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Best Document Scanner 2021 • 7 Document Scanners Reviews

A document scanner is an essential device for any office or workplace. It reduces the need for countless sheets of physical paper, allowing you to send things like invoices, receipts, and contracts via email. Or, at home, to preserve precious photographs in a secure, digital format.

Document Scanner Leaderboard 2021

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Tested Products 7
Hours Spent
Hours Spent 82
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 141
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 752

What is a document scanner and how does it work?

A document scanner is a device that uses light to copy physical images or documents to your computer, tablet, or phone. The scanner copies your documents into a digital format, which can display your scan in color or black and white. A scanner digitizes photographs and documents that are in paper format, transferring them into an electronic file.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Document Scanners

A document scanner allows for analog documents to be converted into a more modern, digital format. Once they have been converted into a digital form, documents can be altered, stored, and reprinted. The use of a document scanner can be very helpful both at home and at work. That’s why there are models specifically designed for use in offices, and others that are best for home use. If you’re looking for a device that does more than just scan documents, there are scanners with multiple functions available on the market. However, tests show that these all-in-one devices come with some disadvantages. Don’t worry; we’ll go into more detail about the pros and cons of having your own all-in-one document scanner or printer, but we’ve compiled the following overview.

The digitization of documents with a scanner has become an important and common process.

Advantages

  • Scan, print, and send
  • Save time at work
  • Streamline administrative tasks

Disadvantages

  • Takes up much more space
  • Relatively expensive
  • More technically complex

Shopping Criteria for Document Scanners

To avoid getting an outdated document scanner that won’t provide you with the functionality you need, it’s important to learn about the most important features of these devices. As with any product, it’s important to identify the most relevant features offered by each model. We’re now going to review some of the things you should consider prior to buying a document scanner.

  • Functionality
  • Size
  • Resolution
  • Scanning speed
  • Compatibility and connectivity

Functionality

As you may have noticed in the ranking of the best document scanners, there are a number of different models with distinct functions and features. If you only need to scan documents and photos, you’ll probably be fine with a model that only performs that function. However, if you’re looking for more features in a single device, tests show that you should look at all-in-one scanners that can also print and fax documents.

So, you’ll need to decide how you intend to use your document scanner. The price will vary depending on the tested device’s functions and whether it’s a more basic model or a complex, all-in-one scanner. Of course, it’s better not to spend the money on a multifunctional machine if you’re not going to use the extra features it provides.

Size

These days, scanners have become increasingly compact. But perhaps you need a machine that can handle large documents. In this case, not just any scanner will be suitable since most scanners can only handle documents up to A4 size. When comparing scanners, be sure to keep this in mind, and be aware that it will impact the amount of space the scanner will need in your home or office.

If you don’t need to scan anything larger than A4 size, you’ll find many options, and you can choose one of the smaller models that we’ve featured. In our opinion, even just a few inches can free up critical space in home or work environments.

Digitizing documents with a scanner is an indispensable tool for today’s digital age.

Every document scanner has some unique features, even though they all fulfill the most basic function—scanning, of course!

Resolution

Just like with a camera, a mobile phone screen, or a TV, various tests show that the resolution and color range of a scanner will impact the quality of the final image produced. If you are only planning to scan black-and-white documents (such as invoices, contracts, notes, etc.), then the resolution may not be so important. But if you’re hoping to do detailed and colorful scans, it is very important to take note of the scanner’s resolution.

To determine whether a scanner has a high-quality resolution, you should compare the dpi (dots per inch) value. The higher the tested dpi value, the higher the resolution and, in turn, the higher the visual quality of the digital file when scanning is complete.

Scanning Speed

The speed of a document scanner is usually measured in pages per minute (PPM). If you need to scan a high volume of documents on a regular basis, the opinions of happy customers recommend taking this feature seriously. A slower scanner—or one that does not allow automatic double-sided scanning—can cause significant delays when you’re trying to get through a big stack of documents.

A speed of 20 to 25 PPM is considered high, while 15 to 20 PPM is considered average, according to tests. Scanners that offer less than 15 PPM are probably cheaper than others, but they’ll surely cause frustration if you’ve got a lot to scan in a short amount of time.

Compatibility and Connectivity

What good is a document scanner that can’t transfer the scanned files to a computer? Before picking a particular model, it’s crucial to ensure that the scanner is compatible with your computer. Many recent models are designed to work with the latest versions of both Windows and Mac OS, but an older model may pose issues.

The more options for connecting your scanner, the better. A USB connection is usually required, and tests show that it should be a USB 2.0 to guarantee the fastest transfer speed. If the scanner has wireless connectivity, it may utilize Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or both; in either case, check how quickly the data is sent and received to find the best option.

Related Links and Sources

(Source of the featured image: Pixabay / Madartzgraphics)

FAQ

How does a document scanner work?

A document scanner functions with a series of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) that capture reflected light using mirrors. These signals are subsequently transferred into a digital format by an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Lastly, the computer (or a similar device) receives a transmission of the digital version of the image or document scanned.

How much will a document scanner cost me?

Every purchase is tailored to an individual customer's opinions after considering quality, performance, and reliability on one hand and price on the other. For the price to be justified, you must be certain that you’re going to use the machine regularly enough that it provides the features you need to improve your day-to-day life and workflow.

As we saw with the models that were featured in the test ranking, there is a large difference in price between the various kinds of document scanners available. The price can range from under $100 for the more basic models in comparison to over $600 for the most advanced or multifunctional scanners.

Why is it important to digitize documents with a scanner?

Digitizing documents with a scanner is an indispensable tool for today’s digital age. This is especially true for businesses that process a large amount of documents on a daily basis. Digitization processes are an important part of the day to day workflow at both SMEs and large companies.

Furthermore, digitization and storage of documents in an electronic format is an environmentally friendly process, because it can greatly reduce the use of paper. In our opinion, everything about digitizing is great! Don’t you agree?

Are all document scanners the same?

Each scanner model offers different functions, although every scanner can perform the most basic functions that characterize them. In addition to being able to scan and digitize, they allow for the editing or restoration of damaged documents. This is very useful when digitizing old photographs or poorly kept documents.

Into which formats can documents be digitized?

Generally, there are two basic formats that are commonly used for the digitization of documents. Most document scanners will give you the choice of saving files in either Tag Image File Format (TIFF) or portable document format (PDF). A PDF is a bitmap that gives you the option to share files using free software from Adobe that can open this type of document. PDFs are ideal for sending a scanned document or image without altering its contents—and especially if you don’t want the receiver to be able to alter them either.

On the other hand, TIFF files can be manipulated and changed at any time using the necessary editing software. TIFF is an older format than PDF and therefore presents some problems, such as size. TIFFs take up much more storage space, making them less convenient and less user friendly. There are some important differences.

Space: PDF takes up less space than TIFF
Use: PDF is ideal for single documents, compared to TIFF, which is ideal for groups of documents
Compatibility: Compatibility is guaranteed for PDF. In the case of TIFF, compatibility is relatively limited.

Which operating system is necessary for scanning?

In general, almost all document scanners are compatible with both Mac and Windows these days. Still, prior to purchasing a scanner, it’s important to double-check that it will work with your computer. Obviously, a scanner that won’t function with your computer won’t be of much use. It is especially important to check compatibility if you’re purchasing an older or secondhand scanner. Be sure it will work with your computer's operating system.

Technology is in a constant state of evolution. That can mean lots of advantages for users, but at the same time it can be very inconvenient. So, we need to be careful not to purchase obsolete models that won’t last very long. Any good investment should be profitable in the long term.

How does OCR work in a document scanner?

Optical character recognition (OCR) is a process that allows text to be digitized by a scanner. OCR allows the device to recognize characters as part of a standard alphabet. Using this process, we can modify the scanned document with a text editor.

For example, if you scan a book or a newspaper article, you can then edit it using Microsoft Word. So, this feature is very useful for people who scan these kinds of documents on a daily basis. Not every scanner model is manufactured with integrated OCR, so be sure to look for one that offers this feature if it’s something you think might be helpful.

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