Best Sheet-fed Document Scanner in 2021 | PCMag

2021-12-16 08:20:39 By : Ms. hujiao Tang

Need to scan a multi-page document in a hurry? A sheet-fed scanner can solve the problem. Here are our favorites among the many products we have tested, as well as some tips on finding the right fast document scanner for you.

I have been in the document scanner industry for more than 20 years, and every year I find myself more impressed by the number of machines. There are everything from miniature single-page portable devices capable of scanning and processing a few pages per minute (ppm) to high-volume machines rated at hundreds of pages per minute or more. These single-sheet document scanners are at the main end of the spectrum. If you only use the relatively slow scanner on the all-in-one printer, you will be surprised how fast the dedicated sheet-fed scanner can be.

Each multi-sheet document scanner has an automatic document feeder (ADF), which is used to send page by page to the machine and is relatively compact. Unlike flatbed scanners, single-sheet scanners can only process a single page and cannot be used to scan books and other objects. Most sheet-fed scanners have two scanning sensors that are used to scan both sides of a double-sided page at the same time. These top-notch fast document scanners are the best scanners we have tested, optimized for scanning large amounts of text quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Our experts tested 17 products in the scanner category this year. Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test it.)

This review focuses on desktop document scanners, but to maintain comprehensiveness, we also include PCMag’s favorite multi-sheet portable document scanner and our preferred flatbed scanner with ADF attachment. Our goal is to help you choose the scanner that best suits your needs. There are many factors to consider. Let's start from the beginning.

Document scanners are categorized and priced based on capacity, size, and speed class, followed by connectivity and functionality (including the ability to scan to smartphones and tablets) and integrated software packages. Size, weight, and professional features may also be considered, but the main factor driving up the price is the scanning capability and speed of the scanner.

In order to avoid spending a lot of effort on unnecessary functions, first figure out how many pages need to be scanned per day. Multi-sheet portable scanners, such as Epson's WorkForce DS-300W, have a rated duty cycle of about 500 pages per day. At the high end, Visioneer Patriot H80 has a daily duty cycle of 10,000 pages.

Another problem is how many pages you must scan at a time. If you are dealing with lengthy documents, you don't want to break them down. Relatively inexpensive desktop models, such as Epson's DS-410 document scanner, may be equipped with a 50-sheet ADF; a high-end one can hold up to 250 sheets of paper for batch scanning.

One speed factor is whether the scanner has one or two sensors to scan both sides of a two-sided document. The other is the size of the page you want to scan. All single-sheet document scanners can accept letter and legal size pages, but if you use larger paper, make sure the scanner is large enough to handle them. Some more high-end models can go through sheets up to 20 feet long! On a smaller side, some scanners have special functions for receipts and business cards.

No one wants to wait for the scanning work to be completed, and in the real world, this is not just the physical process of scanning. When we test the scanner, our speed rating also takes into account the time it takes for the scanner’s bundled software to process the scan and save it as an image or searchable PDF. (We will take a closer look at the bundled software below.) Generally speaking, the more scans, the faster the scanner should be.

The most basic scanner interface is the scan or start button; if you just want to scan the computer directly, that's great. Touch screen panels with limited or extensive menus will provide you with more direct choices. Sometimes, scanning software allows you to set predefined profiles for file types, resolutions, and destinations, and then you can select and run these profiles from the scanner's interface.

In a few cases, the scanner's own operating system handles configuration file management and other functions. One of the better implementations of this sharing function is on Fujitsu's consumer and small business ScanSnap machines. Whether you use the ScanSnap software on your computer or operate the touch screen, the functions are almost the same, so you don't have to learn two different methods to do the same thing.

If you have already installed a document management system, you may not even need most of the software that comes with the new scanner. However, scanning software packages can do many things. Various applications and plugins can enhance and process photos, use optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned text into editable text, organize and archive business cards, and even extract financial data from receipts and invoices and send them to your tax return software. The functions of scanning applications for mobile devices are also becoming more and more abundant.

Software varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even from product to product. This is one of the places where our reviews and roundups come in handy: we will zero out the specific functions that make the document scanner suitable for specific tasks and needs.

Each scanner comes with a different combination of wired and wireless connection options. These options control which computers and mobile devices the scanner can use. They also affect the speed at which the scanner sends scans to your device, because data transferred via Wi-Fi may be slower than transfer via Ethernet or USB 3 connections.

USB is enough to connect to a computer. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct, and Near Field Communication (NFC) will enable the scanner to talk to a single phone or tablet. If you are looking for a scanner that can be used by multiple people, make sure it has Ethernet or Wi-Fi to connect to a computer network, or Bluetooth LE to handle multiple mobile devices. Some models, such as Epson DS-970 color duplex workgroup document scanner, do not have Ethernet pre-installed, but can be expanded with a separately purchased network interface unit.

The operating system of your computer, phone or tablet is much more important than before. All major scanner manufacturers have drivers and software that can run on Windows and macOS, as well as apps for iOS and Android. Some can also scan directly to a USB flash drive.

Before you buy a scanner, make sure you know what you want it to do: how much you will scan, how fast the scanning process should be, which devices the scanner will connect to, and what operations the software should perform on your scan once they are processed Up. Then prepare to make some trade-offs between functionality and budget. Multi-sheet scanners are usually used for commercial purposes and are priced accordingly. But with some research, you should be able to find a product that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Want to learn more about the many scanning options? Check out an overview of the best scanners we have tested. If you also need to print, copy and fax, an all-in-one machine may be your best choice.

Sign up for the lab report to get the latest reviews and top product recommendations sent directly to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertisements, transactions or affiliate links. By subscribing to the newsletter, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

Your subscription has been confirmed. Pay close attention to your inbox!

William Harrel is a contributing editor, focusing on printer and scanner technology and reviews. He had been writing articles about computer technology long before the Internet appeared. He has authored or co-authored 20 books-including the popular "Bible", "Secret" and "Fools" series-about digital design and desktop publishing software applications such as Acrobat, Photoshop and QuarkXPress, and prepress imaging Technology. His latest work is HTML, CSS and JavaScript Mobile Development for Dummies (a manual for creating websites for smartphones and tablets). In addition to writing hundreds of articles for PCMag, over the years, he has also contributed to several other computer and business publications, including Computer Shopper, Digital Trends, MacUser, PC World, The Wirecutter and Windows Magazine, and he has served as Printer and scanner specialist on (now Livewire). is a leading technical authority, providing independent laboratory-based reviews of the latest products and services. Our professional industry analysis and practical solutions can help you make better buying decisions and get more benefits from technology.

© 1996-2021 Ziff Davis. PCMag Digital Group

PCMag, and PC Magazine are federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis and may not be used by third parties without express permission. The third-party trademarks and trade names displayed on this website do not necessarily indicate any affiliation or endorsement with PCMag. If you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product or service, the merchant may pay us a fee.