In this digital age more and more companies are now looking to cut down their cost on paper. Scanners have thus become extremely important electronic appliances. A scanner, as we all know, can scan documents that can then be sent through email. If the document needs to be printed, it can be printed easily. When you search the market for scanners, there are thousands of models that you will come across. Choosing the one that exactly fits your bill is not difficult when you know what you need to look at. Read buying guide

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Buying guide

Choosing your Scanner


Consider an all-in-one scanner

An all-in-one scanner is perhaps best suited for your purpose. All-in-one here means a single machine letting you scan, print and fax. Most buyers choose from these models because they get the convenience of doing these three important tasks using one machine. Office space is expensive and you don’t want three separate machines for scanning, printing and faxing occupying a lot of space – space costs a lot! Even for home use, an all-in-one appliance saves space and also helps you save on power.

Know about the types of scanners


There are different types of scanners and you should look at all of them because you should buy one depending on your purpose.


Flatbed scanners – these are highly versatile machines that can scan materials of all thicknesses and work exactly like copying machines.


Photo scanners – these scanners can process images that are high resolution types. You can also use these scanners for enlarging images.


Sheetfed scanners – these scanners work in the same way fax machines work.


Handheld and portable scanners – handheld scanners, as the name suggests, are scanners small enough for you to carry in your hands. Portable scanners are larger than handheld scanners but these can also be carried along with you without any fuss.


Business card scanners – these scanners, again as the name suggests, are used for scanning business cards. These scanners can be independent machines or can be part of a standard scanner with a dedicated portion used for scanning business cards.


Drum scanners – these are large scanners that are used more for commercial purposes. Professional graphic artists tend to use these scanners.


Small scanners – although there is no name like small scanner, there are essentially three types of scanners that can form part of this list – pen scanners, note scanners and barcode scanners. The purpose of all these scanners is to let you not use pen and paper and instead scan documents and notes and so on. Barcode scanners, of course, are used for scanning barcodes.


Buy a scanner that is compatible with your PC


While purchasing a scanner, you should look at the connectivity too. Some of the scanners have USB ports while others have normal LAN connections. Ensure that you consider your PC before purchasing. Also, some of the scanners require you to install software programs and your PC should be able to handle that.

Scanners with higher bit depth and resolution produce better images


Two other important considerations for buying scanners include bit depth and resolution. The higher the bit depth of a scanner, better is the image quality. Bit depth essentially means the number of bytes that a scanner can pick from each pixel on an image. Similarly, a scanner with more resolution has higher dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). Again, a scanner with higher resolution will create better images. While scanners with higher bit depth and resolution are slightly more expensive, but make better buys when you consider long term.


Look at the top selling models and their reviews

As far as models are concerned, you simply need to follow what is mentioned online. For every year, there is usually a list of the top 10 sold models for that year and you can take your pick from the list. Not only do you get to see the best 10 scanners of the year, but also get to read the reviews of each and every model. Spend time on these websites and you should know whether to opt for a Canon or a Panasonic or an Epson or a Fujitsu or a Kodak.

Which scanners for which use?

As mentioned before, it is best to look at the most popular scanner models so that you are able to pick the best. Some of the names that instantly feature in the most popular category are Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500, Epson Perfection V550, Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i, Epson WorkForce DS-510 and Canon CanoScan LiDE 220.

Flatbed scanners are perhaps the highest selling ones because these are simple gadgets that allow anyone to use them without having to use their technological knowhow! Some of the models you need to look at in flatbed scanners are Epson Perfection V550, Epson Perfection V39, Canon CanoScan LiDE 120, HP ScanJet 8270 and Plustek OpticPro A320.


If you simply cannot do without the best quality photo scanners, the brands include Canon, Epson, HP, Kodak and Plustek. The models to consider include HP Scanjet G3110, Plustek OptiCard 821, Kodak PS80, Canon CanoScan LiDE 220 and Epson Perfection V550.


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