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The best scanners for 2021

Today’s digital scanners excel at advanced image optimization and the ability to transfer PDFs immediately to the cloud storage of your choice. They’re an ideal option when a mobile scanning app just won’t work. Our top scanner pick is Canon’s CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Scanner, as it provides decent resolution and cloud compatibility in a sleek, space-saving package with a highly affordable price tag.

If your scanning needs are more complex than the CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Scanner can handle, scroll on, and take a look at any of the other scanners on this list. You’re sure to find one to fit your needs and budget.

At a glance

Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Scanner

Stock photo of Canon scanner
Canon.com/Canon U.S.A., Inc.

If your needs are small and you don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on a new scanner, this friendly Canon model should be much more your speed. For a fairly reasonable price, it provides an auto-scan mode, 4,800 x 4,800 dots per inch resolution, color restore, dust removal options, and built-in PDF buttons. It also includes cloud compatibility with services such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.

While the Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 is faster than the earlier CanoScan scanners at 8 seconds per page, it’s still not the speediest option for those who need to scan multiple pages. However, it does include automated features that make scanning jobs more manageable, like identification options to detect the type of document digitized and quick-scan buttons for larger PDF projects. All in all, it’s a versatile scanner that’s at home on an office desk or in a private study room.

Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W

This Brother model is ready and waiting for any assignment or demanding scanning project in a busy office. That includes settings for all kinds of documents, including plastic cards, as well as multiple options for storing scanned pages on separate files, all in one file, or scanning directly to places like Google Drive. This scanner is speedy as well as durable, able to handle up to 40 single or double-sided pages per minute. It features a 3.7-inch touchscreen display and has direct scanning to Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive; Gigabit Ethernet; wireless networking; and much more.

There’s a full set of driver options for more sophisticated business scanning setups, and enterprise-level security for protection, too. The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W is a professional scanner that will keep going for years, no matter how demanding the project.

Visioneer RoadWarrior 4D Mobile Scanner

For those who like the idea of a mobile scanner, this Visioneer model is one of the best portable scanners around, weighing only 1.1 pounds. It has many of the same capabilities as a more expensive office scanner, including scanning both sides of the page, the ability to share scans, and a continuous feed mode for fast work. You do sacrifice for portability, however — at 300 dpi, a page takes around 8 seconds to scan.

The Visioneer RoadWarrior is a great solution to scanning in receipts and other at-home items with a device that’s good for casual use and can move around as needed. However, note that it uses USB power only, so you’ll need a computer, laptop, or some other USB port nearby to use this. The scanner works with both PC and Mac and is quite affordable.

Epson WorkForce ES-400 II

A photo of the Epson Workforce ES 400 II scanner.
Amazon

Need to scan a stack of documents in a flash for a price that’s easy on your wallet? Then look no further than the Epson Workforce ES-400 II. With this scanner’s speedy auto document feeder, you can scan lots of pages (of different paper types and sizes) in just one batch. This scanner can scan up to 35 pages per minute, and it’ll scan double-sided pages in a single pass.

The scanner also features Epson’s ScanSmart software, which lets you do things like upload your scans to the cloud, email them, or just preview them. Speaking of uploading to the cloud, the Workforce ES-400 II supports the use of cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and OneDrive. The software is compatible with Windows or Mac devices.

Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner

A photo of the Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner opened as a photo is being placed in it.
Amazon

Just in case the price tag didn’t already make it clear: The Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner is for serious photo scanning. If you’re putting together a detailed digital archive of your film and photos, the Perfection V850 Pro Scanner is a great option. It has a 6,400 dpi resolution, a dual-lens system, an LED light source, and an anti-reflective coating. The dual-lens system is particularly interesting because it has two lenses, a high-res one (4,800 x 9,600 dpi) and a super-res lens (6,400 x 9,600 dpi), and the scanner automatically picks the best one for your particular scan job to maximize the quality of the scan.

This scanner also includes software to help restore your old photos to their former glory using features such as digital dust removal and backlight corrections.

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