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The best scanners on the market provide function and versatility with useful features that cater to home and business demands.
But which is the right scanner? You'll find all kinds of options out there, and it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff. That's where we come in. At BestReviews, we want to help you pick the perfect baby crib for your little one.
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At the top of this page, you'll find descriptions of our five favorite scanners on the market. These highly rated products all qualify for our top-contender list.
Knowing your "intended use" can help you determine the type of scanner you need. Many scanners fall under the "general use" category, but there are also portable scanners, pen-sized scanners, and other types of specialized machines.
Most modern scanners come with built-in software or related programs. Choose a scanner with software and/or programs that relate to your intended use. Some scanners are able to create tax reports; others can scan receipts, documents, and business cards.
Matthew has led IT departments and tech teams in a variety of industries. Currently, he works in the sports gaming industry. He has written reviews and been involved with electronics procurement decisions for a number of players at the business and individual level for over a decade. In his spare time, you may find Matthew playing frisbee, golf, or reading a good novel.
Consider whether you want a scanner with an automatic document feeder, a sheet feeder, or duplex scanning capabilities. The more complex or innovative the features, the more expensive a scanner is likely to be.
Scanners range in price from $80-$400. Higher-quality, feature-heavy scanners generally cost more; basic machines generally cost less.
If you’re trying to “go green,” a scanner can help cut down on the amount of paper you use and increase your ability to share documents virtually instead of physically.
The Canon CanoScan is intended for the scanning of photos and documents, but it can also handle business cards, textbooks, and personalized notebooks. Home and office users can scan, copy, email, or create PDFs using buttons that are conveniently located on the front of the machine. While some of the owners we surveyed told us that this scanner does a great job with photos and documents, a handful of users told us they wished the machine offered additional options, such as 3D scanning.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is designed for both home and office use. This machine is frequently used for the scanning of receipts, documents, and business cards. Its fast speed makes it an ideal choice for bustling work environments, but owners also found it useful for scanning personal documents and photos. Customers enjoyed the double-sided scanning.
If you are hoping to scan old photos, it's better to use the original negative of the photo rather than the printed version.
The Brother ImageCenter is best suited for busy office environments. Thanks to its 50-page auto-document feed capacity, this scanner works tirelessly through stacks of papers at a healthy speed. Although many owners we surveyed purchased this machine for office use, several bought it for use at home. The Brother's unique "Home Mode" setting includes options for photo, text, and graphic scans; it also offers custom modes so that users can change the settings as needed.
The Epson Perfection V600 is equally useful for home, office, and studio settings. Users can scan everything from paper documents and photos to films and slides. A built-in transparency unit provides high-quality scans of slides, negatives, and medium-format panoramic film. Some users note that the carrier seems “flimsy.” However, many owners praise the efficiency of this machine, observing that it scans documents and photos quickly without sacrificing quality.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap excels in scanning everyday documents, but it's also a handy tool for scanning A3/A4 paper and business cards. Scanning larger documents like magazine pages, newspaper clippings, and photographs can be accomplished by using the carrier sheet that comes with the scanner. Many users told us they appreciate the versatility of this product and were able to go “completely paperless” almost overnight.
If you’re working in an office that deals with sensitive material, you may want a scanner that can help encrypt or password protect your documents.
Fujitsu ScanSnap owners told us they really like the software that comes with this product. The scanner comes bundled with Adobe Acrobat X standard, although potential buyers should note that the software is only compatible with Windows operating systems. This software lets users create searchable PDFs and edit scanned PDF files. The software also offers extra privacy and security by generating password-enabled and digital ID-attached PDF files. Set-up is quick and easy on both PC and Mac computers.
The Epson Perfection scanner packs a lot of punch when it comes to the volume of software and related programs it offers, especially considering the price. For example, it offers DIGITAL ICE for films and prints and Adobe Photoshop Elements for one-touch color restoration. Optical Character Recognition software allows users to easily convert scanned documents into editable text. Many Epson owners told us this software is easy to use, but a few users complained of compatibility issues with their current computer operating systems.
Trying to digitize a box of old yearbooks? Trying to scan in tax/financial documents? Trying to scan receipts? Different scanners are specialized for different purposes, with wildly different price points. Sometimes, even your phone may work with apps like Scanbot and Evernote.
The Brother ImageCenter's tremendous software package is great for both home and office. This dynamic software suite includes Nuance PDF Converter Professional 7 (Windows), Nuance PaperPort 12 SE (Windows), Presto! PageManager 9 (Mac), and Presto! BizCard (Windows/Mac). Both Windows and Mac users told us they appreciate these generous, versatile offerings. The Brother also includes PDF-converter software that enables the creation of searchable PDF documents.
Compared to some of the other scanners on our shortlist, the Canon is light on software and related programs. The Canon's greatest software feature is its Auto Scan Mode, which automatically adjusts settings depending on the item being scanned. Several owners we surveyed told us that this scanner is perfect for their home use, as the software set-up is minimal and fast. A few Mac owners had to contact customer support to figure out how to properly scan items using this machine.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 runs with a driver called TWAIN that helps link the documents to the appropriate landing spot. If your company uses Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote or another online storage account, this is a great scanner for you. However, some owners experienced the TWAIN system crashing after a couple of months.
Scanners with auto mode can be useful if you don’t know much about scanning different types of documents or if you need to scan a large number of photos.
The Fujitsu's standout features include two-sided scanning, rapid 25-page-per-minute scanning, and USB/WiFi connection to a computer. The owners we surveyed told us they really appreciate this model's speedy scanning and its compatibility with both PCs and Macs. Another highlight is the Fujitsu's connectivity to iPad, iPhone, and Android devices through WiFi. In addition, the scanner's carrier sheets give users a convenient way to digitalize larger documents.
The Epson Perfection V600 features four customizable buttons – “Scan,” “Copy,” Scan to email,” and “Create PDF” – that allow users to quickly complete tasks. Customers appreciate the flexibility these buttons offer, especially when scanning slides and films. An energy-efficient LED light eliminates warm-up time and encourages faster scans and lower power consumption. Some owners told us the customizable buttons can get confusing, especially for those who just want a straightforward scanning option.
Clean your scanner’s glass often in order to avoid finger prints or smudge marks that will appear on scanned material.
The Brother ImageCenter provides a good blend of functionality and features. One of its greatest features is two-sided scanning, a benefit many owners told us they appreciate. Another highlight is this product's ability to scan up to 24 pages per minute in black/white and color. The machine's 50-sheet capacity document feeder makes it suitable for both home and smaller offices. Other features that make this product a standout include multi-feed detection, page removal, and the unique ability to scan to other “destinations” such as an Android phone, tablet, or USB flash memory drive.
Owners of the Canon CanoScan tell us that this machine offers a great solution for both the scanning and organization of PDF files. The CanoScan features a convenient Auto Scan Mode that automatically adjusts settings depending on the item in the scanner. A single USB cable handles both data and power, and an advanced Z-lid expansion top accommodates larger/bulkier items. Some customers express concern over the permanently fixed lid, noting that it can get in the way of scanning larger objects.
Customers enjoyed the ability to load up to 50 pages into the feeder at a time for scanning. They also commented on its speed between scanning a document and locating it in their storage drive. Beyond this, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 doesn't come with too many flashy features.
You can get color restoring scanners that will automatically correct the color in old photos, even if they have yellowed over time.
A price tag of $539 makes the Fujitsu the most expensive item on our shortlist. The Fujitsu name is associated with product quality and longevity; many owners told us that they bought this scanner to replace an older Fujitsu model that served them well for many years. Other highlights of this product include its speed, quality, and sleek, modern design.
At a cost of $198, the Epson Perfection V600 falls in the middle of our shortlist price range. This machine caters to people who want to scan documents, photos, films, and slides. One of the most common consumer complaints we encountered in our research is that the Epson's software is “complicated,” causing the set-up process to take longer than desired. However, the majority of Epson owners in our survey agreed that once set-up is complete, the product produces quality scans and is easy to use.
Use a 600 DPI resolution for photos that are 4” by 6”. This way the photo quality will remain top notch even if you print an enlarged version.
The Brother ImageCenter ADS has a price tag of $385, placing it in the middle of our top-five pack. This machine's 50-page auto-document feed capacity and 24-page-per-minute black/white and color capability are two of its standout features. Users tell us they really like the Adobe Acrobat Professional software that comes with the scanner. A handful customers told us they wished they'd spent more money on a better product, complaining that the Brother's scans are poor in quality.
At a cost of just $82, the Canon CanoScan is the least expensive model on our shortlist. Customers in our survey admitted that they initially questioned this lower price in comparison to other scanners. However, many of these same customers told us that the CanoScan actually surpassed their expectations. Software-related set-up issues can occur from time to time with this product, but these issues are easily resolved with a call to Canon's customer service center. Overall, this budget-priced scanner upholds Canon's reputation as a producer of quality digital products.
At a cost of $349, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 is one of the pricier items on our shortlist. The selling point of this machine is its ability to easily and effectively scan receipts, business cards, and related documents at a quick rate. Many of the customers we surveyed appreciated the simplicity of the product and that it was easily usable by everyone in their office.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap earns our “Best of the Best” award for many reasons, including its generous selection of helpful features. ScanSnap owners love its rapid, two-sided scanning capability and its connectivity to iPad, iPhone, and Android devices through WiFi. We love the fact that the Fujitsu is compatible with both PC and Mac computers, making it a useful addition to home and office alike. Owners we surveyed told us they definitely got their money's worth in terms of quality and longevity with this product. Indeed, the influx of positive comments we received about this scanner was simply overwhelming. Fujitsu has a history of producing long-lasting scanners, and the ScanSnap is no exception.
If you're looking for a scanner that yields a beautiful product while simultaneously saving you time and effort, there is no better product on the market than the Fujitsu.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.