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The best scanners for 2020

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 choice when a mobile scanning app just won’t work. Our top scanner pick is Canon’s CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Scanner as it provides a decent resolution and cloud compatibility in a sleek, space-saving package for around $90.

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

The best

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 $90, it provides an auto-scan mode, 4,800 x 4,800 dpi 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 this scanner is faster than 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 quite versatile scanner that’s at home on an office desk or in a private study room.

The rest

Best heavy-duty scanner: Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W

Weighing in at an impressive $498, this Brother model is ready and waiting for any assignment or demanding scanning projects 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 on 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 in continuous scanning mode. It features a 3.7-inch touchscreen display and has direct scanning to Evernote, Box, and Google Drive, Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi networking, and much more.

The touchscreen control panel also provides you with a wealth of options, including a lot of essential image functions — like automatically cleaning up and de-speckling pages while removing more substantial flaws, if necessary. There’s a full set of driver options for more sophisticated business scanning setups, and enterprise-level security for protection, too. It’s a professional scanner that will keep going for years, no matter how demanding the project. However, businesses should note that scanning width is innately limited, so it can’t handle especially large documents or maps.

Best mobile scanner: 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 at once, 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.

It’s 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 is 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 will cost you a cool $110.

Best printer/scanner combo: Epson WorkForce ES-400

Maybe you’re looking for a heavy-duty office printer, but for less money than some models that we’ve reviewed. This WorkForce model costs $250 but still provides a reliable, professional scanner with excellent specifications. These specs include scanning speeds up to 35 pages per minute (at 300 dpi), double-sided scanning, and a 50-page document feeder.

Cloud scanning options offer uploads to Drive, Evernote, SharePoint, and other common choices. You can also enable some smart scanning options like auto-cropping and blank page removal, although it’s not as feature-rich as some of our other picks. Still, it does include features like Epson SmartScan Software that lets users organize, preview, upload, and email any scanned documents or images, which does offer value in increasing productivity.

Best high-quality photo scanner: Epson Perfection V800

Epson Perfection V800

The Perfection V800 is a reliable choice if, in addition to document scanning, you also need a high-quality photo or image scans. It offers up to 6,400 dpi scanning resolution to capture every detail as well as some excellent color replication, though this quality doesn’t come cheap at $899. You can also choose between two different lenses, with an extra-high resolution lens to push quality even further. Best of all, you can start scanning with no warmup required. Though not included with the primary scanner, users interested in creating the best scans of black-and-white photography can purchase a proprietary fluid mount tray.

The model also comes with several additional features for photo capture, including a series of film holders, software to adjust the results, smart dust and scratch removal to get rid of defects in physical photos, and much more. On the downside, there’s no feeder option for fast document scanning, so photos need to be your primary focus. That said, users who keep this in mind will be delighted with the film holders included with the scanner, including 6 x 20cm, 4 x 5-inch, 35mm negatives and 35mm slides.

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