Review of the Best 9 Scanners

Choosing which scanner to buy can be a nightmare when building any office inventory. Most users and would-be users admit that it’s one of those gadgets they would rather send someone “more techy” to buy as they have no idea of which models, and what to look for when faced with a number of choices.

Well, we have taken it upon ourselves to at least give you the necessary tools towards making the best choice on the market. This guide sets out to provide a comprehensive account of scanners in terms of how they operate, what you need to know before any purchases, and an outlook on some of the best high-speed document and photo scanners on the market.

The first part will have a brief look at how scanners function, the second part will try to discuss some of the factors you need to know about scanners such as steps involved, and the last part will have a look at some of the best models available on today’s market. Lastly, we have also mentioned a comprehensive buyers guide and FAQ’s to help you make the decision.

Top 10 Best Scanners

ProductAverage User RatingPrice RangeBest Price
Our Pick
3.2/5
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Great Value For Money
4.1/5
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A great portable high-end option
3/5
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Another powerful portable option
3.6/5
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Best Choice for Workstations
3.8/5
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Best Sleek & High Speed Document Scanner
4.6/5
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Best Portable Scanner
3.9/5
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Great value for less
3.9/5
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Best combination of portability & efficiency
4.6/5
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Best Choice with Unique Features
4.2/5
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How Do Scanners Work?

Before we get into the bits and pieces of the mechanism behind scanners, it’s important to know that scanners occur in different types namely: Flat-bed, Sheet-fed, Hand-held and Drum.

  • Flat-bed scanners: These are the most popular and are also known as desktop scanners. Due to their wide range of use cases and their similarity to other types in terms of mechanism, this section will dwell more on this type.
  • Sheet-fed scanners: Sheet-feed scanners have a lot in common with Flat-bed scanners except that, as the name suggests, they feature an automatic feeding mechanism which feeds the document to the scanning head rather than a stationery bed used by flatbed scanners.
  • Handheld scanners: These are based on an identical technology to the previous types, but are unique in the sense that they are portable and need the user to move them over the document as opposed to flat-bed scanners which rely on an automatic feeding belt.
  • Drum scanners: These are quite popular in large scale publishing and they are particularly effective when you want to scan highly detailed images. The technology behind their sheer precision and clarity is the Photomultiplier Tube (PMT).

Key components of the mechanism are the glass cylinder, a color filter and a photomultiplier tube. When the document is placed on the glass cylinder, a beam of light is illuminated on the document.

Reflected rays from the document are directed towards a sensor situated at the center of the cylinder which separates the light into three beams. These are then passed through the color filter before being directed to the Photomultiplier tube where they are converted to electrical signals.

The general principle behind all scanners is to analyse a specific text or image and process it to a level where you can save it on an external device, such as a personal computer, where you can also conduct additional operations such as editing.

As we already expressed in the beginning, this section will dwell on Flat-bed scanner mechanism as it bears striking resemblance to other types, and also because it is the most popular in existence.

Before we go into the functional details, let us lay the ground by considering the key components of a scanner. These include the Charge Coupled Device (CCD) array, the scan head, Glass plate, Mirrors, lens, lamp. Belt, filters, and power supply system.

The Charge Coupled Device

The Charge Coupled Device (CCD) array is the key aspect of the Flat-bed scanner in the sense that it is the key element responsible for the actual conversion of light into electrical charges, which can easily be processed for further usage.

It constitutes of light sensitive diodes which give it this property by producing electrical charge after exposure to units of light known as photons. A fancy term for these diodes is Photosites, and the amount of charge they produce is directly proportional to the amount of light or photons in contact.

So What Steps are Involved?

Firstly, the document is positioned on the glass plate before the cover is closed. The underneath surface of the cover is typical flat and white though there are some exceptions where it takes a black color. The flatness and uniformity of the cover ensures that the scanner has a clear reference point which can easily be used to deduce the actual size of the document in question. In most cases, the cover can be removed to accomodate large items such as a larger document or book.

The lamp serves as a source of light for illuminating the document. Different types of lamps are used in different scanners. Some take a more modest approach by incorporating a Fluorescent lamp whereas others incorporate Xenon. The scan head is an integration of a number of components including the CCD array, mirrors, filter and lens. It accesses the document by means of an automated belt which is powered by a motor. To enhance stability and uniformity, the head is secured to a stabiliser bar. You will often meet the word “pass” in scanners’ circles. It implies that the scan head has gone through a single cycle of the scanning process.

The mirrors are used to reflect the document’s image. Once the document is illuminated, an angled mirror reflects it’s image to another mirror. The number of mirrors varies between scanners. While some incorporate only two, others add an extra mirror to enhance the process. The mirrors are also designed in such a way that they are curved in order to reflect the produced image on a narrow surface area.

The len’s purpose is to direct the image reflected by the last mirror to the filter before it hits the CCD array. Like the mirrors, the arrangement of the filters and lens differ with different scanners. A number of scanners utilise what is known as a three-pass mechanism which utilizes three filters. In this case each color filter specialises in  a specific color, which can be blue, green or red where each filter comes into play per pass. Upon completion, the responsible software merges the three images to form a complete image with all the qualities.

The majority of today’s scanners utilise the single pass mechanism. When the image hits the lens from the last mirror, it is divided into red, green and blue components. Each component is then passed through the filter before being directed to specific areas of the CCD array where they are recombined to form a completed image.

An alternative array technology has emerged on the scene to compete with the CCD array to provide a less expensive and lighter option. The technology is referred to as Contact Image Sensor (CIS).

The CIS eliminates the need for filters and mirrors to adopt an array of light emitting diodes, and an array of 300 to 600 sensors placed in close proximity to the glass plate which holds the document. Once the document is illuminated, the sensors capture the document’s image which is then converted to electric charge for further processing.

The process of scanning itself is not the end of the story. The processed image must be transferred to the computer which does the extra processing in order to make the image useful. The information from the scanner can be transmitted to the computer in several ways. These include the much familiar Universal Serial Bus (USB), Bluetooth, Small computer System Interface (SCSI), Firewire and Parallel port. USB and Bluetooth scanners provide the most popular, easiest, efficient and practical option whereas the other options usually come in combination to provide more flexibility.

For the computer to communicate with the scanner, you need an appropriate software called a driver. The driver communicates with the scanner in a programming language, such as TWAIN and then interprets the language to an application within the computer such as Adobe.

What to Look For while purchasing

Buying the high speed document scanner for your needs require a clear understanding of the following key aspects.

Type

As discussed above, scanners occur in different types and these have their own characteristics rendering them suitable in different circumstances. Let’s have a quick look at a few considerations connected to each type.

Flat-bed Scanners

From what we’ve seen in the previous section, Flat-bed scanners are the most popular for obvious reasons. They are usually easy to use, do not require a lot of space, and are one of the most versatile as they can be used to scan a good range of products including books, documents, photos and other three dimensional items.

Sheet-fed Scanners

Sheet-fed scanners provide several advantages. They are the ideal choice when you are looking to use a scanner for high volume work without too much concern for overall image quality. Their automatic feeding mechanism makes them ideal for unsupervised work by eliminating all the manual work involved with positioning the document as in Flat-bed scanners, thus allowing for more efficiency.

Sheet-fed scanners tend to be prone to distortions thus the quality may be on the lower side when compared to Flat-bed scanners. Furthermore, since only one sheet can be accommodated in the automated mechanism, they cannot be used to scan pages from bulky documents and books.

Handheld

Handheld scanners are designed to provide a scanning solution for a mobile lifestyle or work ethic. They can easily be carried around to perform light scanning duties. A good number of mobile scanners are adapted to specific functions such as barcode and business card scanning.

Drum scanners

As put forth in the above section, Drum scanners are more for heavy duty and industrial scanning. They are particularly bulky and more expensive. Unless you want something for industrial use, most of them are definitely not an ideal option for basic office or home usage.

Key specifications to consider

The following key specifications will go a long way in assisting you to have an idea on what to look for when presented with several equally good products.

Image Sensor

Modern scanners utilise two main types of sensors as mentioned in the previous section and these are CCD and CIS. CIS-equipped scanners provide a more portable, less expensive, and faster option but they sacrifice effectiveness as they provide lower image quality than Flatbed scanners.

Resolution

Resolution is an important factor in the quality of any image produced by the scanner. Its unit of measurement is dots per inch (dpi) and It describes how much information a particular scanner can absorb from the original image. The higher the resolution, the greater the quality. Scanner’s resolution can be described in two main types namely interpolated and optical resolution.

To spare you from the headache associated with the involved technicalities, optical resolution is the most important parameter as the interpolated resolution can be enhanced by several editing programs. It is common practice that manufacturers indicate two figures to represent the resolution. In this case, the optical resolution is usually represented by the smaller figure. For instance, a 400 x 600 dpi resolution indicates that the scanners optical resolution is 400 dpi.

When it comes to optical resolution, 300 dpi is enough for an average scan whereas 600 dpi is great for high quality documents or images. Extensive graphics usually require about 1200 dpi whereas as other advanced use cases such as film require resolutions of up to 3200 dpi.

Bit Depth

Bit depth is also commonly referred to as color. It describes the amount of data that the scanner can capture in a single pixel. The quality of the image in terms of color increases with the Bit depth as it means that the scanner is able to capture a greater number of color or gray variations. Additionally, a greater Bit Depth also implies greater file size as it means more data retrieved from a single pixel.

Average scanners tend to fall within the range of 24 to 36 bits in terms of Bit Depth while as high-end devices can extend the range up to around 24 to 36 bits.

Dynamic Range/optical density/ density range

Dynamic range refers the ability to capture varying tones within the scanned image. It describes the difference between the scanner’s highest and lowest optical density. The larger the difference, the greater the range, which then translates into better quality in the resulting image. The DR is specifically quantified on a conventional scale grading it from 0 to 4 where 0 stands for perfect white, as 4 stands for perfect black.

The majority of scanners are produced for general users thus they are usually void of any dynamic range specification. However, if you are up for a high quality scanner, it helps a lot to consider these parameters. For reference’s sake, mid-range scanners usually fall within the 2.8 to 3.2 range whereas high-end devices tend to be 3.3 upwards.

Connection

As we pointed out earlier, three main connection methods exist (USB, SCSI and parallel), each with its own advantages and disadvantages. USB offers the commonest as it is widely supported and offer an easy-to-use, plug-and-play mechanism. Another technology, known as Firewire, which is somehow similar to USB, provides for greater speeds and efficiency though it is not as widely supported as USB functionality. The SCSI is usually featured in high-end devices and provides an even faster connection, but it faces the same downside as Firewire as it does not enjoy the same compatibility as the USB.

Speed

Speed becomes more relevant when you intend to use the best photo scanner on a regular basis throughout the day. In general terms, other factors such as resolution and depth have a profound influence on the scanners speed. Greater resolutions and bit depths usually need a greater amount of time. When it comes to scanners, speed can be described differently such as seconds per page or number of scanned pages in a single minute.

Software and compatibility

Most scanners come with a software package which includes a driver program, Color Calibration Program, Optical Recognition Software, and editing programs. The Windows operating system usually works with the TWAIN driver software which connects the scanner and an application within the computer. The Color Calibration Software is responsible for maintaining the integrity of image colors as intact as possible throughout the process. This helps to keep the the resultant image as equal to the original as possible.

Editing software allows to make a few adjustments to the image by offering options for adjusting brightness, size and other parameters. The OCR allows you to change the image’s text into editable computer text through specialized character recognition mechanism. Top of the range OCR’s incorporate a wide range of languages as well as different text formats.

1. Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo and Document Scanner – Our Pick

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo and Document Scanner
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The Epson V39 presents another gem from the Epson brand which has been hailed by a wide range of users. It enjoys exceptional reviews to back up a rather unique features set. Let’s have a look.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-The design is somewhat similar to the Canon LiDe 220 is it comes in an all-black and minimalistic design with four major functional buttons (PDF,  send, copy, start), and a LED light placed in a similar position. The dimensions measure 9.9 x 14.4 x 1.5 in Width, Depth and Height and 3.4 pounds. A unique structural feature is a stand which allows an upright scanning position.
  • Type-Flat-bed scanner
  • Sensor-Contact Image (CIS)
  • Scan resolution-It has an optical resolution of 3800 dpi.
  • Speed-The scanner can handle a 300 dpi image in 10 seconds, whereas a 600 dpi image can take about 30 seconds.
  • Bit depth-The Color Bit Depth is rated at 48-bits as the greyscale rates at around 16 bits.
  • Maximum Scan size-It can scan up to 8.5 x 11.7 inch.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF.
  • Operating system compatibility-It integrates with Mac OS 10.6-10.10 and Windows xp-10.
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0
  • Power features-It uses 5V USB port and consumes about 2.5 watts during operation.
  • Software-It comes with 6 additional software to enhance user experience including Easy Photo Fix technology, Epson Event Manager and Easy Photo Scan.
  • Warranty-1 year term.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Efficient-The scanner is among the fastest and most accommodative in terms of paper sizes and media.
  • Exceptional image quality-The high resolution is reflected in an evidently enhanced image quality.
  • User-friendly-It provides for an easy interface and an ample supply of additional software.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • High-end price tag for office scanners.
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2. Canon Canoscan LiDe 220 Scanner – Great Value For Money

Canon Canoscan LiDe 220 Scanner
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The Canon Lide 220 serves another delicacy in the scanners’ world due to the superior features it offers for a seamless user experience. Like the previous model, it boasts of one of the most advanced systems along with an attractive design and is the Best Photo Scanner. Let’s put it under the magnifying glass and see if it’s worth the reputation it enjoys.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-A simplistic,sleek all-black design adorns the scanner. The front holds four buttons for send,  autoscan, copy and PDF functions, as all the connection and power ports are situated at the back. It also features a Z lid which can be adjusted up to 20mm to accommodate larger items such as  small books.When it comes to size, it measures 250 x 365 x 39 mm as the weight lingers at around 1.6kg
  • Type-It is a flat-bed scanner.
  • Scan element-CIS
  • Scan resolution-It has an optical resolution of 4800 x 4800dpi. Duty cycle ( workload).Approximately 2000 pages per day
  • Bit depth-It is rated at 48 bit input and 48 bit output for color images, while grayscale images are rated at 16 bit input and 8 bit for output.
  • Speed-For colored images, it scans at about 2.2 milliseconds per line for resolutions of up to 300 dpi, and  3.2 milliseconds per line for images of up to 4800 dpi.For grayscale images, it scans at about 2.2 milliseconds per line for resolutions of up to 300 dpi, whereas resolutions of up to 4800 dpi scan at a rate of 11.1 milliseconds per line.
  • Document size-It can handle up to 216 x 297mm of A4.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF, TIFF, PNG.
  • Driver software-TWAIN version 2.1, ISIS and WIA
  • Operating system compatibility-Windows XP-10, Mac OS X v10.6.8.
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0
  • Power features-Power is supplied through the USB port, and it consumes up to 2.5W during operation.
  • Warranty-It comes with a one year limited warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Efficient-The fast CIS element coupled with impressive speed ratings and capacity makes the scanner ideal for a busy office environment which predominantly uses standard A4 papers.
  • Enhanced image quality-It holds one of the most impressive resolutions for both colored and grayscale documents.
  • Compatibility-It integrates with the most widely used operating systems.
  • User-friendly-It features conveniently placed controls and a comprehensive software package to create a user-friendly experience.
  • Beautiful design-It features one of the sleekest designs on the market to fit in most modern office or home environments.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The price is on the high end of devices within the same range in terms of abilities.
  • It does not support other types of connections such as parallel and SCISC.
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3. PenPower BeeScan Bluetooth Wireless Handheld Scanner – A great portable high-end option

PenPower BeeScan Bluetooth Wireless Handheld Scanner
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The Penpower Beescan presents another excellent example of a portable device built for convenience and top-notch quality. It is one of the products under a brand which has emerged to surprise the tech world with a surprisingly superior set of features making it an exceptional device for scanning multi-page and bulky items such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Let’s tread on and see if  the hype surrounding it has any weight.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-It’s a classic, sleek hand-held device which should have a great feel when in use. The top features a power button as the right side holds a USB port for power connection. Its weight is placed at 100g as the dimensions measure 101X29X54mm.
  • Type-Hand-held scanner
  • Sensor-It utilizes a special Contact Image sensor equipped with Omni-Directional stitching technology.
  • Scan resolution-It has an optical resolution of about 480 dpi.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF, Excel, and Word
  • Operating system compatibility-It works with mobile devices (iOS and Android) and all Mac and Windows-based computers.
  • Connectivity-It works with USB 2.0 and Bluetooth v2.1+EDR enabled devices.
  • Power features-It comes with an in-built rechargeable Li battery.
  • Warranty-1 year term-limited warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Efficient and smart-It is one of the few devices which incorporate both USB and Bluetooth technology to enhance overall efficiency.
  • Great image clarity-It features a high resolution for a portable device of its size.
  • User-friendly-It is easy to install and operate.
  • Ultra-durable design-Its compact and solid build makes it one of the most durable portable devices around.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It is not ideal for high volume scanning as it requires the users’ effort to scan the entire document.
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4. Canon imageFORMULA P-208II Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner – Another powerful portable option

Canon imageFORMULA P-208II Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner
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Simplicity and efficiency are embodied in this interesting device from Canon. It is part of a long legacy of models from the brand which are known for their superiority in terms of functional features and solid construction properties. Let’s breeze through the what it has in store.

Main Features
  • Design and dimension-The scanner takes an all-black, compact, sleek design typical of most handheld scanners with a few unique features. The document feed area is located in the front panel, as the power button rests on the top surface. The back houses the power and storage interface. Dimensions measure 38.7 x 14.6 x 12.1 cm, as the weight is placed at around 988g.
  • Type-Sheet-fed scanner.
  • Sensor type-It utilizes a form of Contact Image Scanning device known as CMOS CIS 2 Line Sensor.
  • Scan resolution-It has output optical resolutions of 150 dpi, 200 dpi, 300 dpi, 400 dpi, and 6000 dpi.
  • Speed-8 papers per minute for both colored and black-and-white documents.
  • Daily capacity-Ideally 100 scans.
  • Maximum paper size-Paper width and length ranges: 0.8-216mm, 70-356mm
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF.
  • Operating system compatibility-It integrates with Windows XP-10 and Mac OS.
  • Compatible Drivers and added software-It integrates with TWAIN drivers for  Windows, ISIS and works with software such as CaptureOnTouch, CaptureOnTouch Lite for both Windows and Mac OS.
  • Connectivity-It uses USB 2.0 and comes with the Silex C-6600GB Scan-and-Print Server which allows for the conversion of USB to network interface connection.
  • Power features-USB cable
  • Feeder capacity-10 sheets
  • Warranty-1 year term-limited warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Ultra-efficient system-The scanner operates at a competitive speed and has a relatively high sheet capacity for an office grade Sheet-fed scanner.
  • High resolution-The resolution is more than enough for a high-quality scan image quality.
  • User-friendly-It is easy to both install and operates for first time users.
  • Durable-The hard plastic, compact build quality along with a proven cohesive system ensure a relatively longer lifespan.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It is more expensive when compared to most scanners within its category.
  • It is not as suitable for high volume scanning.
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5. HP Sheet-feed Desktop Scanner – Best Choice for Workstations

HP Sheet-feed Desktop Scanner
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The HP L2759A is an indispensable model on the list as it excels in almost all the key aspects as discussed above. An ultra-sleek design that should work with most workstations plus an exciting feature set should provide more than enough value for the associated price tag. Let’s delve deeper into the specifics.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions- The Scanner comes in a sleek, all-white body with a printout tray in front and a black, obliquely oriented feed tray situated at the back. The top surface of the main body holds the power button and corresponding LED indicators, as the back holds the interface for external connections and the power port. In terms of size, the printer measures 11.8 x 6.8 x 6 in as the weight is placed at around 5.7 pounds.
  • Type- It is a Sheet-fed scanner with the feed situated at the back.
  • Scan resolution- Its optical resolution measures up to 600 dpi for both colored and monochromatic text or images.
  • Duty cycle- An ideal daily workload is 2000 pages/day
  • Bit depth- It provides one of the highest rated Bit depths for office printers as it is rated within the range of 24-bits to 48 bits.
  • Speed- The scanner takes about 6.9 seconds to process a 4×6 in color photo, 9.13 seconds to conduct an OCR of an A4 paper. It can also work in sync with your email by scanning and saving it straight to the email in approximately 10.64 seconds.
  • Supported types of Media- It covers almost all paper-based media such as standard A4 paper, business cards, checks, and freight bills.
  • Supported scan formats- JPEG, PDF, TIFF, PNG, BMP, Text (.txt), Rich Text (rtf)
  • Driver software- TWAIN version 2.1, ISIS and WIA
  • Additional features- It incorporates a wide range of extra features including auto-crop, auto-rient, OCR, scan-to-email functionality, auto-color detection, PDF security, background cleanup and auto-exposure.
  • Automatic document feed features- Capacity: 50 sheets
  • Speed: 30 papers per minute- Automatic document feeder capacity: 50 sheets of paper.
  • Operating system compatibility – Windows 7-10, Mac OS, Yosemite 10.10 and Mavericks 10.9.
  • Connectivity- USB 2.0
  • Power features- It requires at least 64 V, and consumes up to 3.6 Watts during operation.
  • Warranty- It comes with a one year limited warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Highly efficient-The speed and capacity specifications allow for a highly efficient option in a busy office environment.
  • High quality image output-The competitive resolution and Bit depth provides for an above average quality of images.
  • Compatibility-It integrates with most popular operating systems thus making it a highly versatile tool across a wide range of devices.
  • A powerful set of extra features-It provides room for a commendable range of extra features, some of which are among the most scarce.
  • Aesthetically pleasing-It comes in a beautiful design which can blend in most office environments.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • High-end price tag
  • It only has USB for external connections thus may be difficult to use in cases which need other modes of connections.
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6. HP ScanJet Pro 3000 s3 Sheet-feed Scanner – Best Sleek & High Speed Document Scanner

HP ScanJet Pro 3000 s3 Sheet-feed Scanner Best Sleek & High Speed Document Scanner
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The HP pro 3000 s3 provides a classic option if your budget allows for a few more dollars to dispose of on a scanner. The robust price tag is quickly backed by one of the most advanced features sets ever seen for a scanner of its size. Let’s skip the blurb and jump into the tricks it has up its sleeve.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-It may well be considered as an upgrade of the HP L2759A as it comes in an essentially identical build featuring a similarly built sleek, white body with a back placed Sheet-feed and a front paper tray. The top surface holds the power button and a number of LED lights, as the back holds the necessary power and storage ports. When it comes to size, the scanner measures 310 x 198 x 190 mm of Width, Depth and Height, as the weight lingers at around 3.4 kg
  • Type-Sheet-fed scanner
  • Sensor-CIS
  • Scan resolution-It prints up to 600dpi for both colored and monochrome images. Feed capacity and speed 50 sheets, 35 papers per minute.
  • Duty cycle-It can handle 3500 pages per day.
  • Bit depth-24-48 bits.
  • Operating system compatibility-Windows 7-10, Mac OS, and OS X El Capitan 10.
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0 and wi-fi capability.
  • Speed-5 to 7 seconds for both colored and greyscale images.
  • Power features-It uses the USB port.
  • Warranty-1 year term.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Efficient-It has a high speed and capacity rating.
  • Top notch image clarity-A high resolution is supported by the demonstrable image quality.
  • User-friendly-Easy installation process along with simple and conveniently placed control buttons.
  • Durable-It features a solid construction and a well-built functional unit.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It is on the expensive side of things.
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7. Flagpower Magic Wand – Best Portable Scanner

Flagpower Magic Wand
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If you are up for something that eliminates all the wires and an inconvenient weight to fit in a relatively mobile lifestyle, the Flagpower Magic Wand can be a great tool to add on your option list. Despite its size, it does afford most of the delicacies afforded by the market’s high-end devices. Let’s take a closer look.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-The design lives up to the scanner’s name as it takes a stick/wand shape, with all the compactness expected of an ultra-portable scanner. The top surface features a small LED display for basic feedback such as the scanning status. The right side surface holds a power point and some LED lights for time and format. It comes in black as the principle color and measures 258 x 28 x 25mm in terms of Length, Width and Height, as the weight is placed at 145 grams.
  • Scan element-Contact Image Sensor (CIS)
  • Scan resolution-It extends from 300 dpi to 900 dpi.
  • Speed-It can work to speeds of up to 10 seconds for the highest resolution (900 dpi), 8 seconds for mid resolution, and 3 seconds for the lowest at 300 dpi.
  • Document size-It can handle up to 216 x 297mm of A4.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF.
  • Driver software-TWAIN version 2.1, ISIS and WIA
  • Operating system compatibility-Windows Xp-7, MacOS10.4
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0
  • Power features-2 AA batteries.
  • Memory-It requires an external memory card: MicroSD of up to 31 GB.
  • Warranty-12 month period.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Ultra-portable.-It presents an ideal choice for a mobile lifestyle due to its small size and weight.
  • High-end resolution-At 900 dpi, the scanner provides one of the most competitive resolutions on the market.
  • Efficiency-It provides great speed and capacity for a scanner of its size range.
  • User-friendly-It is easy to operate and install.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Its software compatibility is somewhat limited as it is confined to Windows XP and 7, and a relatively older version of Mac OS.
  • Relatively expensive.
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8. Canon LiDe300 scanner – Great value for less

Canon LiDe300 scanner
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The Canon LiDe 300 furnishes a great lower range alternative that provides much more for its price tag. The overall performance and build quality is typical of Canon products, and this is evidenced by an overwhelming acclaim the device has amassed since its introduction on the scene. Let’s have a look at the details

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-The scanner comes in with a sleek, all-black design with a standard look unique to Canon scanners as we witnessed earlier on. The front holds four major buttons for autoscan, copy, PDF and send. The dimensions measure I250×367×42 mm as the weight is placed at 1.7kg.
  • Type-Flat-bed scanner
  • Sensor-CIS
  • Scan resolution-Its optical resolution is rated at 2400 x 2400dpi
  • Maximum Scan size-It accommodates up to 216 x 297mm documents.
  • Bit depth-48 bits for colored image and output  input, 16 bit input and 8 bit output for greyscale.
  • Operating system compatibility-Compatible with Windows 7-10, and Mac OS X 10.11-10.13.
  • Driver software-TWAIN 2.O
  • Connectivity-It works with USB 2.0
  • Speed-2.2-14 milliseconds per line for colored images while greyscale images fall within the 2.2-4.3 millisecond per line range.
  • Power features-It uses the USB port.
  • Warranty-1 year term.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Highly efficient-It operates at a superior speed
  • Enhanced image quality-It has one of the highest output resolutions..
  • User-friendly-Easy to operate.
  • Durable-It has a solid construction quality
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The scanner is not ideal for high volume printing.
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9. Segolike 900DPI Handheld Portable Document Scanner – Best combination of portability & efficiency

Segolike 900DPI Handheld Portable Document Scanner
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The Segolike 900 DPI sets another example of a combination of portability and effectiveness. An overall exceptional performance and design simplicity has earned the title of Best portable scanner among savvy tech critics. Let’s have a look.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-The scanner takes the same compact, all-black stick design as the Flagpower Magic Wand. The top surface features a small led display for feedback pertaining to the scanning status whereas the sides house the necessary port for a power cable and an SD card slot. The size feature a rather miniature dimensional profile of 12.40×4.01×2.04 in in terms of length, width and depth.
  • Type-Handheld portable scanner
  • Sensor type-Contact Image (CIS)
  • Scan resolution-Can be adjusted between 300 dpi for lower resolutions, 600 for mid range, and 900 for high resolution.
  • Speed-It takes 12 seconds to produce a 900 dpi image, 8 seconds for 600 dpi, and 3 seconds for 300 dpi.
  • Storage-It can accomodate a Micro SD or TF card of up to 32 GB.
  • Maximum Scan size-Up to 216mm of A4 paper.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF.
  • Operating system compatibility-It works with Windows 2000-XP and MAC OS X.
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0
  • Power features-It can use 2 AA batteries or USB cable.
  • Software-It integrates with Windows imaging and a variety of OCR programs.
PROS (What we liked)
  • User-friendly-It comes with easy to use controls and a straight-forward installation process to aid absolute beginners.
  • Superior image quality-The resolution provides for an excellent quality for a handheld device.
  • Durable-The compact construction and materials used provide for a solid structure that can withstand the physical demands of a mobile lifestyle.
  • Efficient-It is fast enough for moderate usage in a fast paced environment.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • There is no warranty specification from the manufacturer.
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10. Epson V39 Scanner B11B232201 – Best Choice with Unique Features

Epson V39 Scanner B11B232201
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Though this is an earlier version of the Epson V39, it still affords most of the amenities offered by its more expensive and newer cousin. A wave of positive reviews precede its superior features set which is rather identical to the V39 except for a few software related features. Some of the unique software features which come with the V39 include Scan-to-Facebook, Google Drive and and a range of cloud services. Let’s consider the details.

Main Features
  • Design and dimensions-Overall design is essentially the same except for some miniature differences in dimensions as this model is slightly larger but with less weight. It measures 1.5 Kg in weight as the dimensional profile shows a combination of 24.9 x 36.4 x 3.9 cm. The rest of the specifications apart from the software package are essentially the same.
  • Type-Flat-bed scanner
  • Sensor-Contact Image (CIS)
  • Scan resolution-It has an optical resolution of 3800 dpi.
  • Speed-The scanner can handle a 300 dpi image in 10 seconds, whereas a 600 dpi image can take about 30 seconds.
  • Bit depth-The Color Bit depth is rated at 48-bits as the grayscale rates at around 16 bits.
  • Maximum Scan size-It can scan up to 8.5 x 11.7 inches.
  • Supported scan formats-JPEG, PDF.
  • Operating system compatibility-It integrates with Mac OS 10.6-10.10 and Windows XP-10.
  • Connectivity-USB 2.0
  • Power features-It uses 5V USB port and consumes about 2.5 watts during operation.
  • Warranty-7-day return period after dispatch.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Highly-Efficient-It features colossal speeds and capacity for an office scanner.
  • High quality image output-Achieved by high resolution.
  • User-friendly-It is easy to install and operate.Attractive build quality and aesthetics
  • Durable-It features a solid construction and highly cohesive system.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It has a short warranty period.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which image sensor is the best between the CIS and CCD array?

CCD arrays provide a more powerful option in terms of image quality, but CIS enjoys more popularity due to its superior speed and lower cost.

2. Does the price of a scanner necessary translate into better quality?

Though greater prices tend to accompany scanners with more features, you may not always see scanners which live up to their price tag. The best thing to do is to be as informed as possible before purchasing any device.

3. Between Bit depth and resolution, which one is the most important parameter?

The resolution provides a more relevant and less sophisticated parameter to understand thus it carries more weight.

Conclusion

With the top 10 listed products, choosing will be much easier for you these days. Furthermore, we have chalked out three top picks namely  Epson Perfection V39, Canon CanoScan Lide 220 and Penpower Beescan are known for its exceptional features and efficiency.

Getting the best value of the buck you spend on scanners relies on an interplay of two main factors. The first is being utterly aware of the factors which matter in scanners, and the second is being able to apply that knowledge on the available choices on the market. All these aspects have been tackled in the first and second section of the guide to give the lift you need so that you approach the market with the confidence you need. We wish you all the best as you set out to get the Best Photo Scanner for your needs.

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