In this age of technology if you haven’t yet gone paperless then its high time you think about it and start planning.
To help you with that, we have selected the best scanners for going paperless here.
We find the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 as the best option for going paperless. It has both Sheetfed ADF mechanism as well as Flatbed scanning capability. However, if you do not care much for flatbed and if you want speed, we recommend theEpson WorkForce ES-400.
Why Go Paperless?
Gone are the days of attics filled with important documents covering your precious space when they can easily be digitized and are just a click away.
Going paperless has too many benefits like:
• Finding a digital document is much easier.
• Reduces off-site storage cost.
• Documents are preserved forever, no risk of fading with time.
• Records are managed more professionally.
• It is Eco-friendly.
Buying a scanner is one of the most important steps towards going paperless.
List of Best Scanners for Going Paperless
We have selected the following scanners that would make your task of going paperless easier. They are different in their own regard.
Let’s take a brief look at the selected best scanners for going paperless.
1. HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 – Versatile and Recommended Scanner for Going Paperless
This is our most recommended scanner for going paperless. The HP Scanjet 2500 combines the function of a flatbed scanner along with a sheetfed mechanism.
Traditionally, you can either get a sheetfed scanner like the Epson WorkForce ES-400 or you can get a simple flatbed scanner. The HP Scanjet 2500 combines both.
The sheetfed mechanism comes with 50 sheet Automatic Document Feeder that is capable of single pass duplex printing. This means that the scanner can scan both sides of the document in one go.
Besides that, the flatbed scanner can scan up to legal size documents. It is excellent for business card, delicate documents and for scanning book pages.
Furthermore, the scanner has the capacity to scan up to 20 pages per minute (ppm) and 40 Images per Minute (ipm). This is reasonably fast. It isn’t the fastest around, but its versatility makes this a lucrative deal.
The only drawback of this scanner is that it lacks robust connectivity options. It LACKS WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.
If you want the WiFi cable network variant, you can look intoHP ScanJet Pro 4500 fn1. Unfortunately, this scanner is super expensive and may not be worth it.
Besides that, it has the necessary features like OCR for creating editable scanned files, and the ability to scan directly to cloud software like Google Drive and Dropbox.
All in all, if you want both flatbed and sheetfed mechanism in a scanner, then for us, this is one of the best scanner for going paperless.
2. Epson WorkForce Es-400 – Fast and Robust SheetFed Scanner
This is one of the most popular sheetfed scanners with an automatic document feeder.
If you have a ton of loose sheets that need to be digitized then this is highly reasonable.
This scanner is basically designed for environments that have a huge scanning volume on a daily basis. This may include receipts, business cards, documents etc.
While this isn’t super expensive, it may not be reasonable for all basic home users. The obvious draw back it has is that it does NOT have a flatbed scanning capability. Therefore, book, magazine, and thicker sheets would be impossible to scan.
However, what truly sets this scanner apart is the scanning speed. This scanner can scan at a whopping 35 ppm and 70 ipm. This is almost double the speed of HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1.
Besides that, it also has a 50 sheet Automatic Document Feeder with single pass duplex scanning.
Unfortunately, like the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 above, this too lacks WiFi and Network capability. If you want the WiFi/network capable option, then you can go for Epson WorkForce ES-500W. This is marginally more expensive.
If you have large scanning volume or if you have an attic full of documents that need to be digitized, then this is one of the best scanners for going paperless.
One word that better describes this device is ‘convenience.’ The scanner is designed to be convenient, and it certainly serves the purpose.
Doxie Go comes with a lot of attractive features at a relatively low price.
While this isn’t the fastest scanner around with each scan taking 8 seconds, it’s portability makes it highly lucrative.
The scanner is battery powered and it is rechargeable with upto 400 scans per charge. It has an internal memory that scan store upto 4000 scans at a time. On to of that, this tiny scanner has OCR technology for creating editable scans.
While the quality of the scans is not that of professional level with only 600 DPI, it is quite reasonable for office/school documents or receipts.
It should be noted that since this is a portable scanner, it does not need to be connected to the PC for scanning purposes. Since it has an internal memory, all your scans will be stored.
All in all, if you want to bring the scanner to the documents instead of bring the documents to the scanner, then you need a portable scanner. In that regard, this is one of the best scanners for going paperless.
Battery powered portable scanner that you can carry around.
Saves images within internal memory
Can be synchronized with cloud apps like Dropbox, OneNote etc
It can scan business cards and receipts
Does not offer Duplex (double sided) scanning
Low DPI means the scanning quality is average.
Not great for large organizations that have a huge scanning volume
4. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i – Compact Scanner with ADF
While this isn’t a rechargeable or a stand alone scanner like the Doxie Go above. It has a features that we think set it apart.
For starters, this is also a highly compact scanner. It is small enough to be easily carried around in your backpack.
Besides that, this is a compact scanner that comes with an Automatic Document Feeder with 10 sheet capacity. This is great if you don’t want to manually feed each and every sheet.
On top of that, it is a duplex scanner. Therefore, it scans both sides of the documents in a single go.
The scanner has a speed of 12 scans per minute (double-sided). While this isn’t the fastest in this list. The ability to carry this scanner easily where ever you go can enhance your efforts to go paperless.
You will also need to make sure how and where you are going to save your scans:
Are you going to save your documents on your computer (Not Safe/Not Portable)
Are you gong to save your scan on an external harddisk (Not Safe/Yes Portable)
Perhaps you will use a Cloud Storage like Dropbox or Google Drive (Safer and Portable)
Whatever you choose, make sure you routinley BACK UP all your digital files.
How to Choose the Best Scanner If You are Going Paperless
If you are determined to make use of technology and want to go paperless, certain points should be well considered before you buy a scanner for this mighty task.
1. Handles All Types of Formats
It’s an important point, especially if you are going paperless. You might have all types of oddly shaped documents that you need to digitize: legal documents, client’s correspondence, receipts, normal documents, even business cards.
You should also make sure whether you have plenty of wide format drawings i.e of size A3 and above. If you want to digitze them as well, you will need specialized large format scanners that are quite expensive.
2. Flatbed or Sheetfed or Both
Epson 600 – A typical flatbed scanner – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR GOING PAPERLESS
We do not recommend the stand alone Flatbed scanner for going paperless.
Conventional flatbed scanners reuqire you to scan each and every document manually. You can tell that this would be a huge issue if you have a heap of documents.
As a rule of thumb, the best scanners for going paperless is the one with a high dpi, however, higher the dpi, the more expensive it would be.
A higher DPI is a more useful consideration when you are scanning art pieces and photos that too at a professional level. This is because higher the DPI the more detail the scanner will capture. For office documents. receipts, a lower DPI would do just fine.
Therefore, if you are an artists/photographer, you may need to keep this aspect in mind.
6. OCR Technology
Goes without saying, if you need a scanner for documents it must feature OCR technology. Optical character recognition (OCR) works with the scanner to convert the printed characters of your document into digital text.
Finding and editing your documents will be easy if they are saved as text files. Most of the latest scanners come with integrated OCR software.