Brother Easy-to-Use Compact Desktop Scanner, ADS-1200, Fast Scan Speeds, Ideal for Home, Home Office or On-The-Go ProfessionalsView on Amazon
Canon imageFORMULA R10 Portable Document Scanner, 2-Sided Scanning with 20 Page Feeder, Easy Setup For Home or Office, Includes Software, (4861C001)View on Amazon
Brother Wireless Document Scanner, ADS-1700W, Fast Scan Speeds, Easy-to-Use, Ideal for Home, Home Office or On-the-Go Professionals (ADS1700W), whiteView on Amazon
Visioneer Xerox D35 Scanner, USB Office Document Scanner for PC and Mac, 45 PPM, Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), WhiteView on Amazon
CZUR Shine Ultra Pro Portable Document Scanner, 24MP Book Scanner, Max DPI 440, USB Document Camera, A3 Large Format Book Scanner, Adjustable Height, for Windows & MacView on Amazon
CZUR Shine800-Pro High-Speed Document Camera, Smart USB Document Scanner with OCR Function for MacOS and WindowsView on Amazon
CZUR Shine800 Document Camera, 8MP Portable Document Scanner, OCR Multi-Language Recognition, USB Doc Camera for Live Demo, Web Conferencing, Remote Teaching - Mac OS/WindowsView on Amazon
Plustek PS186 Desktop Document Scanner, with 50-pages Auto Document Feeder (ADF). For Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / 11 (Intel/AMD only)View on Amazon
MUNBYN Portable Scanner, Photo Scanner for A4 Documents Pictures Pages Texts in 900 Dpi, Flat Scanning, Include 16G SD Card, Wand Document Scanner Uploads Images to Computer Via USB Cable, No DriverView on Amazon
Last update on 2023-02-08 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
There are a few broad categories into which handheld scanners fall. The first kind of scanner is a handheld one, which, as the name implies, must be carried in your hands in order to function. It has a rod form factor, and the scanning process involves dragging the scanner across the page, with the scanner gathering up data as it travels. Because of the human element, this type of scanner takes some skill to produce high-quality documents, but its small and lightweight design makes it extremely portable.
The paper is placed on a flat surface, and the scanner is suspended above it. The scanner is positioned so that it will get a clear image of the document. This means you can scan an item without moving your hands or arms. The only true drawback of this compact scanner is that it is much larger than the handheld scanner, so you'll need a larger bag to transport it everywhere.
In common usage, however, the term "small scanner" is used to describe any device that may be readily transported because of its compact form factor or light weight. Miniature scanners may scan up to 10 pages per minute and can take the shape of a cube or a cuboid. When you feed paper into the scanning slot, most models will "eat" it and scan its contents. Some models run on batteries and include internal memory, making it possible to scan anywhere without a computer.
These small, portable scanners have a restricted scanning range but are convenient for scanning on the go. Many low-cost, portable scanners can only handle documents up to A4 size. In order to scan any paperwork that is more than letter size, you will need a larger scanner. If you have a portable scanner, you can just run it across the page for as long as it is, or input the entire page into the scanner.
The resolution of scanners varies with the technology employed. Of course, higher-quality (and, in the end, more expensive) portable scanners will produce more pleasing scans, but this is not always the case. Most portable scanners offer a resolution of up to 1,200 dpi, however higher resolutions of up to 2,400 dpi are possible.
If you're seeking to buy a portable scanner, it's a good idea to research sample scans made with the equipment online before making a final decision. As such, you should now have a general notion of the scanner's output quality. If it doesn't meet all of your needs and standards, you should keep looking.
Positive Consumer Ratings
For years I've been scanning documents, but I've only ever used two scanners, so I need to draw from a wider pool of knowledge. Here, I've incorporated data from both professional studies and customer opinions.
Expert evaluations offer a clear picture of a scanner's capabilities. The Wirecutter, for instance, has devoted 130 hours over the course of several years to studying and testing several types of scanners. Consumer reviews are equally helpful. It's safe to assume that someone who paid their own way for a scanner will be forthright about both the pros and cons of using it.
Scanners that have received at least 3.8/5 stars from customers are listed below, and we encourage you to read the hundreds of reviews provided by actual customers before making a final decision.
Wired or Wireless
Traditionally, a document scanner would sit on your desk and be plugged into one of your computer’s USB ports. In many circumstances that works fine, and it was my arrangement for many years.
But it messes up your workstation and makes it harder for others to use the scanner. Selecting a wireless type that can be set in a central area and scanned to many locations, including mobile devices, or even straight to the cloud, is preferable when a scanner will be used by multiple persons.
Fast Multi-page Scanning
Many folks will first have a massive pile of paper documents that need to be digitized. That's what I found, anyway. In such a scenario, having access to a quick scanner can save you many hours of effort.
If you need to scan multiple pages at once, look for a scanner with a multi-page ADF. This is especially helpful for lengthy texts if you anticipate a PDF with multiple pages. It's a good idea to check for rapid scanning speeds (in pages per minute, or ppm) and duplex scanning capabilities.
Do small scanners have bluetooth capability?
Today, it is common for even compact scanners to include built-in wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to transfer scanned images and documents to a computer or mobile device in a matter of seconds. Note that certain older devices may not have this capability and may require a USB connection in order to access your digital files.
Can you use a scanner without a computer?
Standalone scanners allow users to scan documents without connecting them to a computer. In many cases, the documents can be stored in the scanner's internal memory, from which you can then retrieve them whenever you like.
What should I look for when buying a document scanner?
The features you need in a document scanner are contextual. It's best to go for a high-resolution (6400 DPI) scanner that can handle a range of picture sizes if you're going to be scanning photos. A scanner with document recognition and organization features should be your top scanner choice if you scan documents on a moderately regular basis. A high-volume office scanner needs quick scan times, a wide document and photo scanning capacity, and an automatic document feeder. Even though they cost more, the fastest scanners can scan hundreds of pages per minute.
How do I choose a scanner?
Determine your scanning demands and how much you are willing to spend on a document scanner before making a final decision. The most expensive scanners typically include features you won't use. Look for functions that will facilitate your intended use of the scanner.
Scanners aren't the most interesting gadgets, but the correct one can help you stay more organized, hold on to precious memories, and even get more done in a day. Having an easy and quick means to digitize papers, images, and receipts can keep things neat, protected, and organized, even if it isn't specifically required for your profession. Our comprehensive testing findings should guide you toward the optimal model for your small-file needs.