Last updated: 16/10/2022

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We are pleased to introduce you to the best scanners on the market to help you choose, as having one will always be necessary in offices and schools, because with just a couple of button presses we can make an accurate backup copy of any document.

Here we will give you the best technical information about each printer, as we want you to have everything you need to make the perfect purchase. In this article as well as finding a list of the best scanners, you will be able to see which features make them stand out from the rest and even where to find them.




Summary

  • A scanner allows you to save copies of documents and photographs on a computer instantly.
  • They are usually easy to use and highly automated.
  • The quality of the scanned image will depend on the dpi (Dots Per Inch) of the printer, the higher this factor the more detailed the image will be.

The best Scanner: Our Picks

Buying Guide

When we are in search of the perfect product we will be faced with several decisions to make. So that you don’t have to hesitate for a moment, we tell you about the details you need to know about scanners.

Nothing like a scanner to make office tasks easier. (Photo: dotshock / 123rf.com)

What is a scanner?

A scanner is a piece of equipment capable of capturing images from photographs, documents, cards, book and magazine pages and other similar sources, and then saving them on a computer for later printing or editing. It is the most common way of making copies of documents in offices and student environments.

Shapes and sizes often vary between models, as they must be adapted to the needs of the environments in which they will be used, as well as the type of document they will scan the most and the speed with which they will need to scan the files.

They also have different resolutions, which are measured in dpi (Dots Per Inch), also called DPI (Dots Per Inch), because the resolutions needed to scan a detailed photograph are not the same as those needed for a text document.

Advantages
  • They allow you to back up important documents
  • Printed parts can be strong and resistant
  • They facilitate the re-printing of documents
  • They provide ways of storing photographs and drawings
Disadvantages
  • Not all scanners provide faithful images
  • A document will lose quality as it is scanned
  • They require specialised maintenance

Scanners for the office or studio – what should you look out for?

As scanners are a way of backing up all printed material, it is mandatory to have one in the office, but will the same scanners work for those who need to back up their drawings or photographs? Would the same scanners work for them?

When you need a scanner for an office, look for a scanner that works fast so as not to obstruct workflow, that is able to share a file with multiple computers, and that can read documents so that you can find them more easily later.

On the other hand, if you need a scanner to digitise photographs or drawings, you will want a larger scanner whose resolution is capable of capturing details in shadows and colours, and which allows for extensive scanning control to modify details such as light levels and colours.

Office Studio
Scanning speed Must be fast Not relevant
Document sharing option Multiple (wifi, Bluetooth, wired) Limited (wired)
Resolution Rarely have resolutions higher than 1200 dpi High resolution to capture detail
Accepted size Most common sizes (letter, office, etc) Provides space for larger than common size documents
Particularity Offer two-sided scanning and character reading Offer support for film

In the age of technology, every office needs a scanner. (Photo: Elnur Amikishiyev / 123rf)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of scanners

It is well said that knowledge is power, and in this case the more you know the better your purchases will be, because having knowledge of what you need from a product, you will be able to get one that suits your needs and pocket, that is why we will explain the most important characteristics of scanners explained in the simplest possible way.

  • Size
  • Resolution
  • Connection methods
  • Reels and media
  • Additional features

Size

The size of the scanner you need will be defined by the type of documents you will be scanning on a regular basis. It would be useless to buy a very large scanner if you are only going to scan letter size documents, just as you would not get much use out of a small scanner if you are scanning banners and posters.

You should also consider the space and location you have available to put a scanner, as you don’t want it to end up in a place that obstructs your workflow or is uncomfortable to use. If you have a large enough open space to dedicate to the scanner, keep it close to your computer and printer.

Find a balance between these two aspects and choose a model that does both. In case you want to buy an average sized scanner, but fear that you will need to scan a larger document in the future, try to buy one that has the facility to gather multiple scanned pieces into a single file automatically.

Resolution

The main thing when selecting a scanner is the maximum resolution it has

Another of the most important aspects to take into account when buying a scanner is its maximum resolution. As we have already mentioned, this is measured in dpi or dpi, and the higher the resolution, the better the scanning result.

What determines what you should take into account when buying a scanner is: what documents you are going to scan

Think about what you want to get from your scans, how accurate it should be in terms of detail and how much control you want to have when you want to scan your documents. As you may know, the most commonly scanned documents are usually photos and documents, and there are scanners that specialise in these areas.

For an office, a scanner of about 600 dpi will suffice, as it is enough to scan texts with their respective images, because although the photographs may not come out very faithful, what matters is that the texts are legible and clean.

If you will be using the scanner for photographs or drawings, you will want a scanner with a good amount of dpi. About 4,800 dpi is perfect if you are scanning small photographs that you will want to scale up later, as well as for drawings and images where you need accurate fidelity to detail.

An automated scanner with multi-page support will allow you to scan multiple sheets effortlessly. (photo: TeroVesalainen/ pixabay)

Connection methods

Nowadays the idea of an office scanner without the possibility of connecting to a network sounds far-fetched, and there are good reasons for this. Most workgroup scanners have ways of connecting to networks, either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

It is necessary in a work environment that the scanner can send documents to the right computer, so that you don’t have to carry a USB stick to transport a scanned image from one computer to another.

For a home or very small office, this may not be necessary at all, as a USB connection to a computer will store all the documents you need. Think about how many computers will need to receive printed documents, so you can choose a printer that can send what you want to where you need it to go.

There are also scanners that have USB or SD card inputs for scanning directly to these memory sticks, as well as devices that can communicate via NFC to send documents wirelessly to smartphones and tablets.

Reels and media

The number of documents a printer can scan in a given time will not only depend on its scanning speed or whether it needs to warm up before running, it will also depend on whether it has an automatic print reel.

“These reels are intended to hold a series of sheets or documents to be scanned sequentially.”

Some scanners also support photo holders of different sizes, where you can put a multitude of photos to be scanned simultaneously. Some models can even store different files of different photos in a single scan. If you need a scanner for a photo studio you will benefit greatly from one of these scanners.

Extra features

Every device tends to have a few extra things that make them stand out from the competition and scanners are no exception. Scanners often come with technologies that, while not necessary for scanning, will make your scanning experience much more comfortable, here are the most common ones:

Character reading: Certain models of scanners are able to ‘read’ documents as they are scanned, thus saving a digital copy as a .pdf file that can then be modified or found more easily. Some are not able to do this on their own, but come with software capable of this task.

Software included: Many scanners often have driver installation disks included, and may also come with software for further manipulation of the scanned files. Some allow you to modify aspects such as colour and shading, others read scanned images and convert them into text documents.

Duplex scanning: A duplex scan is one that scans both sides of a document simultaneously, this saves a lot of time and is perfect for offices where a large number of documents are scanned on a regular basis.

(Featured Image Photo: Piotr Adamowicz / 123rf)

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