The Best Scanners For 2021
If you need to scan stacks of family pictures, thousands of papers, or even only the odd business card, you will find a scanner tailored for the job. Here’s how to shop for the right one, plus our top picks from PC Labs feedback. Compare Specs
The Best Scanners For 2021
Settling on a scanner that suits your unique needs can be difficult. Many scanners on the market today can perform daily office activities, but they come in a wide range of styles and sizes that are fine-tuned for various purposes.
Text scanners, photo scanners, business card scanners, film scanners: That list is just a start. Here are the main questions to think about and ask before you move into buying any scanner. We’ll also take a look at the various kinds of scanners and their functionality.
The Best Scanner Deals This Week*
Canon ImageFORMULA DR-C225 II Office Scanner (List Price $449.99) Brother DS-640 Portable Handheld Paper Scanner (List Price $149.99) Xerox XD-COMBO Duplex Combo Flatbed Scanner (List Price $269.99) *Deals are picked by our partner, TechBargains Originals like images and stamps will go through a sheet feeder, but you risk destroying them.
If you need to scan this sort of original just once in a while, you might be able to get away with a sheet-fed scanner that comes with a plastic carrier to cover the originals. Bear in mind, however, that even brand-new, unscratched plastic carriers will degrade scan quality somewhat. Direct-to-glass is often easier. Scanner models tend to remain on the market for a long time between revisions, and this is particularly true of flatbed picture scanners .
Not only do they sometimes stay on sale for years, but often, few new versions are launched. We periodically update our Best Scanners roundup, so should you find a “oldie but goodie,” it simply means that no comparable model that we’ve tested has yet surpassed it.
Best Scanner For Document And Photos
Epson Perfection V19 Color Picture & Document Scanner This scanner isn’t completely wireless like the one above, but it doesn’t need a power cord, which many reviewers like. “Just one very basic USB cable is all you need in order to power and connect to your computer,” writes one reviewer, who adds, “It’s super slim, very light, and hides away neatly. I’m very pleased with the results, particularly for the price.” The scan quality is praised by reviewers, too.
“I have digitized many of my files (while watching TV) and now have crisp PDFs on flash drives and only 1/3 the amount of paper files,” one user says, while another states it “Produces documents that are high quality and with accurate color.” And unlike other document scanners, reviewers say this handles images pretty well too.
“Unlike some of the all-in-one printer/scanners intended for documents, this scanner does an excellent job scanning photographs,” one writes. “It provides fine details and good exposure of the scan.” Another, who has scanned 1,300 images, says, “The digital copies are better than the prints.”
Best Duplex Document Scannner
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Color Duplex Document Scanner “After many scanners that made claims of duplex, auto document feeding and ease-of-use, I am left wondering where this machine has been all my life,” writes oneself- critical reviewer, who calls this the “best scanner ever. If you have lots of documents to scan.”
Dozens of other reviewers say this scanner makes high-quality scans of many documents at once even those of different sizes thanks to the ability to scan two pages at once. “Love that it scans 30 pages per minute,” says one reviewer, who scans full pages, receipts, and business cards all at once with this product.
“It even duplexed the ones with information on the back page,” they claim, adding “the initial set up was very easy considering I am not a techie. The cost is very fair given all of its roles, and capabilities. Another customer, who purchased this for her “not tech savvy” husband to search hundreds of genealogical files a week, agrees that it was “easy” to set up, adding “it is an investment, for sure, but it really is worth every penny.”
Who Should Get A Cheap Flatbed Scanner
In an era of mobile scanning apps , inexpensive all-in-one printers , and compact document scanners that can fit in a messenger bag, standalone flatbed scanners are becoming a niche product. Scanner manufacturers aren’t doing anything to make them appealing, either.
Many models you can purchase today are many years old, and some have been around for a decade. They don’t have built-in Wi-Fi and can’t search to the cloud without first uploading data to your computer. Much of their software looks like it was written at the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, these dinosaurs are still the perfect option for a few unique kinds of users.
People Who Need To Scan At Very High Resolutions:
Mobile scanning apps are restricted in resolution by your device’s camera, and the image quality is typically little more than serviceable. (Not to mention relying on a steady hand.) Portable paper scanners and all-in-one printer flatbeds provide better-looking scans but are usually limited to 600 or 1,200 dpi resolution. Standalone flatbeds can go up to 6,400 dpi, which offers a far higher level of detail.
Those Who Scan Delicate Or Thick Material:
Portable document scanners are fast and easy, but their automatic feeders pose serious risk to precious things like historical documents and children’s projects. Even our recommended portable photo scanner could harm especially old or priceless images.
In these cases, a flatbed scanner can have better performance with less wear and tear on the originals. A flatbed whether standalone or as part of an all-in-one printer is also the only option for dense materials like books and magazines.
Although portable photo scanners can tear through piles of prints, they don’t scan at as high a resolution as flatbeds. And when it comes to film negatives and slides, a flatbed scanner is the only way to go at a fair price. Dedicated film scanners cost nearly twice as much and don’t provide the versatility that a flatbed does, so we’d just recommend them to those who only scan video, or expect such high quality that they’re able to make room in their office for two scanners.
If you don’t fall into these categories, an all-in-one printer that includes both an automated document feeder and a flatbed scanner is definitely a more sensible investment. And if you already own a flatbed scanner that was built in the past decade or so, there’s almost definitely no need to upgrade; the category hasn’t seen any new developments worth noting in quite some time.
Especially Ones Who Shoot Film:
By Chris Hawkins · November 12, 2020 You may not be collecting business cards now as in years past, but you still need a way to capture and exchange contact details, whether it’s from a face-to-face meeting, virtual event, or random encounter in the supermarket.
And there’s no better time to use the right technology business card scanner apps to build, share, and organize your contacts so you’re prepared for any scenario. If you need digital cards, contact sharing over Zoom, team collaboration, or just want to get paper cards organized with multi-card scanning, there are business card scanners that get the job done.
We tested over two dozen business card scanners, trying each with plain, complicated, and blurry business cards to see how they performed in real-life use. Here are the eight best tools to easily scan business cards. Tap on any app to learn more about why we choose it, or keep reading for more context on business card readers.