If you’re in the market for a new scanner, there are some basic elements you should be on the lookout for:
What will you be scanning?
Identify what you’re scanning and how often. Flatbed scanners are practical and pretty affordable, but they are not ideal for scanning large volumes of sheets, in which case you’ll be better off with a sheet-fed scanner. If you’ll be scanning photographs, look for a high-end specialist photo scanner.
What type of quality are you looking for?
If you plan on scanning simple text documents or basic graphics, you don’t need to worry too much about the resolution; around 200 dpi should be enough for your needs. Most modern scanners offer a resolution of at least 600 dpi, which is sufficient for more complex images as long as you’re not planning on doing detailed work. If you’re looking for very fine detail, you need a scanner that has at least 4,800 dpi.
Will you need to scan in bulk?
If you’re planning on scanning stacks of paper on a regular basis, you’ll need an automatic document feeder (ADF) that can process the number of pages you typically scan at once.
How big are the documents you will scan?
The majority of flatbed scanners are only capable of scanning regular letter size documents. If you need to scan larger documents, look for a larger scan bed.
Is the scanner compatible with your operating system?
Most scanners are compatible with Windows; however, Mac or Linux may not be as straightforward. Check the compatibility first.
How fast do you want the scanner to be?
This is important if you’re going to be scanning a lot of documents. When choosing the processing speed, you also need to keep an eye on the resolution. High-resolution scans take longer. So you should try to achieve the right balance between speed and quality.
How much warranty do require?
Most new scanners come with the default one-year, but make sure you get more coverage if you require it.