We tested dozens of pages, business documents, receipts, photographs and business cards to have an overall idea of quality and accuracy. After our detailed analysis, we selected Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Mobile Document Scanner, if you are looking for a specific all in one option.
Top 10 Portable Scanners
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Portable Scanner Comparison
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Portable Scanner Buying Guide
What is A Portable Scanner?
Portable scanners are a smaller version of desktop scanners. Similar to flatbed scanners, they scan multiple documents, images, business cards etc. They turn these files into a digital version which you can store, edit and share. The device put together all the basic functions that you can expect in a desktop model. The scanner is amazingly transportable and runs on batteries. Various controls and display are presented that lets you scan modes, show you available memory for your documents and indicate the scanning status. Portable scanners play a significant role in everyday life especially for professionals and people who travel a lot. One can have memos, contracts, and photographs with crisp and sharp quality no matter where you are.
Portable Scanner Features that are Important
You must be looking for a portable scanner with the right features as per your requirement. It should come with a substantial resolution to scan your documents precisely, capable of scanning variously sized and several documents and store or transfer data to a hard disk or memory card without any sort of inconvenience. Here, we have listed some crucial factors that you should consider to have a smart purchase.
Resolution is the foremost factor that determines how much detail a portable scanner can capture. We measure resolution in dots per inch (dpi). Usually, a low-resolution scanner captures 300 dpi document which is satisfactory for simple text documents. However, if you want to scan photographs and complex color documents then probably you will need a high resolution scanner. A high-resolution scanner offers 600 dpi or even higher. These high-resolution scans require more space on your storage device. You will find some companies claiming very high dpi values which can be deceptive as many scanners make use of software to intercalate image data from low-resolution images. Here, you should consider the scanner’s optical resolution which refers to the physical resolution of the device.
Data Interface and File Format
Once you scan the required documents, you will need to transfer them to your computer. Modern portable scanners allow you to scan directly to your PC’s hard drive through USB connection. They save data as PDF files or in JPG format. Whereas other scanners perform optical character recognition (OCR) to produce searchable text papers. These scanners mostly include software which is specifically designed to help you manage scanned documents. Also, they contribute in supporting standardized software interfaces such as TWAIN and WIA. These software let third-party applications to access the scanner which is again a bonus.
Scanning performance is the most critical factor in terms of document capacity that you expect to be processed in a limited duration. Here various aspects must be considered including the time period in which a person sets documents for the scan, image resolution, and image color and whether a document can be scanned in a duplex mode without compromising on the speed. Duplex scanners feature a dual lamp and charge couple device for instant production of dual sided files.
When you are looking for a portable scanner, you must consider the accessibility of onsite services e.g. light sources or often broken parts such as lenses that frequently get scratched as you scan documents with clips. Maintenance is imperative and so does the availability of important scanner parts.
We have listed some of the personal deliberations that will help you choose the best portable scanner entirely based on your personal choice and necessities.
Most scanners can work well with standard sized documents. However, some may scan large sized pages. If you are planning to scan several documents than you should look for a unit which features multi-page paper feeder. The feature can enhance the scanner’s size and weight for the desired operation. You will find a number of portable scanners that offers variable paper guides which can make your job much easier if you are scanning a mix of documents with various formats.
Support for Thick Paper or Odd-Sized Files
At times, you may want to scan documents such as business cards either for some specific event or on regular basis. Here you will require a unit that can scan different document sizes such as credit cards. You will find some scanners that scan very thick documents one at a time using straight through roller mechanism. Whereas other portable scanners offer high capacity scanning of these files through a dedicated ADF.
We hope this guide helps you pick the best available portable scanner as per your budget and necessity. One thing to be notified is that various portable scanners are built to fulfill the need of different consumers. We have picked the top 5 portable scanners that are budget friendly and comes with features that suit most of the customers. Purchasing among our top picks will be a smart decision. A portable scanner is a smart option for smart people.