If you are buying a scanner, make sure you choose a portable one. Portable scanners are the best choice for both home and office users.
They cover less space on the desk, are easily movable, and you can even carry them around for on-the-spot scanning.
In this article, we will look at some of the best portable scanners. All options are good but have different features that may or may not suit your scanning needs.
So make sure you choose the one that suits your individual needs and preference.
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To understand portable scanners more, we recommend you read the FAQ.
Standalone (Built in Memory)
Standalone (Built in Memory)
Standalone (Built in Memory)
List of Best Portable Scanners in 2021
Here is the list of some of the best options in portable scanners.
Short Reviews of the Selected Scanners
Let’s look at each of these selected scanners in detail.
1. Doxie Go SE – Rechargeable Portable Scanner with WiFi – Standalone
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Doxie Go SE is the size of a rolled magazine; you can easily place in a handbag for carrying it around.
The slim and light-weighted scanner suits students, sales clerks, insurance person, or those who are always moving around.
With its portable size, Doxie is easy to operate out in the field without any PC. It is a standalone scanner that is battery-operated. Its powerful battery allows 400 scans per charge.
With its rechargeable batteries, you can make some quick scans virtually anywhere. All scans are saved in an SD card. The card is spacious enough to store up to 4,000 scans at a time.
A great advantage of Doxie Go Se is its connectivity options. Despite being a portable scanner that saves scans in SD card, it offers both wireless and USB connection. You can transfer the data to your PC through a USB cable that will also charge its battery.
Doxie offers a simple solution for on the go scanning. It is a manual sheet-fed scanner; place the document in its feeder and rest is easy.
However, it can scan only one side of the document at a time. For scanning the other side, you have to flip the document and feed it again in its feeder, which is a bit inconvenient.
Doxie offers clear text documents with its 300 and 600 dpi. You can even make use of it for some basic photo scanning as well.
The only issue is that for a scanner with mere manual sheetfeed mechanism, this is a rather expensive device.
Overall, Doxie Go SE is one of the best portable scanners if you need a robust standalone scanner.
Read more: Best Scanners for photos and documents
2. Epson Workforce ES-60W – Rechargeable WiFi Scanner
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Es-60W is another mobile scanner that is easy to carry around. It is also a slim and lightweight option that works smartly and is perfect for on the spot scanning.
ES-60W is almost similar to the Doxie Go SE in functionality however, it is not a standalone scanner. In other words, it does need a PC connection to transfer scans. Fortunately, it is also cheaper.
ES-60W is a high-speed option for document scanning. It is capable of scanning a document within 4 seconds that is convenient when you are out in the field.
Like Doxie Go SE, this one is also a battery-operated scanner.
It also offers WiFi connectivity along with the standard USB cable support for interfacing.
Its smart system will automatically switch between a USB and Wireless connection when it detects WiFi signals. The scanner features an LCD screen that displays both battery and battery status.
The scanner allows you to send scans directly to any cloud storage or any local destination conveniently with its preset buttons. It also comes with some smart tools for paper management.
A drawback we can mention in his scanner is the lack of SD card slot. Being a mobile scanner, you expect it to save the scans to any internal memory system. But it does not come with any internal memory.
Also, it is a single-sheet feeder that requires document feeding one by one. It does not offer ADF and also does not support Duplex scanning.
Price is low as compared to Doxie. Overall, for those looking for a budget option, we can consider this is among the best portable scanners.
Read more: How to Scan a Double-Sided Document
3. Vupoint ST470 – Wand + Sheetfed Scanner – Standalone
Vupoint is the most convenient option for mobile scanning. It is a slim and light-weighted option like Doxie and ES-60W, but it does more than they both can offer.
VuPoint magic wand is a combination of a wand scanner and document feeder. You can take it along everywhere within its protective carrying case.
The scanning process is very simple. When in wand scanning mode, slide it over the page for a quick scan. It is perfect for students; they can take notes from books or copy important information from magazines.
The same wand scanner turns into a single sheet document feeder within its docking station. The scanner automatically scans paper with its auto-scan feature.
When docked, the scanner is also charged for multiple scans later. So you can use it as a standalone scanner and a single-sheet feeder as well.
Scanning speed is also very good. It can scan up to 8.5 × 125” paper in only two seconds.
A great advantage of Vupoint is its 1.5” LCD screen. The preview screen allows you to review the scans before you leave the premises. This is a handy feature in the mobile scanner as you can’t be sure all scans are clear. We miss this feature in Doxie and ES-60W.
Vupoint 470 is good for both document and photo scanning. It allows you to save your scans with 300, 600 dpi, or 1200 dpi(when docked). You can even scan photos with this much resolution and expect some decent scans of both photos and documents.
Vupoint 470 is very reasonably priced and rightly stands prominent in this list of best portable scanners.
Read more: How does a wand scanner work
4. Doxie Q – Rechargeable ADF Scanner – Standalone
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Doxie Q is a portable scanner with ADF. Maybe not as slim or lightweight as Doxie Go SE, but the scanner offers more convenience and better quality than our previous options.
The best thing about Doxie Q is that it is an automatic document feeder. You can feed up to 8 pages in its feeder at a time. ADF makes the scanning process easy and convenient.
The scanner is designed for ultimate simplicity. It’s a standalone scanner that requires no PC for operating. It works on rechargeable batteries and allows you to scan up to 1,000 scans per charge.
Simply feed document in its auto feeder, or you can also insert them one by one in its direct feed slot for some quick and easy scans.
The scanner is good for both documents and photos. With its 600 dpi resolution, you can scan some clear text documents and sharp photos. You can save scans with 300 or 600 dpi resolution as per your choice or requirement.
Despite being a standalone scanner, it offers other connectivity options as well. It’s a wireless scanner that allows WiFi connection. You can connect it with a USB cable as well. For on the spot scanning, it has a built-in SD Memory Card as well. Basically, It covers you completely.
A drawback we can mention is lack of duplex scanning. Though it’s an ADF, it does not read both sides of the document simultaneously, which is a bit inconvenient.
The scanner is a bit pricey than our previous options, but it provides better value. Overall, it’s a great option and qualifies to be one of the best portable scanners.
5. Brother ADS-1250W – Compact Office Scanner with Robust ADF – Duplex
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Brother ADS-1250 is the only option in our list of best portable scanners that comes with a great ADF capacity with duplex (double sided) scanning. Although Doxie Q above also offers an ADF but only for eight pages and it is not capable of duplex scanning.
This one by Brother offers a Document feeder that can scan up to 20 pages at a time. It can scan both sides of the document with its single-pass technology.
The scanner offers good scanning speed. It can scan up to 25 ppm, which is perfect for on the spot scanning. It can scan documents up to 34” long.
ADS-1250W also offers versatile connectivity options. It powers through a USB cable; you can also make use of it for transferring data. With its built-in WiFi, you can connect the scanner with your Android, iOS, or laptop for scanning directly to any local or cloud storage. You can also transfer scans to a USB flash drive.
The scanner comes with useful features for optimizing text or image scans. It allows some basic editing options like auto-rotate, background removal, color drop or text enhancement.
Unfortauntely, this isn’t a portable scanner as you might expect. It neither features a rechargeable battery nor does it offer internal memory.
The only portable feature it offers is its compact form factor.
ADS-1250W is not a very cheap option, but its price seems reasonable if we look at its speed and ADF capabilities.
It works well for normal size paper, but you may find some difficulty scanning with lighter receipts that are difficult to pass through its feeder.
Overall, it is a good option for those with large scanning volume on daily basis. If you want a scanner for your office than you can move around, then this is one of the best portable scanners.
Read more: Best Scanners for Polaroids
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions relating to portable scanners.
How Does a Standalone Portable Scanner Differ with a Conventional Portable Scanner?
Both conventional portable scanners and standalone portable scanners are both lightweight and compact devices, however, they differ in some essential core features.
A “conventional portable scanner” needs to be connected to a PC or smartphone for power or data transfer. You can connect it through a USB cable, or with a wireless connection for sending the scanned data.
It may also feature a rechargeable battery, but may still need a connection to the PC like the Epson Workforce ES-60W.
A “standalone portable scanner” works on its own. It does not require any connection with PC, laptop, or a smartphone. These scanners come with rechargeable batteries and can operate without any USB cable.
Most importantly, for storing data, standalone scanners feature an SD card. All scans are saved in the memory slot, and you can later transfer these scans to your preferred local or online destination.
So standalone works on its own and therefore are perfect for on-the-go scanning. They are generally more expensive.
Do all portable scanners have rechargeable batteries?
There is a difference between a portable and standalone scanner. Not all portable scanners are standalone devices with rechargeable batteries.
The term portable scanner is a bit loose. It means any device that can come in a small and light-weighted form that covers less space on your desk. You can move it around easily.
A “standalone” portable scanner with rechargeable battery can work on its own and does not need a PC to transfer the data to. In other words, it comes equipped with internal memory as mentioned above.
Some portable scanners do not come with an internal memory at all but do feature a rechargeable battery.
Other portable printer are mobile just due to their form factor. They neither have an internal memory nor rechargeable battery.
Therefore, long story short, not all portable scanners have rechargeable batteries.
What is an ADF?
Automatic document feeder allows you to feed a fixed number of documents in its feeder at a time. You don’t have to scan each document one by one.
An automatic document feeder keeps on scanning the document without any manual intervention. The scanning process is quick and efficient without any delays.
You can also perform other chores while documents are being scanned. It offers a great convenience for busy work-groups.
Here we looked at various types of best portable scanners in the market.
In our opinion, if you seek mobility with your scanner, then a sheetfed scanner is the way to go instead of a flatbed scanner.
Flatbed scanners are large and bulkier whereas sheetfed scanners can fit within your backpack without much hassle.
Also, the scanners here have a maximum scanning width of A4/Letter. Therefore, if you need to scan larger format documents, then you will be disappointed.
No portable scanner is capable of scanning wide format documents at the moment.
All in all, in our opinion, a portable printer should be light and thin. However, most importantly a rechargeable battery is a must for those who travel a lot.
Some may also find built in memory essential. Built in memory makes the scanners standalone as they can save the scans within the device. That way you don’t need to connect to a PC.
Other features like an ADF, duplex scanning are optional features that you can also consider.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.