How to Select a Document Scanner
Whether you manage a dentist’s practice, run a construction company or are trying to organize your home office, you need to keep copies of insurance cards, cancelled checks, tax notices, invoices and other important paperwork. In fact, you may be legally required to keep some of them.
Even though the most forward-looking businesses are moving toward digital document management systems, most paperwork today is still a combination of electronic data and filing cabinets stuffed with paper. A desktop document scanner can help. It’s a fantastic option for companies or individuals who have had their documents scanned and who want to keep ongoing paper storage to a minimum. It’s also a great idea for those who want to start maintaining an organized and searchable electronic document system.
If you choose a document-storage scanner that scans to a cloud or web-based storage repository, you protect your documents from local emergencies. Being able to retrieve your documents through a computer many miles from where they are typically saved means that fires, floods, earthquakes and other type of disaster no longer pose a threat to your important files.
You should look for a compact desktop scanner that can fit into any office or reception environment to help keep all incoming paperwork digital. You also want to consider scanning speed. Today’s document scanners have automatic document feeders that hold up to 50 sheets of paper, making the process far faster than yesterday’s painful flatbed scanning. But how much unattended paper can be fed in is just part of the speed equation. You also want to know how many pages the unit scans per minute and if those scans are saved as searchable PDFs or simply images that need further scanning to turn them into text.
Document Scanners: What to Look For
A document scanner is more than just an additional office machine. It can change the speed at which you retrieve business information, the space your operations needs and your ability to access your information remotely. In our rankings and awards, we compared the features, specifications, connectivity and support services of the document scanners we reviewed. See how we evaluated those criteria here:
When choosing a desktop document scanner, you want to see if the unit comes with automatic text recognition, if it has the ability to scan directly to a specific application and if it has post-scanning features like blank-page removal and digitally straightening images. In addition, you may want to know if the scanner is Mac compatible and the recommended number of pages you can scan each day. The most durable scanners can scan up to 3,000 scans in a day.
In this category, look for the number of pages the automatic sheet feeder (ASF) holds and how fast the scanner operates. Scanners in this price range can hold from 30 to 50 pages in the ASF and operate as fast as 40 pages per minute or as slow as 20. Other things to consider include the size and weight of the scanner and the maximum length of paper you can run through it.
Most scanners can use an internet connection to back up your files to the web, but the range of supported applications and locations goes from two or three to twenty. You may want to see if the scanner you are considering can sync to your mobile device or if it can operate wirelessly or across a network. While the average scanner we reviewed did one or two of these, their importance for you varies depending on how many people will be using the scanner.
Help & Support
Each manufacturer offers a variety of different customer support options like FAQs, video tutorials, downloadable software updates and specification pages. In this section, we list details about these document scanner support options and warranty information. The vast number of warranties we considered were for just one year, but a couple were for three years.
We’ve provided a wealth of information in our side-by-side comparisons and in-depth reviews. Your needs may be best met by a sturdy and reliable workhorse scanner. Or you may be far more interested in a scanner that allows you to retrieve your documents remotely using a mobile device. The best document scanner for you is a selection of these features chosen for the way you do business.