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Each side of a sheet of paper is considered one "image," whereas the scanner's speed is reported in pages per minute (ppm) or images per minute (ipm), depending on which unit is being used. Whether you're scanning in color, black and white, or grayscale, as well as the paper size, can all affect how quickly your scans are processed. Manufacturers' specs may differ slightly, but they often apply the same assumptions across brands ("40 ipm/20 ppm for letter size at 200 dpi," for instance) which allows for reliable comparisons.
Single-pass duplex scanning
A duplex scanner can scan both sides of a page in one pass, eliminating the need to manually flip the paper over. (Simplex scanners refer to devices that can only scan one side at a time.) This time-saving function is standard on today's desktop document scanners.
Most current designs can read both sides of a page in a single scan. When scanning in duplex, some flatbed duplex scanners pull the paper through completely on the first pass, and then pull it through again along a different path to scan the second side. This double-checking procedure adds a lot of time to the scanning process. Though the advertised ipm speed is exactly twice the ppm speed, you have a single-pass duplex scanner, even if the manufacturer's marketing materials don't specify which type of duplex scanning is employed.
The duty cycle is the maximum number of pages per day that a scanner can do without getting too hot or wearing out too quickly, as determined by the manufacturer. A duty cycle of 500 pages per day is more than sufficient for home and small office use; however, if you intend to keep your scanner extremely busy, you should search for one with a duty cycle greater than the amount of pages you anticipate scanning on a daily basis.
Ultrasonic double feed detection
Multiple-page alerts are becoming standard on many modern scanners. That's useful, but preventing multiple feeds would be much better!
The amount of available space will be the primary factor in determining the size of the scanner you should purchase. You generally don't want a bulky scanner if your workspace is limited. In any case, your project specifics should inform your decision on the appropriate scale. Scanning hundreds of pages every day? You'll need a large, high-capacity auto-feed scanner. An inexpensive, single-page scanner will serve your needs if you only need to scan a few pages per day. Below, you'll find the specifics about the size (in inches) of each scanner.
Dots per inch (dpi) is a common unit of scanner resolution (DPI). When the DPI is increased, the scanned images improve in quality. You definitely don't need the maximum resolution of 9,600 DPI that some high-end scanners offer unless you plan on blowing up a small photo to poster size. A flatbed scanner with a resolution of 600–1,200 DPI will serve most people's needs. Since you'll simply be scanning text with a sheet-fed document scanner, a DPI higher than 300 isn't necessary.
Scan to cloud
When working with a large number of documents, having a scanner that can upload scans directly to the cloud is a huge time saver for anyone who stores their files in the cloud.
While the most majority of scanners just require a USB cable to connect to a computer, there are some that also feature wireless networking capabilities, which can come in handy in a business setting or when sending a document wirelessly to a device lacking a USB port.
Can my scanner only scan images or documents into a computer?
It's true that some scanners can only scan images into a computer, but others can link to Android and Apple devices over WiFi and transmit documents immediately to a tablet or smartphone.
What kind of software should my scanner come with?
Software that is along with your scanner can simplify and improve your scanning experience. We've already covered optical character recognition (OCR) software, which can convert a scanned image into editable text, but your scanner might also include photo editing and color restoration software, report-creation tools for use in accounting or business, and a PDF converter. With the right software, you can easily organize your scanned papers and share them via email or cloud storage.
Scanning documents helps you save time at work and feel more at ease knowing that your important documents are safe. Scanning documents can also help businesses continue operating effectively during times of downsizing or staffing changes such as relocation or layoffs. Avoid putting your documents at danger by keeping them in their paper form and start scanning them today.