How to Choose a Document Scanner

Planning to buy a document scanner? That’s great. In these modern times, numerous people have opted to digitize various files; from photos to documents. Indeed, transforming your physical files to soft copies provides a lot of benefits; therefore, it really pays to own a scanner.

Now, how do you choose a document scanner? Do you know what features to find? Before you pick an item, make sure you are knowledge enough. Below are important pieces of information that can answer your questions on how to choose a document scanner. Go on and feed your mind before actually buying one.

Different Types of Document Scanners

Here are your good choices for document scanners. Take a close look and see if each type fits your needs.

  • Desktop document scanners

These scanners are best for small offices or when you are working on low-volume tasks. They are limited to A4 size paper, but may do double-sided scanning.

  • Workgroup document scanners

If you want a device that you can use to work in different situations, workgroup document scanners may be the best choice for you. It is best for A3 scanning and for working on huge volumes.

  • Production document scanners

Are you planning to use your scanner for business purposes wherein you will need to scan thousands of pages a day? If so, then opt for a production document scanner. It is best for you if your main concerns are reliability and speed.

  • Portable document scanners

A portable document scanner is best for you if you are always on the go. You can use it with your laptop, for it can be powered through USB connection. It is limited to A4 size.

  • Multi-function scanners

Apparently, these scanners have the combined traits of various devices. Aside from scanning, they can copy and print documents. You may opt for this type if you aim to save money and space. However, expect for compromised quality and speed.

Multi-functional scanners may not be suitable for high-volume tasks and might not be able to provide the results you want should you need high-resolution scans.

Features of Document Scanners

When looking for a document scanner, you should be aware of its useful features. You cannot choose the best if you don’t know what exactly you are looking for.

Here are some important features of document scanners:

  • Pages per minute (PPM) or Images per minute (IPM)

This is a common concern among customers particularly those who need to scan numerous copies per day. If this is your main concern as well, you should opt for a duplex scanner. It scans the front and back part of a document simultaneously.

  • Resolution

The resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI). So, if you want to do high-resolution scanning, make sure your prospective scanner’s DPI is high. A lot of factors may affect your scan’s quality, but it indeed helps to put resolution in your top priorities.

  • Compatibility

One of the worst things that can happen to you is to buy a document scanner that is not compatible with your computer or cannot work with its operating system. Before paying for the item, make sure if it can indeed work with your device.

  • ADF capacity

This refers to the number of sheets or pages you can load in your scanner’s automatic document feeder (assuming you are eyeing on a sheet-fed scanner).

A high ADF capacity is especially important for you if you need to scan a large number of documents on a daily basis. You will also benefit from it if you need to multi-task. Just set the scanner up and do your other tasks while your device works on your documents.

  • Flatbed scanning facility

This is an important feature especially for documents that you cannot load in an automatic feeder. It is best to choose a scanner that comes with both automatic document feeder and flatbed facility.

  • Maximum paper size

What is the largest paper size that your prospective device could scan? Most scanners are limited to A3 or A4. Before choosing a device, make sure of your target paper size so as not to pick one that cannot accommodate your documents.

  • Color mode

Would you like to scan in full color? While most scanners can give you what you want, there are some that can only scan in black and white. For this, you should also be particular with the color mode when buying a scanner.

  • Color depth

Apart from color mode, color depth is another feature you should check. It is important for you to know the amount of color data your potential device can save.

Mistakes when Buying a Scanner

You have just learned about the important features you should look for in a scanner. Now, let us discuss about the common buyer mistakes. Make sure not to commit the following blunders:

  • Immediately opting for easy-to-use units

It is very tempting to buy a product that is easy to use. But doing so without thoroughly checking the quality can lead to various adverse happenings. For your information, numerous easy-to-use products are of poor quality.

  • Immediately buying a multi-purpose device

A multi-purpose device may save you lots of time, money, and space; but know that it may likewise compromise quality. Don’t opt for false economy. It is better to spend a little more money over good-quality items than purchase poor-quality ones that may eventually cause you to spend more.

  • Failing to do research

When buying an electronic or electrical item, it is very crucial to be in-the-know of your prospective product’s specifications and features. Failing to do research may result in a lot of negative happenings; some of those occurrences may even cause harm.


Just like purchasing any item, it takes a lot of knowledge and a great sense of responsibility to be able to pick the best scanner for you. You have a lot of considerations to take, and missing one may lead to long-term regret. Be a responsible buyer. Make sure not to waste your hard-earned money over things that cannot give you the satisfaction you need.

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