8 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Scanner

Scanners are considered a perfect multifunctional device that can be used at home for personal use or at offices for business purposes. These devices help in improving and speeding up the workflow and also prevent papers from being wasted. However, you may be looking for a scanner for your use, but there are multiple types available in the market that may confuse you about choosing the right one.

Amongst these different types with several capabilities, picking the best scanner could be a laborious task. Therefore, you should consider a few things before choosing the right product that fulfills your work demands. Anyhow, to help you out selecting the suitable scanner for you, I have brought eight essential factors that should never be overlooked before making your purchase.

Before getting into our main topic, let’s know about what a scanner is and how it works.

What is a Scanner?

A scanner is a digital device that uses optics and lights to transform analog pictures on paper into digital photos for additional editing, storing, or text identification.

Typically, a scanner works by placing the document that needs to be scanned on a glass surface; the user closes its lid and presses the button for the scanning process. It takes a few moments, and the scanned document is converted into a digital photo. This procedure is done through the illumination that moves from one side to another and scans the document.

Look for 8 Factors before Choosing a Scanner

Now that you’ve understood how a scanner works and how to operate it, glimpse on the elements discussed below to opt for the most appropriate scanner for your personal or office use.

1. Type of Scanner

This is the first and foremost factor to decide. Before thinking about anything else, you should clearly determine what scanner type you are looking for. Nevertheless, there are three types of scanner:

Sheet-Fed Scanner

These types of scanners are explicitly designed to scan one sheet at a time. Moreover, it is not capable of scanning any thick publication such as a book, magazine, or journal. A sheet-fed scanner, although it appears like a regular printer, instead of a bundle of documents, you need to place a single sheet of paper in it.

A fantastic thing about these scanners is that they do not consume plenty of space on your desk. You have to put the paper from one side of the scanner. Once it is scanned, you will get the scanned document from the other side.

Slide Scanner

A slide scanner aims to scan the slides or films and send them directly to your PC. However, these scanners are not popular because they help convert a hard document into a soft one.

Flatbed Scanner

This is the most commonly-used scanner, which is also called a regular scanner. This scanner contains a glass surface on which you have to place the paper, a whole book, or even a picture. This type of scanner is mainly used in offices and homes for various purposes.

2. Scanning Field

If you look for the best scanner either for your home or office use, you should probably notice the scanning area. Usually, a regular scanner is only able to scan an A4-sized paper which is used most commonly. But what if you were required to digitize a giant paper sheet? Would it be able to scan? However, if you purchase a flatbed scanner, it is able to scan A3 paper size.

3. Document Feeder

If you want to scan a lot of documents at a time, a scanner with an automatic document feeder is the best option for you. It helps in saving the time and effort that you might put in scanning each sheet individually. However, as per the number of sheets, the scanner may take time to complete the process.

4. Resolution

The resolution of an optical scanner depends on whether you want to purchase a scanner for a MacBook or a regular PC. Yet, most scanners come with a resolution of 600-1200 dpi, which generates super HD scanned documents. However, if you want to scan or digitize old photos, you may require a scanner with 2000 dpi resolution.

5. Software

Well, scanners are not required to upgrade every year and launch with new software every time. You may find scanners with five-year-old models that deliver the best output and remain relevant in the active product. But, it is crucial to check the model’s software and its compatibility with iOS or Android to make sure it connects with your PC perfectly.

6. Image Sensor

A scanner comes with two types of image sensors which are mentioned below:

Charge-Coupled Device (CCD)

If you seek the best scanner with a flawless image sensor, the CCD should be the option. This high-end image sensor offers more depth-of-field with substantially better colors. But, you may need to prepare a lot of space for placing a scanner with CCD and spend a great amount. The downsides of this image sensor you may find it pretty expensive, heavy, noisy, and giant.

Contact Image Sensor (CIS)

On the other hand, a CIS image sensor is relatively compact that also comes with a lower price tag. However, these image sensors have a tremendously little depth of field. It means it is pretty difficult to scan crumpled documents such as a book. However, for single scanning pages, these image sensors are an ideal choice.

7. Color Depth

This is another most significant factor while seeking the best photo scanner. To get the best model, consider investing in a scanner with better color depth. However, considering this element is only important for those who want to scan colored documents. But most people use a scanner for black and white documents.

8. Client Feedback

Never overlook what the user says about a product. Customer reviews matter a lot. You should always consider the feedback of multiple people. Gathering honest reviews from clients helps you decide better which model is the best amongst numerous options and the possible downsides.