Document scanning is the need for almost any office. Even at home, we can manage our paperwork efficiently and make them easily accessible.
You can also reduce a lot of paper clutter from your home and office and going paperless is the new trend we all need to follow.
In this article, we will try to find the best document scanners for various use cases. Even a great option may not look promising because of individual needs.
For this reason, we have chosen five scanners for this purpose so you can pick the one that suits your individual needs.
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Comparison Table for Top Document Scanners
|Brother ADS-2700W||High Speed||600||50 Sheet||Yes||35 ppm||USB, WiFi, Ethernet||See details|
|Brother ADS-1700W||High Speed||600||20 Sheet||Yes||25 ppm||USB, WiFi||See details
|Epson V39||Flatbed||4800||No||No||30 secs/page||USB||See details|
|Epson ES-60W||Portable||300||No||No||15 ppm||USB, WiFi||See details|
|Doxie Go SE||Portable||600||No||No||21 msec/line||USB, WiFi, SD Card||See details|
List of Best Document Scanners in 2020
Here are some best options that help you find your best bet.
- Brother ADS-2700W – Staple High Speed Scanner
- Brother ADS-1700W – Mid Range Scanner with ADF
- Epson Perfection V39 – Budget Flatbed Scanner
- Epson Workforce ES-60W – Portable / Rechargeable Document Scanner with WiFi
- Doxie Go SE – WiFi Enabled Portable Standalone Document Scanner
Short Reviews of the Selected Scanners
1. Brother ADS-2700W – Staple High Speed Scanner
Brother ADS-2700W is one of best document scanners if you need to scan lots of documents at high speed.
The automatic document feeder is a must characteristic if you have a lot of documents to scan. It saves you from the trouble of feeding each document in scanner one by one. The simple task of feeding papers become tiresome if you have hundreds of documents to scan.
ADS-2700 Features is a mighty document feeder that allows you to feed 50 documents at a time. The single-pass technology reads both sides simultaneously saving you the trouble of flipping and re-feeding the document if you want to scan both sides.
The scanner scan at @ 35 ppm, you will have a fast scanning experience that suits busy workplaces.
ADS-2700 provides almost all connectivity options that you might use in any office. It comes with a built-in wireless capability.
The Ethernet connection suits those offices with LAN setting. Or you can make use of an easy to connect the USB cable. So it covers your all connectivity needs.
The scanner features a 2.8” LCD screen that provides the one-touch solution for different scanning options. It also offers some preset destinations for your scans. It also offers some special features that enhance the security of your documents in any busy workplace.
ADS-2700W comes with some useful paper handling software so you can manage your paperwork more efficiently. It also provides some options for enhancing your text scans like removing blank pages, saving the documents as PDFs, or auto-rotate.
The downside we can mention is that it does not provide OCR solution IF you are saving the document scans in your mobile i.e using WiFi Direct.
It’s a bit pricey option, but for good quality and high speed, you have to pay an appropriate price.
Read more: Best Scanners for Multiple pages
2. Brother ADS-1700W – Mid Range Scanner with ADF
Those who consider Brother ADS-2700W is an overkill should consider its affordable option that is ADS-1700W. We may call it a smaller version of ADS-2700W in speed and paper feeding capacity.
Brother ADS-1700W provides mid-range capacity. Instead of 50 pages of ADS-2700, you can feed only 20 pages at a time. That makes it a suitable option for micro offices or home users.
Scanning speed is also not great, though you get the same single-pass technology that is convenient for scanning documents from both sides. It offers a speed of 25 ppm, which is good for midrange scanning needs.
ADS-1700 is also very portable; It’s a small size scanner that covers less space on your desk. The scanner is also easy to connect with its wireless connection. You can also connect it with your PC through a USB cable for data transfer.
The scanner comes with a dedicated card slot for feeding in cards like ID cards, or business cards. These smaller cards are difficult to pass through a normal feeder that’s why ADS-1700W features a special card slot.
It’s an affordable option and if you are looking for a reasonably price option with an ADF, then this among the best document scanners.
Read more: Best Scanners for Home Use
3. Epson Perfection V39 – Budget Flatbed Scanner
If you don’t need a scanner for business or need some occasional document scans, Epson V39 is the best document scanner for you.
You don’t have to buy an expensive scanner for a few document scans, and Epson V39 is the most budget-friendly option that provides good document scanning options for your convenience.
Epson V39 is a flatbed scanner, that can be used to scan some old and fragile documents easily as well.
Despite its low price, the scanner provides very good quality scans of both your documents and pictures. With 4800 dpi, you can expect clarity and precision in text and photos.
The DPI of the flatbed scanner is certainly unmatched by any ADF scanner. While you can many different DPI settings via the software on a flatbed scanner, just note that the higher the DPI, the slower would be the scanning process. Therefore, choose the setting wisely.
Though it is not a very portable option, it comes with a special kickstand that allows you to place it vertically on your desk. Vertical placement saves space on the desk and makes it look spacious.
Epson V39 provides only a USB connection. No WiFi or Ethernet connections are available.
Epson V39 is a good flatbed scanner that is good for those who do not have extensive scanning needs. It works well for documents, provides photo scanning option too and, above all, comes at a very low price.
Read more: Best Scanners for Historical Documents
4. Epson Workforce ES-60W – Portable / Rechargeable Document Scanner with WiFi
The scanner suits salesman, insurance agents, students, and other business people who are always on the go and need document scanning on the spot.
The scanner provides good speed in its class. It can scan a document within 4 seconds, which is very convenient.
It’s a battery-powered scanner that allows you to have some quick scanning virtually anywhere. Or you can connect it to PC with a USB cable that will operate it and charge it as well.
ES-60W gives a range of connectivity options. With its portable size, the scanner offers wireless capabilities that enable you to scan the document to your PC or smartphone from anywhere within WiFi range.
You can connect it with your PC with a USB cable as well in the absence of a WiFi connection.
Its smart system detects the WiFi signals and automatically switches between USB or WiFi connection without user intervention.
You can scan any document with its versatile paper handling mechanism. It allows you to scan up to 8.5×72”, including ID cards and receipts.
Furthermore, note that this is a manual sheet-fed option. You have to feed each document in its feeder one by one for scanning.
Also, it will not capture both sides simultaneously. For scanning the other side, you have to flip it and feed it again.
Overall, it’s an affordable option for mobile document scanning. Not as cheap as V39, but it is certainly cost-effective than other options.
5. Doxie Go SE – WiFi Enabled Portable Standalone Document Scanner
Doxie Go SE is another mobile option for document scanning. You can even keep this small and portable device in any bag.
It’s a standalone scanner that does not need to connect with any PC for operating. Being a rechargeable battery-operated scanner, it works on its own and can scan up to 400 documents per charge.
The scanning process is also very simple. It requires no special drivers, an SD card stores all scans like a digital camera. You can store up to 4,000 scans in this card.
The scanning results are also clear. It offers 600 dpi, which is great for document scanning and some basic photo scanning as well.
It also offers an Auto Adjust option for enhancing your document scans. It provides some useful options like auto-crop, auto-deskew, or automatic contrast that gives amazing scans.
Unlike ES-60W, Doxie has an in-built wireless capability too. You can connect it with your PC or Android with a USB cable too, for sharing the data.
It is also a single sheet-fed scanner as ES-60W, you have to feed each document one by one manually.
Doxie is an affordable option though it is expensive if we compare it to the other mobile option on our list. Overall, it’s the best document scanner for on the go scanning.
Read more: Best Scanners for Home Photos
Let’s look at some of the common questions relating to document scanning.
Importance of ADF for Document Scanning
Automatic document scanning is an important feature if you need to scan a lot of documents regularly. It speeds up the process and also reduces manual intervention in scanning.
In a flatbed scanner, you need to manually place each document on its glass panel, same is the case with a single-sheet feeder. However, automatic document scanning allows you to feed a batch of documents in its feeder, and the scanner keeps on scanning one by one without any manual intervention.
What is Auto Duplex Scanning?
Another convenience that ADF provides is Auto duplex scanning. It means these scanners can read both sides of a page in a single pass. That’s why it is called single-pass technology.
Many documents need to be scan from both sides, like books, magazines, or legal documents. Scanning them with a flatbed scanner is bit inconvenient as the scanner will scan one side of document, then you have to remove the document, flip it and place it on the glass panel again with the other side down.
Single-pass technology in document feeders has the ability to capture both sides of a document in a go.
Not all sheet-fed scanners are equipped with a single pass or duplex action. Some single sheet-fed scanners also need manually flipping the document for scanning the other side. Like Doxie Go Se and Epson ES-60W, both are a manual sheetfed scanner and do not offer duplex scanning.
ADF makes scanning easy and fast; you don’t have to manually flip the document which is both times taking and inconvenient if you are scanning a stack of documents.
So ADF suits busy workplaces or home users with extensive document scanning needs.
Manual Sheet-fed vs. Automatic Document Feeder
Both manual sheet-fed and automatic document feeder have a similar mechanism of scanning documents.
As opposed to a flatbed scanner, these scanner has a feeder where you feed the document, it then rolls in the feeder, passing through the scanner’s image sensors. The image sensors capture the details from the page, like a camera, the data is recognized as text or image by the scanner’s software that later converts it into a text file.
Both sheetfed and ADFs work the same way. ADF with duplex scanning action has image sensors at both sides of the feeder for capturing the image of both sides.
The difference between manual sheetfed and ADF is in the feeding mechanism. In manual sheet-fed, you have to put each document manually in the feeder for scanning.
ADF, on the other hand, works more efficiently and allow you to feed a stack of the document in its feeder and you can go about your business leaving it on the scanner to keep scanning these documents one by one.
The capacity of ADF depends on its quality and price. Budget-friendly options allow around 20-25 pages at a time.
The expensive ones have a powerful feeding mechanism and can handle up to 50 documents at a time.
Best DPI Setting for Scanning Documents
Photo scanning requires better dynamic range and resolution, but for simple text documents, you don’t need much higher dpi.
Most of the document scanners offer 600 dpi, which is, in fact, more than necessary. But these scanners are multi-tasking devices that can scan both photos and documents.
Some document scanners offer 300 dpi that is suitable for text scanning.
Most office files are scanned at 200 dpi that makes them about 2K in size. 300 dpi will produce 62 k files.
The difference of size may not be very important for home users but in large workplaces, scanning hundreds of documents daily, more scanning resolution means more heavy files that will eat up more space on hard drives.
The better resolution will give clarity to your text documents, but files are unnecessarily heavy. So, you can choose 200-300 dpi for text scans depending on your preference.
When is Flatbed a Better Choice?
Flatbed seems a bit out of place in busy workplaces where you need ADF for productivity. But they have their own benefits, and in some cases, they become a better choice.
- Better Photo Scanning: They offer better photo scanning ability. If you need to scan a detailed picture with better color depth and clarity, a flatbed does it better.
- Scanning Fragile Documents: If you need to scan some important documents with historical significance, then flatbed is a better choice.
Putting such documents through a document feeder may harm these delicate pages. So flatbed offers an easy and safe option for scanning such documents.
- Budget-Friendly: ADFs and sheet-fed scanners can be expensive with their high speed and powerful feeder. You can choose a flatbed option that fits in your budget and serve the purpose.
- Nominal Scanning Needs: If you don’t have any extensive scanning needs, a flatbed scanner works well for both photos and documents. You don’t need to pay high prices of sheetfed or ADFs when a simple flatbed can cater your needs in less price.
Here we looked at some of the best document scanners. You will notice that there plenty of features that you need juggle to find the right specs for you.
For example, if you need high speed and ADF, you need to be prepared to dish out a hefty sum. On the other hand, if you need a scanner with a high DPI, it will suffer from slower speeds.
High Speed ADF scanners like the Brother ADS-2700W have much lower DPI as compared to flatbed scanners like the Epson V39. However, for document scanning, you don’t really need a higher DPI than 600 anyways.
There are portable scanners that you can choose, but they are more suitable towards a niche of customers that need a scanner wherever they go.
The point to note here is that best document scanners vary from person to person and from use-case to use-case.
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