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Best Scanners For Small Files For 2023

Peter Fonda
  Feb 8, 2023 12:20 AM

Find the best scanners for your little documents here. Find exactly what you need right here. In the list down below, you'll find some of the greatest scanners currently on the market. And all it takes to decide amongst them is a few basic inquiries into your needs and preferences.

To begin, how extensive will the scanning be? A classic flatbed scanner, where you lie down and scan one page at a time, would be OK if you just occasionally scanned things like photos or receipts. A sheet-feed scanner, on the other hand, is preferable if you need to scan multiple sheets at once, as it has an automatic document feeder (ADF). Also available are hybrid scanners that combine the features of both a flatbed and a sheet-feed scanner into a single unit.

Also, will your scanner be stationary or moved around a lot? A desktop scanner is what you need if the second option applies. On the other hand, if you do a lot of traveling, it could be better to invest in one of the top portable scanners.

In addition, you should think about whether you'd like your scanner to connect to your computer by USB, wireless LAN, or both. Is the speed of your scanner an issue? Would you like to save time by scanning both sides of a document at once (known as duplexing)? What sort of scan resolution are you looking for?

We've compiled a list of the top scanners available now. Alternatively, check out our best all-in-one printers guide if you're looking for a device that can print, scan, and copy (opens in new tab). Check out the top film scanners if you only want to scan negatives and slides (opens in new tab).


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Last update on 2023-02-08 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide

Type

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.

Size

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.

Resolution

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.


FAQS

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.


Conclusion

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.


4.3
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