Best Scanner

Working from home, everyone is looking for the best scanner for documents and photos. Whether you need to convert reports, receipts, or photos, you need a scanner that can do the job quickly and easily. How do you choose the right scanner?

Choose between a traditional flatbed scanner, where you lay down one page at a time, and a sheet-feed scanner, which allows you to scan multiple pages via an automatic document feeder (ADF). Alternatively, you could choose a hybrid scanner, or combo scanner, which includes a flatbed and a sheet-feed scanner.

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Consider where you will use your scanner as well. Our list of desktop scanners will be of most interest if it is primarily used in one place, such as your home office. However, if you travel a lot, you may prefer one of the more portable scanners further down our list.

In addition to connectivity, you need to consider whether you want double-sided scanning (aka duplex), how fast you want your scanner to work, how many items you want at one time, and what level of resolution is required.

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Documents that are long or contain other large items shouldn’t be scanned one page at a time, especially if you have to digitize them frequently. With an automatic document feeder (ADF), you can load a bunch of pages at once and leave the scanner to handle the rest. In this case, we recommend the Epson WorkForce ES-500.

Especially since you can scan both sides of a page if you wish, the 50-sheet capacity is going to save you a lot of time. With its high resolution of 1200dpi (dots per inch), it is also capable of scanning text accurately, and reproducing all kinds of media accurately, from business cards to photos. Additionally, it works fast, zipping through 35 pages per minute.

Other scanners on the market can match some or all of these specifications. However, they tend to be much more expensive and overkill for most people. Alternatively, if you don’t need Wi-Fi, you might prefer the otherwise identical (and less expensive) Epson WorkForce ES-400.

  • High resolution
  • 50-sheet capacity
  • Fast scan speed

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Epsom’s V850 Pro does not come cheap, but it’s a good choice for photographers looking for a serious scanner for their slides, film, and prints.

The dual-lens scanner selects the best lens for the job every time and scans at up to 4800dpi for photos and 6400dpi for film and slides. The scanner requires virtually no warm-up time and comes with two sets of professional-quality film holders.

To reproduce tonality and gradation accurately, the V850 Pro features a high dynamic range. It also automatically removes dust and scratches from photos and film scans. It also comes with its own software for optimizing results. It’s probably overkill for most, but if you’re serious about film photography, you won’t find anything better.

  • Dual lens system
  • High-resolution scans
  • Quick warmup time
  • Large and heavy

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Got tons of printed photos you need to digitize, but don’t want to spend days and weeks doing it? We recommend the Epson FastFoto FF-680W for you. The 36-sheet capacity allows it to process large stacks of old photo prints, and the resulting digital images are of excellent quality.

There are options for sharing (300dpi), archiving (600dpi) and enlarging (1200dpi). The lower the dot-per-inch, the faster it scans. 300dpi images take just a second to scan; great for getting a family archive online. This scanner is also intelligently designed to avoid tearing, creasing, or otherwise damaging your prints.

Even so, Epson’s FastFoto FF-680W isn’t just for taking photos. In addition, it can scan all kinds of documents, and you can load up to 100 standard sheets at once into the feeder. Furthermore, we love the plastic guides for different widths of paper, which have marks for 4x6in and 5x7in photos.

  • 36 photo sheets capacity
  • 1200dpi resolution
  • Modes for different image types
  • Expensive

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Want to scan photos but want something a little more affordable than the Epson FastFoto FF-680W? If you do, then the Plustek ePhoto Z300 is the model for you.

The sheet-fed scanner is primarily used for converting printed photos into digital form, and it does that very well. This printer’s maximum resolution of 600dpi might not be enough for professional photographers, but it’s good enough for most people’s family snapshots, and the feed mechanism is gentle on prints, so you won’t need to worry about them being damaged.

There’s no Wi-Fi, you can’t print double-sided, and you have to feed each print one at a time. However, it is very easy to use, it is very affordable, and it comes with some decent image enhancement features, which allow you to quickly enhance and restore old faded images with a single click of the mouse. Although you can scan documents, its capabilities here are limited, so you wouldn’t want to buy this scanner solely for that purpose.

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable price
  • Image enhancement functions
  • Only scans 1 photo at a time

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The scanning of film negatives and slides requires specialized equipment, which is usually very expensive. Check out our roundup of the best film scanners of 2021 if you’ve got a lot of money to spend.

The Epson Perfection V600 is a great choice if you haven’t tried it yet. This flatbed scanner lets you scan various types of film at a quite affordable price. Despite its lower resolution than top-end scanners, its maximum resolution of 6400dpi is quite impressive.

It works with a wide variety of sizes and formats, including 35mm filmstrips, mounted slides and full panoramic medium-format film, and comes with two film holders to make positioning everything easy.

Additionally, the software features ICE (digital image correction and enhancement) technology, which lets you remove dust and scratches from scanned images, as well as a resizable preview window for checking everything in detail.

  • 6400dpi resolution
  • Supports a range of film formats
  • Remove dust and scratches from images
  • Not very portable

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When you need to scan a stack of papers, a sheet-feeder device is a great option. However, this method is not suitable for every type of document. Consider, for example, scanning the spread-out pages of a book or magazine page, or scanning a plastic-coated card, or scanning any valuable or delicate material you cannot trust to a feeder mechanism.

It’s good to know that the Canon DR-F120 combines both options in one neat device. The document feeder comes in handy when you want to scan several pages at once, while the flatbed is there when you need to scan items that do not fit through a feeder, or you simply prefer to use it that way.

The product isn’t the only combination sheet-feeder and flatbed scanner on the market. The 50-sheet capacity, 20 pages per minute, 600dpi resolution, and duplex printing make it the best in town. So long as you’re using Windows, because it’s not available for Mac OS at the moment.

  • Includes flatbed scanner
  • Includes document feeder
  • 50 sheet capacity
  • Windows only

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We recommend the Xerox XD-COMBO if you’re an Apple user looking for a flatbed/sheet-feeder combination scanner. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows. The device is reasonably priced with a 20-sheet capacity, two-sided printing, an impressive scanning speed of 20 pages per minute (at 200dpi), and a maximum resolution of 600dpi.

To improve the visual clarity of scanned images, the Xerox XD-COMBO uses Visioneer Acuity technology. With an easy-to-use control panel, you can also scan to any of nine presets with one click. The bundled software allows you to scan and upload documents directly to cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.

  • Flatbed & sheet-feed options
  • 20 sheet capacity
  • Mac-friendly
  • Expensive

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Are you looking for a compact and fast scanner that will not take up a lot of space? Our recommendation is the Canon DR-C225W II. Its slim profile allows it to fit on even cramped office desks or customer retail points.

There is minimal clutter from wires, thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition, there is no compromise on features, with a capacity of 30 sheets, scanning speeds of up to 25 pages per minute, and duplex printing included.

  • Slimline profile
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • One-touch operation
  • Expensive

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The Canon P-208II is another small and portable scanner that is a great option for the business traveler looking to scan photos, documents, and more on the go. Smaller than a standard ruler, this small and lightweight device slips easily into any bag or briefcase, yet still offers the capacity of 10 sheets and duplex printing.

There is also an optional Wi-Fi unit if you wish to wirelessly scan documents directly to your smartphone, tablet, or PC, or if you wish to share the scanner among a group of users.

  • Small and portable
  • 10-sheet capacity
  • Fast
  • Expensive

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Do you need a document scanner that’s ultra-small and light? There isn’t anything more diminutive than the Epson WorkForce ES-50. With a weight of just half a pound, it can be taken almost anywhere.

There are some compromises: it’s not suitable for photos, and you can only feed one sheet at a time. However, it is fast and accurate for what it does, and its 600dpi resolution should be more than sufficient for most needs.

If you want to scan on the go, it is certainly the most portable scanner you will find. There is no external power supply required since it’s USB-powered.

  • Very small
  • Very light
  • Not suitable for photos
  • Feed 1 sheet at a time


No matter what type of scanner you choose, you’ll want to check how many pages it can hold at one time. These scanners can hold up to 100 pages at a time, allowing for the quick scanning of large documents or multiple documents without having to wait for the machine to finish scanning before changing out the sheets of paper.

An online store description or box in a brick-and-mortar store should state how many pages or images a scanner can scan per minute. As a result, you will have an idea of how quickly you can digitize your photos and documents.

In your office or home, a black and white scanner will suffice if you primarily work with text documents. However, if you need to scan images or documents with charts and tables, a color scanner will capture a more accurate facsimile.

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Many all-in-one printers have built-in scanners, and nearly all come with flatbeds and automatic document feeders. For light scanning requirements, that may be enough. In order to get the most out of your scanning, however, you’ll probably want a single-function scanner. There are a number of options to choose from, and the 10 below are some of the best we have tried. Visit our roundup of the top scanners for photos, as well as our list of the best all-in-one printers if you prefer to have a scanner attached to your printer. (And finally, once you’ve digitized all that paper, see our top picks for paper shredders.)