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Best Document Scanner 2024: High-Quality Scanners for Offices

We break down the best document scanners on the market today
Last Updated on January 30, 2024
Best Document Scanner

Digitizing copious amounts of text can be a tiresome task, which is why you should invest in one of the best document scanners. Quickly scan and copy documents into a digital format to suit your needs, regardless of whether it’s business admin or simply archiving old documents from home. Whilst many printers for small businesses and the like have a built-in scanner, a separate device helps maximize productivity and quality.

We’ve put together our rankings of the best document scanner options on the market, so that you can weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of each and choose the right document scanner for your needs. We’ve accounted for a diverse range of budget and specialist irrespective of your office or household requirements, you’ll be certain to find the right document scanner for you!

Products at a Glance

How We Picked the Best Document Scanner

Naturally, the most important element factoring into the “best document scanner” is how well it scans documents. We analyzed the speed and resolution with which documents are scanned, and the scanner’s overall Optical Character Recognition (OCR) accuracy. The best scanners will ensure easily legible and high-quality digital documents.

On top of how well it scans, we also analyzed general user-friendliness and any additional quality-of-life features that make these scanners worthwhile. Additionally, to ensure everyone comes away with a suitable scanner solution, we chose products from across a range of budgets and needs.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • Multimedia capabilities
  • Fast scanning
  • Convenient design
CONS
  • No WiFi connectivity

Our top pick for today’s ranking is Canon’s imageFORMULA R40. This document scanner combines convenience, efficiency, and durability in a sterling model; making it a perfect choice for both home and office use.

The scanner doesn’t disappoint in terms of speed: it can scan 40 one-sided documents or 80 two-sided documents in a minute. On top of that, it features an automatic document feeder that can take up to 60 sheets, and you can get it up and running with only one touch of your fingers. To accommodate more specialist business needs, the R40 features a Long Document Mode that enables you to scan documents up to 118 inches long. It also comes with free licenses for OCR software to ensure the best clarity from scanned documents.

Whilst the R40 is compatible with both Windows and MacOS, you’ll have to make do with a wired connection as this printer doesn’t come with WiFi support. However for most uses, this shouldn’t affect the overall value of this scanner. We still highly recommend the imageFORMULA R40 as the best document scanner on the market!

2
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Automated document feeder
CONS
  • Cumbersome power supply
  • Only scans to image or PDF formats

For a more affordable scanner solution, the Canon imageFORMULA range offers the DR-F120, a budget document scanner for general-purpose use. Boasting a gamut of useful features at a low price point, this scanner is ideal for documents of any kind.

An impressive feature the Dr-F120 boasts that isn’t often seen in budget scanners is the ability to scan two sides of paper in a single pass. Combined with an automatic document feeder, this makes for easy and quick turnarounds on large scanning loads. Text and documents come out with high clarity and legibility and can be easily saved to a cloud-based storage system. To prevent paper jams, the ADF roller can be removed for adjustment and cleaning.

Though this has a lot of the hallmarks of the best document scanner, there are some drawbacks. The power cable comes with a chunky external power brick, contrasting the slim design of the scanner with a cumbersome power supply. And though most will only need it for documents, the ability to save to more varied file formats rather than PDFs or images would be welcome. These don’t detract from the overall value of this document scanner, however, and it’s still one of our top choices!

3
PROS
  • Easy-to-use LCD touchscreen
  • Automated document feeder
CONS
  • Accessories sold separately

We’re big fans of Brother products here, and the highly-portable ADS-1700W wireless document scanner proves exactly why. Boasting impressive scanning features in a tiny footprint, this scanner is ideal for the office on-the-go.

With an automated document feeder of up to 20 pages, you’ll be able to easily handle medium loads of scanning quickly and efficiently. The wirelessness of the ADS-1700W cannot be overstated enough as a bonus to its productivity, making the scanner easily transported and activated within moments. You don’t even necessarily need to download any kind of driver for this scanner, as it can be operated from any web browser. There’s a lot to like about this fantastically portable scanner.

That said, there’s a lot to dislike. Though the upfront price of this model is lower than our budget offering, several arguably essential accessories are sold separately, which can quickly hike up the cost. Components such as a USB cable for wired connections aren’t included, which can hamstring productivity for those not wanting to use wireless connections. However, for a highly portable scanner that can be set up practically anywhere, the ADS-1700W is hard to beat!

4
PROS
  • Highly compact and lightweight
  • USB cabling only
CONS
  • Slow scan speed
  • No automated features

The Epson WorkForce ES-50 is a budget-friendly and compact document scanner that proves perfect for home use. It’s the smallest scanner on our list, easily mistaken for a TV soundbar, but this compact scanner packs a lot into its tiny package. 

Instead of running on a power cable or batteries, the ES-50 powers itself via a single USB cable that plugs into your PC or Mac. The tiny footprint of this device makes it easy to position, and easy to use. Scanned documents can be converted to standard PDFs or editable Microsoft Office templates thanks to Epson’s own ScanSmart software. Color photos, as well as documents, are easily scanned and digitized, making the ES-50 the best scanner for home use – allowing for the most versatile scanning solution.

However, there’s a reason a business may struggle with this unit. With slower-than-average scan speeds and no automation, busy businesses will struggle to efficiently run with this scanner. It’s still ideal for home use, and the ES-50 earns its spot on our list as the best document scanner for home use!

5
PROS
  • Business-minded design features
  • Highly accessible
CONS
  • High price point
  • Struggles with multi-page documents

For businesses that deal in heavy loads of receipts as well as documents, consider the ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition. Up-and-running practically out of the box, this business-minded document scanner is ideal for commercial environments.

The iX1600 is robustly designed: hardly small, but with a sturdy build quality. For added accessibility, the accompanying software is compatible with tools such as ABBYY FineReader and QuickBooks. Documents come out with great OCR accuracy and can be quickly saved, printed, or uploaded. You can even set up user profiles so that coworkers can use the scanner in multiple instances without interference. And of course, as the name suggests, receipts are also easily scanned.

So why isn’t this the best document scanner? Aside from the premium price, we also found the iX1600 made combining multiple pages into a single document difficult – having to undergo a time-consuming process of individually scanning then saving each page separately. Though this will vary from organization to organization, some businesses may find this too cumbersome a task. For day-to-day commercial scanning, however, the iX1600 Receipt Edition is still one of the best document scanners on the market!

Features and Considerations

If you’re investing in a document scanner that’s not on our list today, here are some things to consider:

Scanning Speed

If you’re buying a document scanner for business needs, you need to prioritize fast scanning speed while shopping. A scanner’s speed is measured either by images per minute (IPM) or pages per minute (PPM). Scanners come at a wide range of speeds that go from 10ppm to 80ppm. While this feature isn’t a deal breaker for home use, it can significantly affect work efficiency. For maximum productivity, you should look for 30 ppm and higher speeds.

Software

Most scanners come with included image processing drivers that you can use to edit and preview your documents before saving them to your device. These can be configured in a number of ways to optimize scanning for different media, from documents through to 35mm film. For standard scanning, however, accessibility is key. 

Connectivity Options

Scanners mostly connect through USB cables, but a few models on the market support WiFi connectivity. While USB scanners are enough for most purposes, WiFi connectivity makes things much easier. This ensures you aren’t forced to be in close proximity to your scanner, allowing for greater freedom. WiFi connectivity also makes it easier for multiple people to use the scanner without the need to move it to the nearest laptop or computer. That said, it significantly affects the affordability of scanners, so if you don’t need it, you can skip it.

Material Handling

If you work with multiple materials, you should look for a scanner with versatile material handling. Not all scanners can handle delicate receipts, small cards, or thick documents. To guarantee the scanner you’re buying can accommodate your needs, you should check the materials it supports.

Size

Document scanners come in a wide range of sizes. Larger scanners can naturally scan larger volumes, but they can be inconvenient to place on a crowded desk. Before making your purchase, you should check the scanner’s dimensions and ensure it can fit in your work area without too much of a hassle.

Duplex Scanning

Duplex scanning is a superb feature that allows you to scan two-sided documents at once without feeding the scanner twice. However, it’s only available in a handful of scanners on the market. If you want to save time and energy during work, you should check for its presence before making your purchase.

What is the best document scanner resolution?

Document scanners come with resolutions generally in the range of 150dpi to 1200dpi. The higher side of this range breeds better text quality and more intricate details, while the lower side comes at more affordable prices. Depending on your needs and budget, you should choose a number within this range.

Are document scanners better than printer scanners?

Yes: Though it depends on your needs, a dedicated scanner will almost always be able to scan to a better resolution than one attached to a printer. Though printer scanners save on space and money, scanners come with more configurable settings and optics.

Our Verdict

Though the lack of WiFi connectivity is a sore spot, the imageFORMULA R40 is the best combination of affordability, versatility and quality in the document scanner market. With plenty of quality-of-life features on top of great scanner resolution, this document scanner is ideal for businesses, households or offices of any size!

If you’re a business looking for an affordable check-printing solution, why not check out our guide on the best printers for checks?