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Compare the Best Portable ScannersApril 2018

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Today's Best Scanner Deals

$149 Price Drop
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$549.99
Was $699 (22 days ago)
Optical Scanning Resolution
600 X 600 DPI
Scanner Type
ADF
Colour Scanning Function
Yes
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Trending Scanner Comparisons

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Epson
Perfection V39
$57.99
$20 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 220
$77.87
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Canon
9000F
$169.00
65% cheaper to
run over five
years
Marginally
better expert
reviews
VS
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Epson
Perfection V600
$123.00
$46 cheaper
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Better brand
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Epson
Perfection V550 Photo
$159.00
28% cheaper to
run over five
years
VS
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Epson
V370 Perfection
$109.00
$50 cheaper
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Epson
Perfection V19
$45.00
$33 cheaper
Better brand
User reviews
are slightly
better
VS
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 220
$77.87
More popular
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 220
$77.87
More popular
One more awards
User reviews
are moderately
better
VS
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 120
$49.95
$28 cheaper
Marginally
better expert
reviews
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 120
$49.95
$79 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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HP
Scanjet 200
$129.00
User reviews
are a little
better
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Epson
Perfection V600
$123.00
$581 cheaper
More popular
One more awards
VS
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Epson
Perfection V800
$703.71
Better PC Mag
review score
A little better
expert reviews
£1 cheaper to
run over five
years
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Plustek
8200i
$353.04
$351 cheaper
More popular
User reviews
are appreciably
better
VS
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Epson
Perfection V800
$703.71
Better PC Mag
review score
Better brand
Expert reviews
are
significantly
better
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Epson
Perfection V600
$123.00
$230 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Plustek
8200i
$353.04
User reviews
are appreciably
better
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Epson
Perfection V19
$45.00
$5 cheaper
Better brand
Better user
reviews
VS
loading image
Canon
CanoScan LiDE 120
$49.95
More popular
loading image
Epson
Perfection V550 Photo
$159.00
One more awards
User reviews
are marginally
better
VS
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Epson
Perfection V39
$57.99
$101 cheaper
Cheaper to run
by £2 over
five years
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Fujitsu
fi-7160
$699.00
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Kodak
i2620
$599.00
$100 cheaper
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review score
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are better
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Canon
9000F
$169.00
More popular
Cheaper to run
by $20 over
five years
Expert reviews
are slightly
better
VS
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Epson
Perfection V600
$123.00
$46 cheaper
Better brand
Better Trusted
Reviews review
score
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Plustek
8200i
$353.04
More popular
Better PC Mag
review score
VS
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Plustek
OpticFilm 8100
$309.00
$44 cheaper
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
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Epson
Perfection V850
$892.99
$1,958 cheaper
Better PC Mag
review score
VS
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Epson
Expression 12000XL
$2,850.99
Considerably
better user
reviews
25% cheaper to
run over five
years
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Fujitsu
iX500
$95.00
$305 cheaper
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Brother
ADS-2800W
$399.59
£5 cheaper to
run over five
years
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Canon
9000F
$169.00
$140 cheaper
Better brand
Better PC Mag
review score
VS
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Plustek
OpticFilm 8100
$309.00
More popular
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 220
$77.87
One more awards
A little better
user reviews
VS
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Canon
CanoScan LiDE 120
$49.95
$28 cheaper
Expert reviews
are a bit
better
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Canon
9000F
$169.00
More popular
Better
Digitalfoto.dk
review score
Better
Digitalfotofora
lla.se review
score
VS
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Epson
Perfection V550 Photo
$159.00
$10 cheaper
£10 cheaper to
run over five
years
Better brand
loading image
Epson
Perfection V600
$123.00
Better brand
Slightly better
user reviews
Better expert
reviews
VS
loading image
Canon
CanoScan LiDE 220
$77.87
$45 cheaper
More popular

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is an automatic document feeder (ADF)?
AAn automatic document feeder allows you to 'queue' up multiple documents to scan - the device will work though each document one after another, scanning it and moving to the next.
QWhat is duplex scanning?
ADuplex scanning allows the device to automatically scan both sides of a document at once, meaning you don't have to separately scan the other side of the page.
QWhat are the pros/cons between an ADF, flatbed and handheld scanners?
AADF scanners allow for quickly scanning large amounts of material, and are usually the cheaper option. Flatbed scanners are slower, but tend to have a higher resolution, and are better for photos and graphics. Lastly handheld scanners are less powerful than their brothers, but are far less bulky, so can be used on the go.
QWhat is a mouse scanner?
AMice scanners are a subset of handheld scanners - they are fully functional mice, but also have a small document scanner built into the bottom of it. While the scanning quality isn't amazing, they are helpful for quick scanning of pure text.

Portable Scanner Buying Guide

Scanners are devices used for digitising physical material such as documents and photos, and turning them into digital images for archiving, sharing and editing. They are extremely helpful peripherals, since they allow you to easily digitise large amounts of paper very quickly, meaning less clutter and mess on your desk! This guide will look at the major considerations when choosing a scanner, so you can find the device that is right for you.

There are several different types of home scanners available, though they can be largely placed into two main categories: flatbed or sheetfed. Here we will concentrate on portable sheetfed models:

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Portable Scanners

These smaller scanners function much like standard scanners, but with a focus on portability. They can come in several different versions - at their most simplest, they are small sheetfed scanners that unfold and scan a single sheet at a time. Some are battery powered, but most will have to have an external power connection to properly work. While they lack in ultra-high detail scanning quality, their small size, light weight and portability makes them helpful for business travellers, or workers who don't have much space, and want a simple device they can pack up and store in a drawer.

Mouse Scanners

A subset of portable scanners are mouse scanners. These are strange hybrids of mouse and optical scanner - they work as standard computer mice, but the laser that tracks the mouse position can double as a low-res scanning unit. This allows you to drag the mouse over a document, and digitize it that way. While they have fairly uninspiring quality, they are extremely portable and very convenient if you just want quick and dirty scans.

Automatic Document Feeder

An additional extra mostly commonly found in sheetfed scanners is an automatic document feed (ADF). This is a system that allows you to place a stack of paper into the scanner, and the scanner will automatically feed in the documents, scan them, then eject them from the machine. This is extremely helpful for anyone needing to digitise a lot of documents at once, since you can queue 50 pieces of paper at once, and the scanner will take care of the rest. Not all scanners have this system, but it is worth seeking out if you routinely find yourself bulk-scanning documents.

Resolution & Scan Speed

As mentioned above, not all scanners scan at the same quality. The scanning resolution is measured in dots per inch - the higher the dpi, the better the quality of the scan. Very high resolutions also allow you to expand small photos into larger prints - something that is not possible with low-resolution scanners. High resolution is also important for retaining fidelity when scanning photos. As a rule 300dpi is perfectly fine for black & white text, but won’t suffice for photos - you will need something with at least 1,200dpi or higher.

It’s also important to consider the scanning speed of the peripheral. Different models of scanners can have extremely varying scan speeds - with some taking twice as much time to scan a page as others. The scanners on our site are measured in the amount of pages they can scan per second, split out into colour, black & white, photo, etc. While the speed may not make a difference if you only scan a single document every once in a while, if you routinely scan large amounts of paper, this can add up to a substantial time saving.

There can be a large difference in size between models of scanner - this is important not only for desk and storage space, but also because it affects what documents can be scanned. All of our scanners can handle A4 size paper and smaller, however it requires a specialist scanner to effectively digitise anything bigger than A4. For many people, this won’t be necessary - an A4 scanner will handle nearly all bills and important documents, and most photos.

Extras

Finally, there is a host of other considerations when choosing a scanner. These can include:

OCR Scanning: Some scanners come with software to perform Optical Character Recognition on scanned documents. This analyses the scanned image and picks out letters and words, turning the image into a readable and editable document. This is very important for anyone wanting to edit documents once they’ve been scanned, rather than just archiving them.

Film Scanning: Some advanced scanners contain the ability to directly scan film negatives and digitise them. While not a mainstream use by any means, it is a very helpful feature for digitising old camera film to keep the images safe.

Network Support: Most scanners connect directly to your computer via USB. However some have wifi, ethernet or bluetooth support, allowing them to be used wirelessly. This means that the document can be scanned from anywhere, and will be sent directly to your computer. This is helpful for offices, since the scanner can be in a central location, rather than being passed around from computer to computer.

Cloud Support: Related to the above - some newer network-enabled scanners have the ability to upload the scanned images directly to the Cloud, meaning they can be immediately be accessed by any computer, making it very easy to backup and share images all over the world.