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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 June 12, 2024
Best Document Scanner
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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!

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. But within that space, there’s also plenty of differential factors for a document scanner.

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.

Best Document Scanner
  • Canon imageFORMULA R40
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 600 dpi
  • OCR: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Defect Removal: Yes
What We Think

This highly capable multipurpose scanner from Canon is ideal for any household or business document scanning.

Reasons to Buy
  • Large capacity – the R40 can scan up to 60 documents at a time with auto-feeding.
  • Convenient design – both software and hardware are easy to use.
Reasons to Avoid
  • No WiFi support – the R40 is USB only.

Our top pick for today’s ranking is the Canon 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!

Best Portable Document Scanner
  • Brother DS-940DW
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 1200 dpi
  • OCR : Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB, MicroSD
  • Defect Removal: Yes
What We Think

This exceptional portable scanner is ideal for heavy-duty document scanning on the move, no matter your business needs.

Reasons to Buy
  • Upscaled resolution – the DS-940DW is able to improve the native scan resolution up to 1200 dpi.
  • Fast scanning – at 16 pages per minute, you’ll clear your backlog in no time.
Reasons to Avoid
  • Manual document feeder – you’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself with the DS-940DW.

Brother are a renowned manufacturer of printers and other productivity peripherals, and the DS-940DW continues the trend of high-end scanning solutions. The difference with this model is it’s portability, allowing you to take your scanner with you for any project.

Even though the scanner can connect to devices via USB, you can send scanned documents using Wi-Fi. Furthermore, the DS-940DW doesn’t need a power cord since it uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This makes for a highly versatile unit that can be carried virtually anywhere. The DS-940DW has an optical resolution of 600 dots per inch (dpi), but through software enhancement, it scans with an interpolated resolution of 1200 dpi. Capable of scanning 16 color pages per minute, this scanner is a productivity powerhouse. 

One thing standing in the way of that productivity, however, is the lack of an automated document feeder. This egregious manual element limits the scan speed of the DS-940DW to how quickly you yourself can load it, which proves frustrating. It’s the price of portability, however, and we still highly recommend the DS-940DW as a top portable document scanner!

Best Budget Document Scanner
  • An ImageFORMULA DR-F120 Canon printer on a white background.
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 600 dpi
  • OCR: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Defect Removal: No
What We Think

Ideal for smaller-budget homes or offices, the DR-F120 is a great budget scanner that remains highly capable despite it’s low price.

Reasons to Buy
  • Automated – the DR-F120 still has an automated feeder despite its low price.
  • Affordable – retailing under $200, this scanner is an easy budget option.
Reasons to Avoid
  • PDF only – the software limits the overall usefulness of the DR-F120.

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!

Best Document Scanner for Small Business
  • ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 1200 dpi
  • OCR: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB, WiFi Direct
  • Defect Removal: Yes
What We Think

For businesses that deal in receipts and want to preserve them beyond the paper, this scanner is an ideal choice.

Reasons to Buy
  • Accurate – the OCR software on the iX1600 is exceptional for easy conversion to digital document formats.
  • Accessible – the scanner driver is easy to navigate.
Reasons to Avoid
  • Multi-page issues – we found the iX1600 struggled 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!

Best Flatbed Document Scanner
  • Epson Perfection V850 Pro
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 9600 dpi
  • OCR: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Defect Removal: Yes
What We Think

If you need to preserve every pixel of detail, then the V850 Pro is the ideal scanning solution.

Reasons to Buy
  • Premium scan quality – the unique dual-lens system makes for optimal scanning resolution at 9600 dpi.
  • Flatbed scanning – for multimedia documents or larger scans, the V850 Pro has an accommodating scan bed.
Reasons to Avoid
  • Premium price point – the price of the V850 Pro may be hard for some to justify.

Our final pick is a top-rated flatbed scanner ideal for everything from documents to film slides: the Epson Perfection V850 Pro. Flatbed scanners are ideal for preserving the most detail in a scan, and this unit ensures top quality for all your multimedia needs.

With a scan resolution up to 9600 dpi and a print bed 8.5″ x 11.7″ in size, you’ll have plenty of scope to scan your documents or photos. With exceptional OCR and the ability to correct defects and imperfections in scanned images, the V850 Pro is a highly capable unit. It truly strives for the “Perfection” implied in its moniker, with a dual-lens system designed to ensure perfection. There’s a lot to love with this top Epson scanner.

That said, one thing we dislike is the price point: retailing over $1000, not every home or business will be able to justify buying the V850 Pro. Still, for the premium quality some businesses require, you can’t beat this flatbed scanner.

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.

FAQs

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.

Verdict

Verdict
  • Canon imageFORMULA R40
Specifications
  • Scan Resolution: 600 dpi
  • OCR: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Defect Removal: Yes

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?

Angus Warrender is a PCGuide Writer and Editor. He's interested in a range of tech, from cameras to consoles, and has an eye for spotting the best products on the market!