elite. Let’s leap forward and see if there is any truth in this.
DESIGN AND KEY FEATURES
The scanner takes the concept of portability and versatility very seriously. A dimension profile of 12.2×2.2×1.8 inches and an accompanying weight of 1.18 pounds should be convenient enough to provide for your scanning needs especially when on the move. One other standout feature is the rechargeable Lithium battery that can support 400 scans post full charge. The memory of the scanner rivals that of a digital camera with the capability to handle about 4000 scans before any engagement in image offloading. The scanner also features ABBYY OCR which equips the scanner with the ability to turn the available text into PDF documents.
When it comes to maximum resolution, it doesn’t fall short of the elite standards as it can get as far as 600dpi with a staggering speed of 8 seconds per page.
The highly portable and simplistic design, combined with the high resolution and speed is definitely a classic example of a combination of effectiveness and efficiency. It is also exciting to see that the designers took an extra mile and extended the ultra-efficiency to a pleasing and aesthetic look. Additionally, the installation process and the software shouldn’t cost you too much time trying to find your way out of a labyrinth.
On the negative side, just like the Fujitsu, the price can be a bit of a stain in a beautiful device. An Amazon price tag of 178 dollars can put off some consumers who don’t really have much to spare for a portable scanner.
WHAT CURRENT USERS’ THINK
To score a 4.3 user rating based on 925 reviews isn’t a joke by any means. This is a good statement on the confidence that customers have in the product. An endless number of positive adjectives adorn this gadget thus warranting any decision to join the bandwagon a welcome development to any critical mind.
Overall, this is one of the best portable scanners gracing the market today. It is neat, beautiful, smart, fast, efficient, ultra-portable, and highly regarded. Fault finding is a futile effort and this device leaves us with a score of 4.5⁄5 to our amazement.
In a nutshell, portable scanners can be a great resource as far as sharing information and getting things done is concerned. The best choice comes down to getting the first principles right, applying those principles to the authentic products and choosing the best product that suits your budget.
We hope this review has furnished you with the relevant information to help you make the most out of the hard earned dollars.