Scanners Buying Guide- How to Choose a Good Scanner

Is there too much paper on your desk? Want them to be organized? Looking for some digitizing options to save your documents? If these questions have dragged you towards reading this article, then you are thinking of buying a scanner.

Whether you are running a huge business or are a school teacher, you are probably on the lookout to be more organized and cost-effective. Scanner helps you digitize your important documents. Your huge piles of essential paperwork safely shrunk into a small machine. Isn’t that amazing? In my opinion, a good scanner must have the features that are best suited for my work. But there are a plethora of options in the ocean of the web. How can you choose one from the many?

Different kinds of scanners have different features paired with benefits. I went through tons of options that made me understand my preferences and accordingly helped me buy the best scanner that suited my field of work. So, you must be aware of the features and considerations to take into account before buying a scanner that is precisely suitable for your job.

 

What To Look Into Before Buying A Scanner?

Buying A Scanner

Scanners have been widely categorized according to some specific kinds of work fields that are using scanners for most of their work. These different kinds of scanners, to be mentioned, have the best features when it comes to the work they are made for. You must take a look at these commonly used scanners.

Flatbed Scanners:

Flatbed Scanners

Flatbed optical scanners, the most common and simplest scanners, have made their name for home as well as business applications. They are easy to use and can scan documents, books, photos, magazines, and even 3-D objects. They are quite suitable for almost all kinds of documents and paperwork. In this scanner, a target piece of paper or a document is placed on top of the glass panel, and a moving light-capturing sensor captures the entire document. These also provide high-speed and high-quality scans. But they are bulky and can take a lot of room on your desk.

 

Sheetfed Scanners:

Sheetfed Scanners

Sheet-fed scanners, unlike flatbed, operate like printers. The loose papers are fed through the scanner and moved along the beam so that it captures the entire document, unlike the movable sensor in flatbed scanners. The sheet-fed scanner has an automatic document feeder (ADF) that helps in better scanning of the documents. These scanners have a compact size that helps in limiting the workspace. They are excellent for scanning a huge amount of documents, as they can be fed to the scanner continuously, but they are not suitable for high-quality photo scanning.

 

Photo Scanner:

Photo Scanner

When it comes to scanning images, pictures, or photographs, then you should consider buying a photo scanner. Even though other scanners can scan photos and images, but photo scanners are specially made to scan the pictures with better resolution and color depth. A good photo scanner can scan 4×6-inch or 3×5-inch photographs at 300dpi or higher resolution. In these sheet-fed scanners, an image is fed through the scanner and moved along the beam so that it captures the entire image. The built-in software present in some photo scanners enhances the resolution of the images and photographs. You have to choose the best photo scanner according to the resolution of the images you want for your work.

 

Portable Scanners:

The predominant objective of portable scanners is to capture texts or data even when you are outside your house or office. They are handy and can easily fit in your pocket. These scanners scan the text, the text gets stored in the portable scanner and then the stored data can be transferred to your computer later. This transferring can be done through USB or a wireless connection. These portable scanners are good at scanning documents line by line, when rolled from the top of a page to the bottom, but are not good enough to scan images as compared to other scanners.

 

Things To Be Consider Before Buying Scanner

There are many other scanners like slide scanners, multispecialty scanners, duplex scanners, and so on, but the above-mentioned scanners are widely used scanners for all kinds of general purposes. If you are still not sure about the type of scanner you want for your benefit, then you must consider the concerning features of all the scanners that distinguish them from one another.

SPEED:

Speed of the scanners always is a concern for many. People have different workloads, so they look for the fastest scanning device for them. If you want to use the scanner once or twice a day, then speed shouldn’t be your concern, but if you are dealing with tons of paperwork to be scanned every day, then you must check the features like the time it takes to scan pages per minute (ppm) and images per minute (images per minute, ipm) of a scanner.

 

RESOLUTION:

A scanner’s resolution figure crucially separates the scanners from one another. The resolution figure is referred to as the number of pixels a scanner can capture and is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The scanners that have higher resolution can capture more information from a single picture than a lower resolution scanner, and this then results in better image quality. You have to check for the type of images of documents you want to scan so that you can set the resolution figure for your scanner.

 

COLOUR/BIT DEPTH:

You might not know about this feature, but bit depth must be a concerning factor while buying a scanner. The bit depth of a scanner is referred to as the amount of information it can capture per pixel. The higher the bit depth, the better color it imparts on the scanned files. Generally, scanners with higher bit/color depths provide better image quality. Scanners with 24-bit or 36-bit color depths are more than enough to produce high-quality scans. Some latest scanners provide bit depths like 48-bit. Choose according to your preferences.

 

SOFTWARE:

Many interested scanner buyers overlook a very important part of the scanners, the software the scanners operate on. The software a scanner is built upon might contain color calibrating, image-editing, and optical recognition (OCR) features. But all scanners do not contain a complete bundle of all the above software. Therefore, you must check the software bundle of the scanner you want to buy so that it can better suit your work.

Now you have been educated about most of the features and types of scanners available in the market. You have possibly narrowed down your options to a few. Well, there’s more to know.

 

FAQs

You must take look at some of the most frequently asked questions of the people, who are willing to buy a scanner, and the answers to them so that you can finally take the right decision of buying the most suited scanner for you.

What is the best scanner for home use?

As mentioned earlier, I think the scanner that is best suited for home use can be the flatbed scanners since they are designed for accomplishing simpler tasks. You might also use portable scanners for easier scanning of your papers. But they come with a flaw. They are not capable of producing excellent image quality. But again, based on your task, you need to go through the features of different scanners and only then buy.

 

What is a good photo scanner?

A good photo scanner must offer convincing features like high-quality photo scans with higher resolution and higher color depth figures. It must be budget-friendly and easy to use. An excellent software bundle within the scanner will put a cherry on the cake. Photo scanners with an automatic mode of scanning and, mobile device and wireless support will make the scanning process easier and less time-consuming.

 

What scanner should one get for occasional document/receipt scanning?

An all-in-one multi-function scanner can help you with your purpose. They’re inexpensive, produce good results, can scan directly to PDF, and also function as a copier and FAX machine, which come in handy in a pinch. The scanner also produces good outputs through Wi-Fi printing & scanning but might require custom drivers. You can go through other scanners as well to find yourself the best.

 

Conclusion

From the huge ocean of gadgets, it is difficult for us to buy a product that we can completely rely on upon without having skeptical thoughts. Therefore, this article brought you the required knowledge you must know before buying a scanner. You have to know about the types and features of scanners to look into so that you can put your trust in the product you buy. If you are still confused about buying the right one, then take suggestions from your friends, who have already bought a scanner. You can check reviews about different scanners on the shopping sites or any other platforms because there is a fair chance that you might come across some defective models. Therefore, you must be very careful and considerate while buying these kinds of devices. Happy shopping!

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