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Best Home Scanner

Canon CanoScan Lide 300 Review

You can go through dozens of scanners and find that many of them carry all kinds of bells and whistles you don’t need—and, unfortunately, jack up the price. What you’re looking for is something simple: a few buttons wired to a scanner. Sound about right? The best home scanner in that case is the Canon CanoScan Lide 300.

Why We Like It – Canon CanoScan Lide 300

For the occasional document and photo scanning need, this flatbed scanner provides all the necessary functions necessary as an easy-to-use, budget option.

Pros
  • Good image quality for price
  • Braindead easy to use
  • Nice selection of bundled software
Cons
  • Lack of mobile connectivity
  • No automatic feeder

Performance

Starting with quality, the Canon CanoScan Lide 300 is packing some really good image quality. In most cases, having 2400×2400 DPI resolution is a bit overkill, but that increased quality helps to avoid pixelation if and when you need to crop and enlarge. For comparison, our top three entries all have a DPI resolution of 600, which is just a fraction of what the Lide 300 provides. It does not, however, have an automatic document feeder. It scans as fast as you can slide a new sheet in.

Design

Like any personal scanner, it needs to be small, compact, perhaps easily stored. This color image scanner happens to be both, though not quite as compact as a Doxie Go SE or Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 and more in line with an Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i in terms of size. With dimensions of 14.50 x 9.90 x 1.70 inches, you won’t have trouble finding space for it or storing it.

And we said it was easy to use, right? The Canon Lide 300 only has four buttons and a USB 2.0. No mobile functionality, which is a bummer, but you can set it up that your scans go directly to your preferred cloud service.

Value

The Canon CanoScan Lide 300 is outclassed by a large portion of our top scanners—so, why bother? Why, because of price. Point to any scanner on our list and the cheapest one is still $30 more than this. Performance might be marginally better compared to some, but it stands toe-to-toe with most. Then you have to consider the software that comes along such as the Auto Scan utility and IJ Scan utility; it comes bundled with good software that fills in most of its weaknesses. That, plus its performance and design, makes it a great budget option.

Canon CanoScan Lide 300 Wrap Up

Despite mobile support and an automatic feeder, the Canon CanoScan Lide 300 is a great budget scanner for personal use. It’s the kind of scanner you want when the need to scan arises, something that can be stored in a desk until called upon. It has good image quality, incredibly easy to use and the software bundled inside softens its weaknesses.

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Best Home Scanner

Visioneer Patriot H80 Review

The Visioneer Patriot H80 is an absolute workhorse of a scanner that will meet all your office needs and then some. And that’s the catch. It’s more suited to operating in your office than your home. Check out our best home scanner list to see our top picks for scanners that would do wonders at your house!

Why We Like It – Visioneer Patriot H80

The Visioneer Patriot H80 is an absolute powerhouse of a scanner that’s very suitable for office use, both large and small. With Duplex Scanning, high optical resolution, and the ability to print over 11,000 pages in a single day, the Visioneer Patriot H80 is a welcome workhorse in your office.

Pros
  • Comprehensive Bundled Software
  • 120-Page ADF
  • 88 ppm and 176 ipm
Cons
  • Incredibly expensive
  • So-so Customer Service Reviews
  • Large and Bulky

Performance

The Visioneer PH80 U Document Scanner boasts an impressive 120-page automatic document feeder, which is among the highest we’ve seen. It’s also quite fast, impressing with speeds of up to 88 pages per minute and 176 images per minute. But fast scanning doesn’t mean much if it’s not accurate. Thankfully, the Visionary Patriot H80 doesn’t have this problem as it’s able to scan font pages without any errors down to 6 points. Take a look at the Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 for another example of a scanner with great accuracy.

Design

The Patriot H80 can handle a document size of 9.5”x236” on the large end and 2”x2” on the smaller end which is both among the biggest and smallest we’ve seen. The Visionary Acuity Software enhances scans to improve image quality and archive your documents for easier retrieval at a later time. It has a hi-speed USB 3.0 interface for quick and easy connections to your PC. It’s quite a hunk of machine though, and weighs almost 10 pounds. Check out the Doxie Go SE for a scanner that’s a little more compact and portable.

Value

Customer service reviews for Visioneer, as a company, are moderate at best, so you may want to consider that before buying the Patriot H80. Visioneer Onetouch profile destinations are numerous, and the DVD that comes with the machine contains Nuance OmniPage Ultimate and Nuance Power PDF for your PDF files. It retails for a whopping $1,400.00 in the United States, but then again it is an office-style scanner and not really intended for home use. Check out the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i for a scanner more suitable for homes.

Visioneer Patriot H80 Wrap Up

Aside from a higher price tag and slightly faster scan speeds, the Visionary Patriot H80 is almost identical to its less expensive sibling, the Visionary Patriot H60. Sure, it is slightly faster, but unless you absolutely need that amount of speed to print out 11,000 pages per day (which seems like a massive overdraft), the jump in price doesn’t really seem worth it.

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Best Home Scanner

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Review

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 comes with everything you could want in a home desktop scanner. It may seem a bit overwhelming to newbies because of all the cloud-support services, but the learning curve isn’t actually that bad. Check out our best home scanner list for more great scanners you’ll want to use!

Why We Like It – Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 develops quality scans quickly, accurately, and in a multitude of ways, including mobile. It’s well-built and doesn’t feel like it will fall apart on you. And in a move often overlooked, the control panel and mobile app have an almost identical layout which makes the learning curve less steep.

Pros
  • Higher than Advertised Scan Speed
  • Identical Controls on Both Panel and App
  • ScanSnap Software has Great Support from Cloud Services
Cons
  • A Little Weighty
  • No Ethernet Support
  • Expensive

Performance

The fold-up cover on the ScanSnap iX1500 Desktop Scanner lifts to reveal a 50-page automatic document feeder which holds originals up to 188” long. The ADF also supports tabloid-size so you can scan documents as small as business cards. The ScanSnap iX1500’s scanning speed rates at 30 pages per minute for one-sided pages and 60 images per second for two-sided pages. If you would like something a bit faster, consider the Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i. But you should be aware that these speeds are Fujitsu ratings. In some tests the ScanSnap iX1500 has performed much better.

Design

The ScanSnap iX1500 features an intuitive touch screen as its primary method of control. What you see on the control panel is quite close to the ScanSnap mobile app, which helps in decreasing the learning curve. The ScanSnap connect options include wi fi, wi-fi direct, and tethering to a single PC via USB. If connecting wirelessly, all devices on your home network will be able to access the machine or you can scan directly from the face of the scanner if that’s what you prefer. The unit weighs approximately 9.5 pounds, so try the less than one pound Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 if you want something easily portable.

Value

The iX1500 Scanner offers much in the way of support services. For example, ScanSnap Cloud Services identifies and routes your scanned documents to specific cloud sites based on document type or parameters defined by you. ScanSnap Home Software has support for 12 cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote. The ScanSnap also includes support for Nuance Power PDF, Nuance PDF Converter for Mac, and Abby FineReader. The unit retails for $400.00, so consider the Doxie Go SE, which goes for $179.00, if you’re on a tighter budget.

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Wrap Up

The people at Fujitsu have produced a fantastic scanner for home use that will delight anyone who purchases it. It’s a little on the expensive side, but quality has never come cheap. In their next iteration, let’s hope they can get the weight down to less than five pounds so it can be a portable desktop scanner too.

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Best Home Scanner

Brother DS-720D Review

If you’re always on the go and need a portable scanner to take to your business meeting, the Brother DS-720D is an excellent choice. This color page scanner works with both Windows and Mac OS and offers mobile duplex scanning. It also comes with BR receipts, which is great scanner software that organizes your files. It even made our best home scanner list because of its management system.

Why We Like It – Brother DS-720D

The Brother DS-720D mobile scanner offers high-speed printing and can scan documents, business cards, and more. This portable scanner has a high optical resolution and has double-sided duplex scanning.

Pros
  • Duplex scanning
  • Comes with excellent scanning software
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi
  • No battery
  • Weak paper feed

Performance

For a compact scanner, the DS-720D offers excellent color page scanning and great performance. It can easily scan one side of a page at 8 PPM, or scan both sides at 5 PPM. When it comes to resolution, the standard is 600 x 600 dpi, but it can go up to 1200 x 1200 dpi interpolated. Despite only feeding a single sheet at a time it can still do multi-page scans as long as you feed the next sheet within a certain timeframe. Check out the Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i if you need an automatic feeder.

Design

The design of this scanner is compact and lightweight like the Doxie Go SE. It weighs less than a pound and is only 11.5-inches long. In terms of looks, it’s very plain and comes in the usual beige color. Functionality is completely different. It can scan documents and also has a slot for business cards and credit cards. There’s also no need for a regular power adapter as it draws its power through a USB connection. The included software helps with functionality and to organize your files so you’re not looking for that receipt from a year ago.

Value

This scanner has a lot of brilliant features. It’s lightweight and compact and can go anywhere with you. It also forgoes a power adapter in favor of a more practical USB solution. The scan quality is also very accurate and it can scan at a decent speed whether in single-sided or double-sided mode. The DS-720D also comes with lots of great software that allows you to organize your files and to scan to different locations. Another scanner with excellent value is the Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620.

Brother DS-720D Wrap Up

Brother scanners are known for their quality, and the DS-720D continues the tradition. It’s small enough to go anywhere, and still provide great scan quality. This scanner also allows duplex scanning and allows you to save to multiple locations easily. It doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability, but you still get terrific performance from the USB cable.

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Best Home Scanner

Brother ADS-1250W Review

If you’re looking for a compact color desktop scanner with excellent scan speeds, the Brother ADS-1250W is a great choice. It has an auto document feeder for better document management, and it also allows you to scan to many locations including a USB flash memory drive. It’s the best home scanner in its class, and ideal for home office or any other environment.

Why We Like It – Brother ADS-1250W

The Brother ADS wireless compact document scanner is small enough to go anywhere, and can scan documents at a high scan speed. This great product also allows you to multi page scans thanks to the automatic document feeder, and also offers wireless scanning from mobile devices.

Pros
  • Fast scan speeds
  • Compact desktop scanner
  • Built-in Wi fi
Cons
  • Included software is bloated
  • No USB cable included
  • Micro USB connection a bit out of date

Performance

This automatic color scanner has impressive performance, especially when you consider its small size. The dual sensor can scan both sides of a sheet in a single pass at 600 x 600 dpi. It also has a fast scan speed of up to 25 pages per minute. The included OCR software allows you to create searchable Word and PDF files, and Iprint scan software provides connectivity for mobile devices, as well as other functionality. If you are looking for a rival with similar performance, check out the Doxie Go SE.

Design

The ADS-1250W comes in a compact and lightweight design that’s perfect for travelling and business meetings. It has the standard beige design with black accents and features an auto document feeder with a 20-page capacity. The feeder can easily scan all your documents and receipts, and there’s even a slot for business cards and credit cards. This scanner can also scan to multiple locations including cloud storage and a USB flash. It doesn’t require a conventional power outlet, and works off a USB connection. Another good rival is the Fujitsu Scansnap s1300i.

Value

This scanner isn’t the cheapest in its class, but it has a lot to offer. It can scan both sides of the sheet at the same time and has a large 20-sheet feeder capacity. There’s also space to scan credit cards and ID documents. This scanner is also small enough to travel with you anywhere and doesn’t need a power adapter. The Brother ADS-1250 can also scan to multiple locations including direct to a USB stick, or to cloud locations. This scanner compares to the Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 in providing good value.

Brother ADS-1250W Wrap Up

The ADS-1250W is a compact scanner that’s perfect for people on the go. It still has a large, 20-sheet capacity and can scan at a high speed. This scanner also has built-in Wi-Fi, and can scan to multiple locations including cloud storage and memory sticks. It doesn’t come with a USB cable included, but they are easy to find and don’t cost much.

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Best Home Scanner

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 Review

If you’re looking for a compact document scanner that you can carry around with you and use anywhere, the Brother DS-620 is a great option. This single-page document scanner works with Windows Mac and Linux. It scans at 600 x 600 dpi resolution in both black and color. The DS-620 even made our best home scanner list because of its good value.

Why We Like It – Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620

The Brother DS-620 mobile color page scanner comes in a small size but still has decent scan quality and scan speed. This mobile scanner is perfect to scan documents and business cards with excellent optical resolution.

Pros
  • Very compact
  • Versatile scanning
  • BR receipts program makes life easier
Cons
  • No document feeder
  • Search by keyword functionality is average
  • No duplex scanning

Performance

For a compact scanner, the Brother DS-620 excels in the performance department with a scanning speed of 8 PPM with an average time of 11 seconds per page. Although it doesn’t have a document feeder it can still scan multiple pages to one file, as long as you follow the prompt after you’ve loaded each page. It can also scan to multiple formats like JPG and PDF and allows black and color scanning. Another scanner with excellent performance is the Fujitsu Scansnap s1300i.

Design

The DS-620 is the perfect scanner for people on the go because it’s small and light and convenient to carry. It weighs under a pound and comes in at only 11.5-inches long. Standard optical scanning resolution sits at 600 x 600 dpi, while interpolated resolution sits at 1200 x 1200 dpi. The Button Manager software makes it easy to scan to different locations at a touch of a button and it also comes with bundled scan software like Nuance PaperPort 12 SE, and Presto! A similar rival is the Doxie Go Se.

Value

This portable scanner comes at a very low price and has Brother’s excellent reputation for quality and customer service. It’s compact enough to fit in a briefcase, but still delivers performance associated with larger, more expensive scanners. The DS-620 can effortlessly scan multiple document sizes at a speed of 8 PPM, and save them to different locations depending on your preference. It also comes with a brilliant range of software to make life easier. This printer offers incredible value and competes with the Brother ADS-1250W.

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620 Wrap Up

This scanner is portable and lightweight and perfect for business trips. It has excellent scan quality in both black and color and can scan to multiple formats. The DS-620 also comes with lots of bundles software to manage your scans and get the best out of your scanner. There’s no duplex scanning, but that’s to be expected from a portable scanner.

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Best Home Scanner

Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner Review

Digital photography seems perfectly suited for social media since pictures can be near-immediately viewed after taken and then uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, etc. But if you’ve spent years acquiring 35mm slides and negatives, the options for using them online are limited: they need to be scanned. But dedicated scanners either are very expensive or very cheaply made when it comes to the optics used (and flat-bed scanners are too low resolution). A real solution would be to use a system where a digital camera that you already have, one with high-resolution, can turn negatives and slides into digital images. But who has the best home scanner just laying around? Better yet, how about keeping the price way down by tapping into the features a smartphone offers? That’s exactly what the Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner is all about.

Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner scanner parts

$99 buys the scanner, but that cheap price expects a Smartphone, in this case an iPhone 5 loaded with the company’s LomoScanner app (while optimized for the 5, it works with iPhones 3G and up and other models that can physically fit).  The Smartphone Film Scanner relies on the phone’s camera; there’s 3 “blocks” that assemble, one on top of the other, to create distance between the film slot and the phone’s camera. To make sense of how this is used, I assembled the scanner with my iPhone 5 in mind. First I inserted two “AA” batteries into the base to provide power for the light panel (which I turned on) and then stood it on a table. I then stacked two “blocks” on top of each other on the base (Lomography suggests that two are all that’s needed with an iPhone and my time spent with the scanner confirmed this). I then placed the “camera holding” block on the top, having already squeezed the tab so I could pull the two “clamp” sides apart. I placed the iPhone face down and lined the camera lens with the hole at one end of the block. I then pushed the clamps back together to hold the camera. I then tapped on the Lomography app (free) which I had already loaded in from the iTunes app store.

Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner phone's camera in clamp

I inserted a strip of 35mm black and white film into the film slot at the base and rotated a wheel until the full image was visible on the phone. I then selected the 35mm aspect ratio (smaller at sides) and played with the zooming function buttons to see if it would improve the image (it didn’t, plus using the digital zoom can degrade the image so it’s not worth doing).  The negative’s image then appeared on the screen. The are options to alter the image in the app and which you can see once selected (such as working with color negative film). However, I decided to go with a “normal” setting where no digital tech was being used in order to get the most “real” digitization of the negative. I “shot” the image and then saved it to the phone’s camera roll before moving on to another image on the strip.

Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner film mechanism

I wanted to digitize a color slide, but the transport mechanism expects a 4-negative strip or longer in order to function. I imagine I could make a “film strip” that I could put a slide (minus the mount) into, but it seemed like too much work and too much of a chance of damaging the slide, so I stayed with digitizing color negative and black and white film instead. After having done about 10 slides, my  concern was whether the negatives had stayed flast when in the Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner’s transport mechanism: there’s nothing holding them down as is the case with some other consumer-based portable scanners. But I didn’t see any loss of detail that would make me think that re-shooting was necessary when I check them, although if the film strip had been badly curved I expect it would have needed some serious efforts at flattening it before use.

Lomography SmartPhone Film Scanner camera app

Transferring the images I had shot to my Mac, I then used graphic software to convert the color negative and black and white images into positive ones. I used PhotoShop, but there’s a lot of programs out there — some free — that will do the job, with some providing an automatic path for taking care of film that has been digitized. The biggest issue in doing all this, as I see it, is having the patience to deal with the ‘tweaking” that most images require in order to look their best. And being willing to spend the time needed to both digitize and color-correct the images, which in the case of color negatives comes with an orange cast as part of the process (with black and white negs it’s mostly a matter of contrast that must be tweaked, in my opinion).

Bottom line: Scanning 35mm black and white and color negatives is the only way to bring them kicking and screaming into the digital age. The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner is an inexpensive but quality means for doing this, thanks to its mating with a Smartphone’s imaging and program (app) abilities.