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5 Best Scanner for your Home (Document, High Speed, Professional, Portable and Overall Best Scanners)

Let's face it: You have been hanging on to your old scanner for years, and not only is it becoming unreliable, but it seems to take hours to scan one page. You know it is time to upgrade, but with so many options, how do you find the best scanner for your money?

The truth is, there are a lot of great scanner options out there—it just depends on your personal needs.

Do you need something that works quickly?

Or maybe you need something that will give you a perfectly crisp picture?

Or are you looking for a budget-friendly option because you don't necessarily need the highest quality scans?

Let's discuss some of what you want to look for when trying to find the best scanners available. Then I will give you my picks for the best five scanners of 2017.

Don't have time to read the entire review? Here's a quick overview:​

Scanner Brand

Perfect For

Our Rating

Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner

BEST OVERALL

Epson Perfection V850 Pro

Best for Professionals

The Visioneer Warrior 4D Duplex Color Scanner

Most Portable

Fujitsu iX500 Scan Snap Document Scanner

Best for Business

CamScanner

Most Accessible

What to Look for When Buying a Scanner

To create digital images to suit your needs, it is important to look for a scanning system that can safely handle your photographs and create digital images with your specifications. Gauge the capabilities of the scanner to make sure that it is able to meet your digitization specifications and create a quality end product.

But wait—you have to make sure you know what you will be using the scanner for in order to pick the best option for you. Think about what you will be using this scanner for. Is it just to keep your personal photos organized or are you using it for business as well? I know when I first bought a scanner I thought that I would just be using it for pictures, but have now found it to come in handy for a lot of other things. Consider all of your scanning needs before committing to one type of scanner.

Some key criteria to look for in these best scanners include:​

  • The kind of scanner that is appropriate for your materials
  • The technical capabilities of the system
  • Your budget

Here is a great video that explains the different types of scanners available on the market.

Why the Type of Scanner Matters

Basically, all scanners do the same thing. They use glass, mirrors, a light source, a charged-couples device chip, and a combination of belts, rollers, and motors to move the document around and capture the image in its entirety. However, while they all do the same thing, the method, quality, and effort it takes to get a final product varies tremendously between models.

Types of Scanners

There are five common types of scanners, three of which are ideal for safely handling historical photographs. These are a flatbed scanner, a film scanner, and a digital camera. So, first things first. You need to evaluate what kind of scanner is best suited for your materials.

Flatbed Scanner

When thinking about scanners, people often envision the flatbed scanner, which is a common home and office machine. This scanner gets its name from its flat fixed glass bed where you lay your documents. Here is a quick video on how a flatbed scanner operates.

There is no doubt that flatbed scanners are the best choice for people who need a versatile scanner that can scan photos just as easily as documents. I have found this type of scanner to be great when I need to scan something that has some sort of texture on it, or a business card stapled to an invoice.

Flatbed scanners have a very high resolution because they are full-sized scanners that don't need to cut corners when the are made. You can see the resolution on a scanner as it is expressed in DPI (dots per inch). While anything over 200 DPI is typically fine, these scanners offer up to 600 DPI. However, this isn't something to worry about too much, because even inexpensive scanners have more than enough resolution to scan your documents with enough quality to be able to see the image just fine.

Sheet-Fed Scanner

Needless to say, a flatbed scanner is a great option if you need to scan various types of documents, but it isn't an efficient tool if you are scanning in bulk. If you want to scan several pages at once, a sheet-fed scanner is a better option. This document scanner will automatically scan multiple sheets at once without you having to manually change the sheet after each scan.

When you are looking for a sheet-fed scanner, high resolution isn't as big of a priority as the scanner's ease of use, reliability, and speed. It's best to find a scanner that works quickly, is durable, and is easy to load. Here is an example of how quickly a sheet-fed scanner can work.

Portable Scanner

So what happens if you have mobile scanning needs? Don’t worry—there’s a solution. While portable scanners aren't the best at scanning, they are able to get the job done.

While they may not have the highest resolution, a big sheet-feeder, or many other desired amenities, they do offer an adequate resolution with a simple operation. When I was a student, this was the ideal scanner to have because I would be doing work anywhere between the campus library, my home, and the local coffee shop.

Hybrid Scanners

Let's face it: The idea of having a machine that scans, prints, and faxes all in one sounds like an ideal purchase. However, while hybrid scanners do many things, they don't do them very well. The truth is, most of these machines come with a lot of headaches because they are always in need of some kind of repair.

Furthermore, many of these units have extremely annoying quirks, like the scanning function won’t work if the printer is out of ink/toner, or it’s difficult to scan things to send to another printer because the unit was designed with a copy mode intended to scan and print only to its own printer. Overall, it’s almost never worth the headache, and you’re better off purchasing a stand-alone scanner. Because these scanners are usually junk, we won't spend time discussing them.

What is the Best Scanner for 2017?

Cam-Scanner logo -Best Scanners for Your Home Office

Best Document Scanner App

The CamScanner is a portable scanner that allows you to use your phone to scan documents on the go. I personally enjoy using this scanner because it is always there when I need it. For example, if I am not in the office over the weekend, but am trying to get some work done, I can use this scanner from home.

PROS

CONS

  • It provides you with a lot of flexibility.
  • It backs up your documents to your primary business scanner.
  • It allows you to create a mobile office.
  • The app includes editing tools.It allows you to secure private documents with a passcode.
  • The app continues to go through updates, adding more features.
  • It is a great option for people who do not need to scan very often.
  • Slower speed and lower quality than other scanners.
  • While there is a free option available, it offers limited storage, so if this is going to be your primary scanning tool, it comes with a monthly fee.
  • It tends to open on its own and stay open, which takes up memory and battery life.
  • It sometimes reopens on its own after you have closed it.The app requires in-app purchases that can become expensive.

Overall, this is the best scanner for people who want all of their documents backed up on the Internet. It can also be great (and free) for those who don't often use a scanner. Students who don't have a home office can easily use this scanner by taking a picture of what they need from their cell phones.

Best Portable Document Scanner

Best Portable Document Scanner -Visioneer Warrior 4D Duplex Color Scanner - best scanner

The Visioneer Warrior 4D Duplex Color Scanner is a compact scanner that is both portable and powerful. This scanner allows you to quickly scan anything, from your receipts to business cards to magazine articles. The scanner can then convert your document into a PDF, JPG, or other popular file formats.

Using Visioneer OneTouch technology, you can scan your document to any destination with the press of a button, which eliminates the multiple steps that are usually required to convert scanned documents to other file formats.

PROS

CONS

  • It is USB powered and very lightweight.
  • Portable.
  • Low cost.
  • It has double-sided scanning.
  • It has a long scanning length, scanning up to 30 inches long.
  • It comes with a high-quality software package and top-tier apps for document management and OCR.
  • The device is small.
  • The scanner comes equipped with a clear carrier sheet that can be used to feed uneven or small papers through, such as kids' crafts.
  • This scanner does not work with every computer system.
  • Manual feed only.Can't scan business cards.
  • Can be slower than other scanners to start.
  • The paper needs to be fed at just the right angle to achieve straight and complete scans.
  • There is no option to calibrate the scanner.

This the best scanner for genealogists, researchers, and students. This is because of its portability, but also its inclusion of the clear carrier sheet for documents that are oddly shaped.

Best Document Scanner

Best Scanners for Your Home Office - Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner

The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner comes with great features for business, including double-sided scanning and an auto document feeder with a 50-page capacity. This scanner is ideal for scanning business documents that are two-sided and several pages long. It can also easily scan documents that are up to 34 inches long, photographs, business cards, and laminated ID cards.

PROS

CONS

  • Does not take up a lot of desk space.
  • It can detect when you place a document in the feeder and automatically comes out of sleep mode.
  • Documents only need 600 DPI to be clean and clear copies. Anything over that will not provide you with additional benefits.
  • Allows you to make shortcuts to your preferred settings.
  • Can scan to USB keys.
  • Has good OCR performance.
  • Auto-deletes blank pages.
  • Slower and noisier than other scanners.
  • When it scans documents in the feeder, it immediately begins to upload them without giving you the chance to add an additional document to scan several single-page documents at once.
  • Has more misfeeds than other desktop scanners.
  • Cannot scan multiple items unless they are stacked in the feeder tray. So, for example, scanning a stack of receipts may be tedious.

Due to its ease of use and reliability, this scanner is best for both business and home use where a lot of scanning is being performed and a durable machine is needed. This is the best scanner for the everyday person who doesn't need anything too fancy but wants to get a quality product for their money.

Best Professional Scanner

Best Professional Scanner - Epson Perfection V850 Pro

The Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner provides you with professional-quality scans. This is the scanner that should be used by any professionals in film, photography or graphic design. With 6400 dpi, the quality of these images might be better than reality!

This scanner allows you both the quality and the control that you need to preserve original copies of documents. The professional-quality scans are easily transformed into a digital archive. The advanced optics and dual-lens scanning provide very clear results whether you are scanning old slides or film negatives.

You can order an optional fluid mount tray that offers wet mount scanning. This is useful if you want to cut down on any light that is refracted through your film strip. It also keeps the film strip flat, and it fills in any scratches on a black and white film.

PROS

CONS

  • Provides extremely sharp images.
  • The LED light sources warm up quickly.
  • Very easy to set up.
  • Comes with a dual-lens system.
  • You can easily renew the color of old photos.
  • Automatically removes dust, scratches, and surface defects from your film and prints so you do not have to do much retouching.
  • Provides advanced optics with a high-reflection mirror that results in minimum optical distortion.
  • Batch scan multiple slides at once.
  • Loading the film can be difficult.
  • High price compared to other options.
  • The color-calibration software is not user-friendly.
  • Heavy compared to other scanners.
  • The software it comes with is not as good as others.

This is a great scanner for anyone who is interested in creating quality replications of old photographs. It can be used by professionals, photographers, graphic artists, or people who have a strong passion for restoring historical photographs. With the high price, this is mainly suited for people who have a lot of scanning needs.

Best High-Speed Scanner

Best High Speed Scanners -Fujitsu iX500 Scan Snap Document Scanner

The Fujitsu iX500 Scan Snap Document Scanner mainly focuses on workflow and productivity. This scanner is able to create copies very quickly, yet it is still able to maintain decent quality. The fact is, it can scan up to 25 double-sided pages per minute. While it is not designed to be photo realistic, it is more than sufficient to turn years' worth of papers into digital documents.

This scanner is helpful because it provides an intuitive guide through each step of the scanning process. It also allows you to access your documents on multiple devices whenever you need to do so. Once you scan a document, you can send it to several programs, including Microsoft Office, email, and SharePoint. This scanner is also able to safeguard personal information by generating password-protected PDF files.

This is the best scanner for anyone in a home work environement where they have a high volume of ​copying needed. For most "normal" work environments the less expensive "best document scanner" above is more than sufficient.

PROS

CONS

  • Relatively lightweight.
  • Comes with a clear sleeve to insert fragile documents.
  • Meets its rated simplex and duplex scan speeds.
  • Scans incredibly quickly.
  • Has an auto-detect for black-and-white vs. color and blank pages.
  • Can scan to searchable PDF.Good OCR.
  • Has Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 connectivity.
  • Reads business cards well.
  • It easily feeds various textures of paper.
  • Very easy to set up and use.
  • Website is not user-friendly.
  • Documentation is weak compared to other scanners.
  • Some have had trouble with installation.
  • User is not able to give a scan command from inside an app.
  • Requires multiple apps to use.
  • Only wirelessly connects to one computer at a time.
  • Scanning to certain programs requires several steps.
  • Is not compatible with many popular photo programs.
  • The color saturation is of lower quality than other scanners.

This scanner is ideal for any person or business who scans a large volume of documents on a regular basis and wants to get through them quickly.

Best Scanner Overall

Best Overall Scanner 2017 - Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner

All in all, the Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner is the best scanner overall in my opinion. This reasonably priced scanner is versatile for many different types of scanning needs. Although its quality is slightly compromised when scanning photos, it does its job well enough that it is worth the money.

Additionally, this is a high-speed printer. While it is not the best high-speed printer available on the market, the difference in price is worth the minimal amount of quality that you are sacrificing.

One of the most valuable things about this scanner is that it comes equipped with a lot of free software, including:

  • Nuance™ PDF Converter Professional 7 (Windows®)
  • Nuance™ Paper Port™ 12SE (Windows®)
  • Presto!® PageManager® 9 (Mac®)
  • Presto!® BizCard® 5 (Windows®/Mac®)
  • Control Center 4 (Windows®)
  • Control Center 2 (Mac®)

The combined price of these programs is essentially equal to the cost of the scanner, so it is well worth your money to buy this package. This robust suite of software is versatile and allows you to edit your documents in several ways. Here are a few of the ways:

  • Highlight information in PDFs.
  • Create and fill out electronic forms.
  • Merge multiple file formats.
  • Scan and export contact information directly to Microsoft Outlook® and other contact management systems.

This software bundle also has Twain and ISIS drivers, which allow you to scan from just about any program that includes a scan command. Each program is automatically installed during the scanner's setup, with the exception of BizCard and Nuance PDF converter. While these are on the same disc as the other programs, they have to be selected and installed separately.

The Control Center scan is great because it is simple and has a clean interface. It allows you to scan to four destinations with the touch of a button, including: Scan to Image (300 ppi JPEG); Scan to Email (200 ppi PDF); Scan to OCR (300 ppi .txt file), and Scan to File (300 ppi PDF). To modify your document, you just have to right-click on the buttons that you want. Then you can personalize the settings to your needs, such as change the resolution, change the scan type (black-and-white/24-bit color), change the size of the document, and set the brightness and the contrast.

While other scanners require you to buy these programs separately, I have found it to be especially helpful that these come with this scanner because sometimes you don't realize how helpful a program is until you have it. For instance, I wouldn't think of buying a program that allowed me to quickly make electronic forms that can be filled out, but now that I have it, I find it to be a huge time saver, and I use it often.

All in all, this scanner has some nifty features and is sold at an affordable price. I know a lot of the more expensive scanners don't have the feature to scan to USB thumb drives, which I have found to be helpful. This scanner is flexible and versatile, and really great for the average user.

It's your call, depending on what you need a scanner for, but for the price and the functions, I have found this to be the overall best scanner.

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Best Scanners for Your Home Office



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