The 7 Best Document and Photo Scanners of 2018

Capturing documents and photos is easier than ever

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Document Scanner

Fujitsu ScanSnap
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. Fujitsu

The FujitsuScanSnap iX500 Document Scanner scans everyday documents like business cards, A4 and A3 paper sizes, receipts, and handwritten notes. It comes with a slew of productivity software for optical character recognition, or OCR, and it exports documents quickly to virtually any modern device or cloud service you can think of. And like one or two other scanners on this list, it includes Wi-Fi connectivity.

It comes with its own application software designed to store and categorize every document that you scan. The scanner’s software is ScanSnap, a program with an intuitive menu for easy access to files, quick cloud service exporting, receipt extraction that transfers to CSV files for easy tax filing, as well as a business card database compatible with Excel, Outlook, and Salesforce.

Best All-Around: HP Scanjet Enterprise Flow 7500 Flatbed Scanner

HP Scanjet Enterprise Flow 7500 Flatbed Scanner. HP

Assuming that "Best All-Around" means just that, the best for most or even all types of jobs. In other words, a document scanner doesn't often make a good photo scanner and vice versa, for a number of reasons. What makes this Scanjet unique is that it is both a flatbed scanner, like your typical photo scanner, and it has an automatic document feeder, or ADF, for auto-feeding the flatbed documents. 

The Scanjet Enterprise Flow 7500 is also a high-volume heavy-hitter capable of scanning up to 3,000 pages per day, which comes out to about 1.1 million scans per year. It's ADF holds 50 2-sided originals of all shapes and sizes, and it scans at the rate of about 50 pages per minute (ppm) in simplex, or single-sided mode, and 100 images per minute (ipm) in duplex, or single-sided mode. 

Granted, this Scanjet may cost a little more most others, but then it's also equipped to do a lot more.

Best Budget: Canon CanoScan LiDE220

Canon CanoScan LiDE220
Courtesy of

At just under $100 at Amazon, Canon’s CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner is affordable. It scans your documents and photos and sends them automatically to your cloud-based services, such as Evernote and Dropbox. An Auto Scan Mode feature detects the sizing and adjusts settings automatically while scanning, saving you time from having to setup each scan manually.

The CanoScan LiDE220's maximum dpi is 4800 x 4800 with a 48-bit color depth with over 281 trillion possible colors. That's relatively high, but high-end photo scanners, such as Epson's $1,000 Perfection V850 Pro Photo Scanner, can go much higher, as high as 6,400dpi and beyond.  Its impressive speed allows a letter-sized document to be scanned in 10 seconds. Accessible buttons on the device make for quick activation for scans, copies, exporting to cloud services or saving as a PDF on your computer’s hard drive.

It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and it comes with a one-year warranty, as well as one-year of toll-free technical phone support.

Best for Film: Epson's Perfection V370 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V370
Courtesy of

There are many things to consider when buying a scanner for digitizing 35mm film and slides. You can buy a dedicated film and slide scanner or a high-resolution photo scanner with the ability to also scan film and slides, typically with some kind of adapter for use with a flatbed platen. Oh yes, and we should add there's also the inexpensive and the high-end.

We've chosen the Perfection V370 because not only can you use the bundled adapters to scan film or slides, but you can also scan any regular photo up to 13 x 19 inches, as well as documents, as long as you don't mind scanning them one page at a time, without the aid of an automatic document feeder.

Best for Mobility: Visioneer RoadWarrior 4D Duplex Mobile Color Scanner

Visioneer's RoadWarrior 4D Mobile Scanner
Visioneer's RoadWarrior 4D Mobile Scanner. Visioneer

The Visioneer RoadWarrior 4D Duplex Mobile Color Scanner is 11.5 inches long, 2.6 inches wide, 1.6 inches tall, and it weighs a slight 1.1 pounds. Compared to most laptops most of us carry around with us, it's quite small and light.

It's smart enough to recognize what you're scanning and capable of capturing color, grayscale and monochrome scans. A OneTouch software feature can send the scanned document in various formats to multiple locations, such as your hard drive, an email, the cloud. If the page is double-sided, the single-pass scanner scans both sides simultaneously. At the press of a button, the scanner will take your data and format it into a searchable PDF file.

Scanned documents are set to your choice of cloud-based storage applications like Evernote, SugarSync, Google Docs, Salesforce Chatter and Dropbox, among others. It also comes with some of the best OCR and document management software from Nuance, including Nuance OmniPage Pro and Nuance PaperPort, respectively.

Best for Business Cards: PenPower WorldCard Pro

PenPower WorldCard Pro
Courtesy of

The PenPower WorldCard Pro Business Card Scanner has the most useful features (for scanning business cards) of scanners on the list; it’s designed to digitize business cards in seconds. That’s it. Just business cards, and whatever other paper that measures 3.5 x 2 inches. It can also recognize multiple languages. But you'd buy it, of course, only if you didn't need to scan anything else, other than business cards, that is.

When you finish scanning, you can save the data by exporting to an address book on your computer or another mobile device, as well as Microsoft Entourage. The WorldCard Pro sends the data to format selections through vCard, CSV, text, HTML, and image files, depending on your selection, providing versatile options for saving your data.

You can find specific data through both simple text or advanced searches. If you click on an address or website that’s on the scanned digital business card, it will link to the map and web page directly.

Runner Up, Mobile: Epson WorkForce DS-40 Color Portable Scanner

Epson WorkForce DS-40 Document Scanner
Scan on the road, virtually anywhere. Epson

There are many things to like about Epson’s DS-40, including its (comparably) low price. At a $179.99 MSRP, it’s one of the cheapest of the mobile printers I’ve looked at recently, as well as one of the smallest and lightest, too. Especially handy is this scanner’s ability run on (four AA) batteries, which you should find especially handy if you don’t have a charging USB 2.0 port available.

Between Epson’s proprietary Epson Document Scanner Pro and Abby FineReader Sprint, as well as the ability to scan to numerous cloud sites, this little WorkForce scanner is capable and easy-to-use. If you’ve ever used Epson’s scanner interface app, Epson Scan, which also comes with all of the company’s all-in-one and small-in-one printers, then you already know how robust yet easy-to-use the DS-40 really is.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent five hours testing a popular document scanner. We asked them to consider the most important features when using this scanner — from its speed to its footprint — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Document and Photo Scanner

Media type - Think about how you plan to use your scanner. Some are great at scanning photos, while others excel at creating pristine copies of letters and other documents. Higher-end units include adjustable sliders or even separate bays to handle more difficult documents like laminated identification cards.

Scan speed - If you scan a lot of documents — or if you have boxes of old photos you need to digitize — then scan speed is a huge concern. Look at how many pages a scanner can handle per minute, but also keep in mind that scanners with automatic document feeders help speed up the process and free you from the necessity of manually placing each item in the scanner.

Cloud support - Some document and photo scanners are capable of scanning and uploading directly to the cloud. If you want easy access to your scanned files, look for a scanner that supports Google Drive, Dropbox, or whatever cloud service you use.

Test Results: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Document Scanner (Most Popular)


What We Like

  • Fast speed

  • Easy to use

  • Great quality

What We Don't Like

  • Complex accompanying software

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Document Scanner
Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500
Fujitsu Document Scanner
Fujitsu iX500 Document Scanner

This scanner earned rave reviews from our testers for its fast speed and convenience. “You can scan to your computer and phone wirelessly,” one reviewer noted, “and it comes with useful software to sort your documents.” The only thing our testers didn’t love was the complexity of the accompanying software: “Maybe I just need to spend more time with it to be familiar with the features,” one tester said, “but it can be a bit of a handful.”