Tony Hoffman The Best Scanners for 2019 Whether you need to scan stacks of family photos, scores of documents, or even just the occasional business card, there's a scanner designed for the task. Here's how to shop for the right one. How to Buy the Right Scanner Settling on a that meets your specific needs can be challenging. Most scanners on the market today can handle everyday office tasks, but they come in a wide variety of types and sizes that are fine-tuned for different purposes. Here are the key questions to ask before you buy. We'll also take a look at the different kinds of scanners and their features.


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What Kind of Media Will You Scan? Knowing what and how often you expect to scan will tell you everything you need to know about the features you'll need. The two most common classes of things that get scanned are photos and documents (that is, unbound pages), but plenty of other media are common scan targets, such as bound books, business cards, film (slides and negatives), magazines, and easily damaged originals like postage stamps. Somewhat less common are 3D objects, such as coins or flowers. You should also consider details like the maximum size of the originals (more on that in a moment) and whether you'll need to scan both sides of document pages. Do You Need a Flatbed?

For photos or other easily damaged originals, bound material, and 3D objects, you need a flatbed scanner, which has a large glass platen on which you place the documents, books, or items. (When we talk about scanning objects, here we're talking about scanning 3D objects to two-dimensional images; 3D scanners—for scanning objects to 3D files for display or printing on a —are a different beast entirely.) Originals like photos and stamps can go through a sheet feeder, but you risk damaging them. If you need to scan this sort of original only once in a while, you may be able to get by with a sheet-fed scanner that comes with a plastic carrier to protect the originals.

Keep in mind, however, that even brand-new, unscratched plastic carriers can degrade scan quality. Scanner models tend to stay on the market for a long time between iterations, and this is especially true of flatbed photo scanners. Not only do they often remain on sale for years, but also, few new models are introduced.

We regularly update our Best Scanners roundup, so should you encounter an 'oldie but goodie,' it simply means that no similar model that we've reviewed has yet surpassed it. Do You Need a Sheet Feeder? If you plan to scan documents on a regular basis—particularly those longer than one or two pages—you almost certainly want a sheet feeder. Having to open a flatbed lid and set a page in place is a minor chore, but having to repeat the process 10 times for a 10-page document is a tiresome annoyance. Some sheet-fed scanners can also handle thick originals, such as health-insurance ID cards. If you'll primarily be scanning one or two pages at a time, a manual sheet feeder is probably all you need. Idm crack serial number. If you'll be scanning longer documents on a regular basis, however, you'll want an automatic document feeder (ADF) that will scan an entire stack of pages unattended.

Pick an ADF capacity based on the number of pages in the typical document you expect to scan. If you occasionally have a document that is more pages than the ADF capacity, you can add more pages during the scan as the feeder processes them.

Id scanning devices

Some ADFs can also handle stacks of business cards well. How About Duplexing? 'Duplex scanning' means scanning both sides of a page at once. If you need a sheet feeder or ADF, and if on a regular basis you expect to scan documents that are printed on both sides, you'll want a duplexing scanner, a duplexing ADF, or a scanner with a driver that includes a manual-duplex feature. The best, swiftest duplexing scanners have two scan elements, so that they can scan both sides of a page at the same time. A design like this will be faster than a scanner with a simple duplexing ADF, but it will likely also cost more.

A duplexing ADF will just scan one side, turn the page over, and only then scan the other. In contrast, a scanner with a driver that supports manual duplexing will let you scan one side of a stack and then prompt you to flip and re-feed the stack to scan the other side, with the scanner driver automatically interfiling the pages. Manual duplexing in the driver is the most economical alternative, and it is a good choice if you don't scan two-sided documents very often, or you are on a tight budget. What Resolution Do You Need?

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