5 Features To Look For When Buying A Document Scanner

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A Document Scanner

Have you considered getting a document scanner? If yes, you have a clear idea of how confusing it can get navigating through the various options on the market and the many things you need to consider. Because of this, it can quickly become quite challenging to pick out the best document scanner for your needs. 

Fortunately, this guide seeks to ease the complexities associated with searching for a document scanner to use alongside document management software  for your home or office. And the best place to start is by looking at the different features that should be incorporated into any reliable document scanner. Without further ado, here are the features you must look for when considering which document scanner to get. Let’s get started. 

1.Speeds 

When searching for a document scanner to buy, you should first consider its speed and feed, usually measured in Pages Per Minute (PPM) when capturing images. The faster, the better, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of quality. With that said, plenty of great document scanners will offer fast speeds and high quality, so don’t let this stop you from checking them out.

Ideally, you want to look for a document scanner with a high PPM rating, especially if you’re planning to scan many documents. With that said, many scanners also have settings that can slow down or speed up the process, so be sure to check this out even if you’re solely interested in a model that can process a large number of documents. Once you’ve established that a document scanner can comfortably handle your workload, you can go on to look at other factors. 

2.Software Compatibility 

When shopping for a document scanner, make sure that the software that comes with it will be compatible with the computer you’ll use to scan your documents. Doing this is essential otherwise, you might end up experiencing a software compatibility issue. As a result, you might not be able to use this document scanner in your office or home.

Fortunately, most document scanners are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Therefore, you’ll more likely find a model that’ll work with your computer. If you’re planning on using it only at home, this is less of an issue since you can use the scanner on the home computer. But suppose you plan on scanning in a business office environment or have multiple computers at home. In that case, this feature becomes more important because you must ensure all of your computers are compatible.

By buying a scanner compatible with your computer, you save yourself the hassle of buying a new program or spending time learning how to use a different one. Suppose you’re uncertain about the scanner’s compatibility with your computer. In that case, you can check out the reviews on the product pages to see what other people say about its software compatibility. Alternatively, you can reach out to the manufacturer about the scanner’s software compatibility.   

3.Resolution 

Copier printer, Close up hand office man press copy button on pa

If you’re in the market for a document scanner, you’ll want to focus on two key features: bit depth and resolution. Bit depth is the amount of color information per pixel, while the resolution is the density of pixels per unit area. The higher these are, the clearer and more precise your scans will be—which is especially crucial if you’re scanning text documents or pictures.  

The resolution of document scanners usually comes in two types, and these are:

  • Optical resolution: It represents the scanner’s real scanning resolution.  
  • Output resolution: It shows the scanner’s maximum or enhanced resolution, which can be generated through interpolation. While output resolution won’t add more resolution, it artificially adds extra pixels to the picture. Therefore, the output resolution is always bigger than the optical resolution.    

A scanned document’s quality is usually measured in dots per inch (DPI or dpi). A resolution of 300 dpi is more than ideal for standard document standards, but top-of-the-line scanners offer a higher resolution of 600 to 1200. A depth of 24 to 36 is also more than enough to meet your business needs.  

The general rule is to choose a higher resolution if you plan on making large prints, if you need the highest level of detail possible, or if you want to use your scans for high-end printing, such as photo quality. But if you’re just planning on scanning documents for archiving purposes (and not making prints), then 720 dpi or even 600 dpi is sufficient. As long as it’s above 300 dpi, your scans will be clear and easy to read. Remember that the higher the resolution, the better your images will be. Still, it also comes with a price tag, so it’s important to maintain an appropriate balance between image quality and price.   

4.Maximum Paper Size 

The maximum paper size of the scanner is another vital feature you must consider when looking for a document scanner. After all, a document scanner that can only handle small sheets won’t be handy if your job requires scanning more substantial pieces of paper. Otherwise, you may even want to run into this issue if you’re just scanning a lot of different kinds of materials.  

When looking to buy a document scanner, another thing you’ll want to consider is the maximum paper size. In general, here’s a guide on the document size of scanners:

  • A3 
  • A4 legal 
  • Bigger than A3

Many scanners are designed to handle A4-size documents, but you can only find one with the features required for scanning bigger documents. With this in mind, always consider the size of documents you intend to be scanning, as this will guide you to know the best document scanner to get.  

5.Sheet-Feed Verses Flat-Bed Scanner 

Document scanners come in two types: the sheet-feed scanner and a flat-bed scanner. The sheet-feed scanner can digitize documents one sheet after another and works almost like a fax machine. This scanner features an automatic document feeder that can handle numerous pages one after the other. Therefore, sheet-feed scanners are perfect if you intend to be scanning a high volume of documents. 

In contrast, flat-bed scanners are designed to handle one document simultaneously, hence not ideal for high-volume scanning. However, unlike sheet-feed scanners, they usually produce high-quality images and are more expensive.  

Takeaway     

There are lots of different document scanners you can find on the market, and the ideal choice depends on your needs and budget. In this blog post, you’ve been taken through the must-look features to consider when shopping for the perfect document scanner. With this in mind, you can easily differentiate between a good model and one that’s effective for your needs.

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