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Best Scanners For Documents And Photos : Review And Buying Guide

Brandon Forder
  Nov 28, 2022 4:57 AM

The best document and photo scanners make it easy to back up valuable papers like wills, recipes, and business cards. Scanners are a must-have for any office, whether it's a home office or a commercial establishment, as they ensure the longevity of paper documents and photographic images.

It might be difficult to navigate the document and photo scanner market when you require a device that can reliably make digital copies of your most crucial papers. A good scanner is essential, but finding the right one can be tricky. A user-friendly, inexpensive, and high-quality scanner is what the majority of people need. Depending on the number of files to be scanned, you need also think about cloud storage, file size, and scanning times.

Our team of specialists has determined that the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 is the best option for you since it is adaptable, quick, and packed with features. Document and photo scanners from trusted manufacturers like Fujitsu, Epson, and Brother are among the top options, and we've narrowed down your options based on your scanning needs and price.

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Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide


There are many different kinds of scanners on the market, each with its own set of capabilities.

Flatbed scanners

The most common kind, depending on the size of the original, may scan virtually any paper document. Most folders have an adjustable lid so that thicker items like books and periodicals can be stored inside. The largest area that can be scanned by any scanner is 11 by 17, which is the largest page size supported by some flatbeds.

Photo scanners

When compared to a regular flatbed scanner, the color depth that this one offers is ideal for scanning photographs and other images. Not all photo scanners have editing software, although some do.

Document scanners

Sheet-fed scanners are flexible and can scan documents of varying sizes. Every day, a scanner can handle hundreds of thousands of pages.

Portable scanners

Sizes, on the order of a pen's, up to roughly a foot in length are possible. They can be used with a mobile device through USB or wirelessly and don't eat up a lot of juice. A pen-like scanner can be used to scan a page one line at a time, while a larger scanner can handle full documents.

Slide scanners

35mm slides and film negatives can be scanned via slide scanners. Users can either insert the slide into a slot or in a tray, depending on the model.

Available Space

Whether or not to buy is sometimes determined by how much room is available in a home office or on a desk. Only 8.5x11-inch papers can be scanned on smaller flatbed scanners, but 11x17-inch sheets can be scanned on bigger models. When coupled with a computer and printer, portable scanners shine. Take careful measurements of the area, and have them on hand while looking through scanner parameters.

Image Sensor

Scanners are based on the principle of reflection and transmission. Information on paper is digitized by shining a light upon it, reflecting it through a series of mirrors and lenses, and finally landing on a sensor or photosensitive element. This is accomplished by several types of image sensors in different scanners. Charged Coupled Device (CCD) and Contact Imaging Sensor are two types of image sensors (CIS).

Digital image sensors made possible by electronic integrated circuits are at the heart of the most popular scanner technology, known as CCD. CCD allows for a plethora of colors, vivid clarity, and a high resolution (depth of field). This innovation allows for the editing and minimization of fold lines, making them less noticeable. High-resolution, crystal-clear images are captured using CCD scanners in 16-bit grayscale (64,000 shades of gray).

Fiber optic lenses transmit data from CIS scanners' image sensors. However, while the price is lower than that of a CCD scanner, the image quality is not as good. A CIS scanner only takes in 8-bit grayscale and has a lesser resolution, shallower depth of field, and shorter range (256 shades of gray). If you're scanning solely text documents and not high-quality, high-resolution photos, a CIS scanner could be a good fit.


You should use the duplexing capability if you intend to perform many scans. You can save a lot of time by using one of the many photo scanners available that can scan both sides of a document at once.


Scanners for photographs can have resolutions anything from 300 dpi to an incredible 6400 dpi. With a resolution of 6400 dots per inch, even a little image may be enlarged to poster size without any loss of detail.

Images scanned at home at resolutions between 300 and 1200 dots per inch (dpi) are perfectly usable. Scanning at 300 dpi is sufficient for most purposes. In contrast, for pictures, a resolution of at least 600 dpi is recommended.

What is DPI?

Dots per inch, or DPI for short, is a crucial metric for determining an image's sharpness and detail. When a paper photograph is digitized, each individual dot becomes a single pixel. Accordingly, a higher DPI results in sharper and more detailed images.


The USB cable is the standard method by which scanners communicate with computers. Nonetheless, there are a plethora of opportunities to scan without being tethered to a computer at all, including the use of wireless connections.

Portable scanners with Wi-Fi access and/or ample storage space are worth considering if you need to scan documents on the fly.

Cloud Support

Need remote access to your scanned files? If you select for a scanner that syncs with the cloud, you'll have that choice. You may scan documents and photos directly into the cloud with the help of several devices on the market today. If you want to maximize productivity, you should get one that works with Google Drive, Dropbox, or whichever cloud service you use.


If your home office or place of work is relatively spacious, you won't need to worry too much about storage. One that is compact and light in weight is what you should be on the lookout for if you have limited desk space or need to bring your document scanner with you wherever you go. A cumbersome answer is not a portable option, and is instead better suited to being kept at the workplace.


What should you prioritize when buying a document scanner?

You should prioritize your needs because no scanner is perfect (although some are very near). Document scanning may be less of a daily necessity if you just need to scan them infrequently. Nonetheless, it is always preferable to seek out a precise scanner to ensure flawless results every time. If you simply need to scan a few documents at a time, you probably don't require an automatic document feeder. The best choice is to get a scanner that has helpful software.

How does a scanner work?

Scanners are based on the principle of reflection and transmission. Information on paper is digitized by shining a light upon it, reflecting it through a series of mirrors and lenses, and finally landing on a sensor or photosensitive element.

Can I scan all types of documents with one scanner?

Pages, receipts, pictures, and business cards are just some of the items that can be scanned with certain scanners. You may even use certain flatbeds to scan photographic negatives.

What should I look for when buying a document scanner?

Depending on your intended use, you should prioritize different features when shopping for a document scanner. Photos require the greatest resolution (6400 DPI) and a scanner that can handle a wide range of picture sizes. If you scan papers on a moderate basis, you should give special attention to finding a scanner that can recognize and file different types of documents. An automatic feeder, flexible document and image scanning, and lightning-fast scan speeds are all must-haves for scanning at an office level. High-speed scanners that can process hundreds of pages per minute come at a price.


The software that is compatible with the document scanner that you purchase is crucial. It is possible to lessen the administrative burden of scanning by using cloud storage that offers automatic image enhancement and file organizing. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for many scans only to wind up with fuzzy, unusable data, but if scanning is essential to your profession, it is well worth investing in something accurate and fast.

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