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Computer Scanner Best Buy

Settling on a scanner that meets your specific day-to-day scanning needs can be challenging. Most flatbed and sheetfed scanners on the market today are geared toward everyday office tasks or photo image capture, but they come in a wide variety of types and sizes, some fine-tuned for different purposes. Document scanners, photo scanners, receipt scanners, film scanners: That list is just a start.

computer scanner best buy


We've outlined below the top scanners that we have tested across a range of categories and possible usage scenarios. "Scan" the list for the kind of work you do, then read on below that for a deeper dive into scanner specs and how to choose the right model for what, exactly, you scan.

Brother's scanners hold up well in a highly competitive, crowded market. That fact is more than enough to render the ADS-4900W our current favorite mid- to high-volume sheetfed document scanner for small to medium-size offices, workgroups, and enterprises. It stands out not because of any ground-breaking features or firsts, but because this is a terrific, rock-solid machine.

A whopping 9,000-scan daily duty cycle means you'll have to have a very determined paper-feeding person (and some really big jobs) to stress this scanner out. It's accurate, efficient, and reasonably priced (well under a grand) for what it is.

It's far from cheap at $2,499, but the DS-30000 is only half the cost of some of the copy-machine-size corporate scanners it competes with. Of course, it's overkill for a small or even midsize office, but it stands almost alone as a high-volume, large-format desktop document scanner.

Most nonprofessional photographers can't afford a dedicated photo scanner. That's why the flatbed Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 doubles nicely at scanning document pages and turning them into editable text, although to be honest you'll want a higher-priced scanner with an automatic document feeder (ADF) for handling more than occasional multipage jobs. The LiDE 400 saves desk space with a vertical kickstand and comes with impressive photo scanning and touch-up software. It can even stitch together multiple scans of photos too big for its scanning area.

The FastFoto has been on the market for some time, but this speedy, compact unit continues to be one of a kind. If you have stacks of old family snapshots, or similar card-size items to be scanned in bulk, the FastFoto can process them with speed and care. It's gentle on photos and can even scan both sides of a print without flipping it over, capturing possible date data or back-scrawled notations with the image. It can also pinch-hit as a perfectly workable document scanner for digitizing bills and those old tax records.

A cross between a desktop and a portable sheetfed document scanner, the Fujitsu fi-800R takes only about 12 by 4 inches of desk space but delivers robust performance thanks to unique Return Scan and U-Turn Scan technologies that move documents in and out without requiring multiple slots or paper trays. Its Active Skew Correction lets you be careless about placing documents in the feeder, and its speed and 4,500-scan daily duty cycle are closer to its desktop than portable rivals (though its 20-sheet ADF is on the skimpy side).

It's obviously not a high-volume, heavy-duty document manager, but the DSmobile DS-940DW's convenience, speed, and accuracy make it a standout in a crowded field of single-sheet portable scanners. Don't leave the office without it.

Overhead scanners are specialized devices with elevated cameras for scanning book or magazine pages. The CZUR ET24 Pro comes with a foot pedal or desk button that frees your hands for turning book pages or placing new content (up to tabloid size) on the scan platform. It also features automatic focus and page-turn detection, and you can even use the device in a Visual Presenter mode, with an HDMI port for playing video captured by the CZUR directly to monitors or HDTVs or livestreaming.

It's a winner in a category of one: The $79 IRIScan Mouse Executive 2 is the only mouse we know of that doubles as a handheld scanner. At first glance, it looks like just another two-button USB (not wireless) mouse with a clickable scroll wheel, but pressing a thumb button on its left side activates a laser sensor that scans an area about two inches wide with each pass of your hand. It obviously takes a little time to swipe back and forth to scan a letter-size page at 400dpi (or an A3 or tabloid page at 300dpi), but the mouse is a great match for business cards or photos. (It even comes with a mouse pad with clear plastic sheath that holds cards steady while scanning.) It does a fine job of adjusting for overlaps or less-than-perfectly-smooth mouse movements.

The IRIScan Mouse and its Cardiris software (along with its general OCR software, which supports 130 languages and exports to everything from Dropbox and Evernote to Microsoft Outlook and Excel) are strictly for low-volume scanning needs, but free you from having to carry a portable scanner on the road. For business cards and occasional short documents, it's a nifty gadget.

The first step in scanner buying comes down to a simple thing: what kind or kinds of media you'll be scanning. Knowing what (and how often) you expect to scan will tell you everything you need to know about the features you'll need.

You should also consider details such as the maximum size of the originals and whether you'll need to scan both sides of document pages. This will tell you the kind of scanner you should be looking at: a classic flatbed, a model with a sheet feeder, or something else.

Books, magazines, and objects thicker than a sheet of paper or driver's license are good candidates for an overhead scanner, which resembles an old-fashioned overhead projector with an illuminated scanning head that looks down on a flat surface. These work like cameras, snapping pictures of items and feeding them to suitable software for optical character recognition (converting images to editable text) or flattening the curve near the spine of a book.

Delicate originals such as photos and stamps can go through a sheet feeder, but you risk damaging them. If you need to scan this sort of original only once in a while, you may be able to get by with a sheetfed scanner that comes with a plastic carrier to protect the originals. Keep in mind, however, that even brand-new, unscratched plastic carriers can degrade scan quality somewhat. Direct-to-glass is always better.

Scanner models tend to stay on the market for a long time between iterations, and this is especially true of flatbed photo scanners. We regularly update our Best Scanners roundup, so should you encounter an "oldie but goodie," it simply means that no similar model that we've reviewed has yet surpassed it.

Duplex scanning means scanning both sides of a page. If you expect to frequently scan documents that are printed on both sides, you'll want a duplexing scanner, a duplexing ADF, or a scanner with a driver that includes a manual-duplex feature.

The best, swiftest duplexing scanners have two scan elements, so they can scan both sides of a page at the same time. A design like this will be faster than a scanner with a simple duplexing ADF, but it will likely also cost more. A more ordinary duplexing ADF will just scan one side, turn the page over mechanically, and only then scan the other.

In contrast, a scanner with a driver that supports manual duplexing will let you scan one side of a stack and then prompts you to flip and re-feed the stack to scan the other side, with the scanner driver automatically interfiling the pages. Manual duplexing in the driver is the most economical alternative, and it is a good choice if you don't scan two-sided documents very often or you're on a tight budget.

For most scanning, having a high enough resolution at your disposal for the job at hand isn't an issue. For, say, tax documents, even a 200-pixel-per-inch (ppi) scan will give you good enough quality for most purposes. A 300ppi scanning resolution is almost always sufficient, and it's hard to find a scanner today that maxes out at less than 600ppi. For photos, unless you plan to zoom in on a small part of the photo or print the photo at a larger size than the original, 600ppi is more than enough.

Some kinds of originals, however, require higher resolution. If you're scanning 35mm slides or negatives, or something small and finely detailed like a postage stamp, you'll need a scanner that claims an optical resolution of at least 4,800ppi.

Then there's the issue of the maximum scan size you can take. Picking a scanner that can handle the size of the originals you need to scan seems like an obvious point, but it's easy to overlook. For example, most flatbeds have a letter-size platen, which will be a problem if you occasionally need to scan legal-size pages. Most flatbeds with ADFs will scan legal-size pages via the ADF, but not all do, so be sure to check. You can also find scanners with larger flatbeds, but they will, of course, take up more desk space.

Most scanners come with basic scanning software. Depending on what you plan to scan, some of the features to look for include optical character recognition (OCR), text indexing, photo editing, and the ability to create searchable PDF documents. The days of platform-specific scanners are over; any modern scanner will work seamlessly with both macOS and Windows, and many of them can also scan to your phone or a cloud drive.

Specialized scanners have software with specialized functions. Receipt scanners come with accounting software for organizing your financial data. Scanners that handle business cards can usually extract the card data into a contact database (assuming the cards aren't too ornately designed for the OCR software to read).

Finally, consider whether you need a special-purpose scanner. Among the most common special-purpose choices are scanners for business cards (small and highly portable) and receipts (small and equipped with specialized software). Specialized slide scanners are smaller than flatbed scanners, but they're no better at scanning slides than flatbed scanners with equivalent features. 041b061a72

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