Best automatic document scanners for the office 2022

Let’s get the ball rolling by showing you our five best recommendations for automatic document feeders!

Xerox DocuMate 3220 Document scanner with Duplex and 50 Sheet ADF

The Xerox® DocuMate 3220 includes a powerful and robust productivity software bundle that provides all the tools for a document centric professional who needs to organise, manipulate and communicate paper in their business. Scan business cards, documents, photos, books or magazines with one touch simplicity.

Canon image FORMULA DR-F120 A4 Flatbed Scanner with ADF

The ideal choice for small offices that need to scan a wide range of document types quickly and easily. Enjoy an effortless and speedy scanning solution with versatile image FORMULA DR-F120 scanner, featuring an integrated automatic document feeder and flatbed unit. It’s perfect for capturing a wide range of document types in high quality.

Fujitsu ScanSnap IX1500 Automatic Document Feeder Wireless A4 Scanner – PA03770-B001

The ScanSnap iX1500 is a new personal document scanner designed to offer businesses, home users and small teams, the smarter way to work. The latest model in the ScanSnap line comes with one touch technology enabling users to carry out pre-programmed scans with the touch of a button.

Fujitsu FI-7240 A4 Document Scanner

This compact FI-7240 desktop scanner from Fujitsu allows for merging paper document content with digitally born data. Enjoy optimum quality from automated document capture, and increase the breadth of document management related activities such as invoice and forms processing, archiving and workflow.

Fujitsu FI-7030 A4 ADF Document Scanner with PaperStream Capture 1.5

 The FI-7030 is the ideal entry point to professional information capture. It’s equipped with PaperStream Capture Version 1.5 that offers a new ergonomic, touch compatible user interface which improves efficiency and interactions across the entire capture process. The FI-7030 is based on PFU’s proven superior image quality technology, combined with improved image processing and capture software. 

Best Automatic Document Scanners for the Office 2022

In days gone by, scanning a document could take monumental effort. But at last, the future is here and scanning documents and photos is now as effortless as it’s supposed to be. You can scan some pages as image files, rotate and crop them with the built-in pre-sets and quickly share them via email — or create a multi-page PDF file. With a great scanner, you can do so much more than just scan!

However, like with laptops, there are many, many models to choose from – so where do you begin? Settling on a scanner that meets your specific needs can be challenging. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, with many having different purposes. There are photo scanners, receipt scanners, document scanners and many more! The first thing you need to think about – and this may sound like an obvious question – is what kind of things are you going to be scanning?

Standard documents and photographs are probably the most common things to scan, but other things such as bound books, receipts, business cards and technical drawings are also popular.

Before jumping in at the deep end, you should consider things such as: What size are the originals you’ll be scanning? And will you need to scan both sides of document pages? The answers to these questions will guide you towards the type of scanner you should consider – a classic flatbed scanner, a model which has a sheet feeder, or a different type of scanner altogether.

What is a flatbed scanner, and why do you need one?

A flatbed scanner has a large glass platen on which you place the documents or whatever it is you are going to scan. The scanner is capable of capturing all elements on the document and does not require any movement of the document. Flatbed scanners are effective scanners for delicate materials such as vintage photographs, papers and other documents which are fragile. These are the most popular type of scanner on the market.

It is possible to place delicate items such as original photos and stamps through a sheet feeder, but there is always the risk of them being damaged. If you only need to scan this sort of original now and again, then you may be OK with a sheet-fed scanner that comes with a plastic carrier to protect the originals. But if you want high quality, then placing the document directly on to glass is always the best way to do it.

What’s a sheet feeder?

If you need to scan documents on a daily basis and those documents tend to be at least several pages, then you’ll need a document-centric scanner which has a sheet feeder. If you have a flatbed printer, you’ll soon become frustrated with repeating the process of scanning pages one at a time. Some sheet-fed scanners can handle more than standard documents – they can handle thick originals such as ID cards and plastics.

For small scanning jobs, you’ll be fine with a manual sheet feeder, or alternatively, you can just use the feature on an all-in-one (AIO) printer. But, for scanning longer documents on a regular basis we would definitely recommend and automatic document feeder (ADF). These have the ability to scan a complete stack of pages automatically. Go and make a cuppa, come back and it’s done!

For a smooth experience, you’ll need to select and ADF capacity based on the number of the pages that you typically use. If you go over this estimate, then you can add more pages during the scan as the feeder processes them. Some of the more versatile ADF scanners can also handle stacks of business cards too.

Duplex scanning. What is it? And do you need it?

Duplex scanning means scanning both sides of a page. Whatever your requirements, it’s always a good idea to use duplex scanning if you can as it’s good for the environment and also saves you money on paper costs.

If you need to scan documents which will need to be printed on both sides then you’ll definitely need either a duplexing scanner, a duplexing ADF, or a scanner which has a driver that includes a manual-duplex feature. This will save you lots of time, freeing you up to do other important tasks.

How fast are duplexing scanners?

Pretty fast, considering that when machine scan documents and other items, they tend to be slow as they need to pick up al the fine details. The fastest duplexing scanners have two scan elements, so they can scan both sides of a page at the same time. Machines that can scan both sides at the same time are fast than the single ADF machines, but they will probably cost you more.

A standard duplexing ADF will just scan one side, turn the page over mechanically, and then scan the other. However, a scanner that ‘supports’ manual duplexing lets you scan one side of a stack of documents and then prompts you to turn them over before re-feeding and scanning the other side. This is a decent option if you don’t scan two-sided documents very often or you’re on a tight budget.

What resolution and scan size do you need?

Don’t start to panic, because resolution isn’t usually an issue with most scanning. For basic documents and letters, even a 200-pixel-per-inch (ppi) will be more than sufficient. In fact, it’s quite hard to find a scanner out there in 2022 which doesn’t max out at 600ppi – and this is more than enough for everything. If you’re scanning photographs and need a very small detail larger than the original, then it could be that you need a higher ppi.

Of course, some sectors require higher resolutions. In the photography industry for example, you may need to scan 35mm slides or negatives. For tasks like these you’ll probably need an optical resolution of at least 4,800ppi.

What is scan size all about?

Well, you need to have a scanner than can handle the sizes of documents that you want to scan. It sems like we’re stating the obvious here, but most flatbeds have a letter-size platen, so what do you do if you have larger items to scan? Most flatbeds with ADFs will scan the larger, legal-size pages via the ADF, but there are some models which do not, so it is always worth checking this out before you go-ahead and buy. There are larger scanners on the market, but they do take up more room – and probably more of your money!

Do you need any software?

Almost all scanners have basic scanning software included. Features included in some scanners can include photo editing, text indexing, creating searchable PDF documents and optical character recognition (OCR), so it’s definitely worth spending some time nailing down what you really need your scanner for, in advance if you can. You can guarantee that any modern scanner will work seamlessly with both macOS and Windows, and many of them can also scan to your phone or a cloud drive. New scanners are versatile and offer you a wide array of options.

If you are going to be editing photographs after you’ve scanned them, then we advise you to use a program like Adobe Photoshop – and make sure you get yourself a scanner which has TWAIN drivers that can scan straight into your photo editing app for maximum convenience.

Are you looking for a specialist scanner?

Maybe you’re looking for a scanner to specifically scan business and ID cards? Or if you are an extensive traveller you might be looking for a compact scanner which can fit in your laptop bag? Some of the smallest scanners can actually function without being attached to a computer, scanning to a memory card or a smartphone. And some function as both portable and desktop scanners because they combine a portable scanner with a docking station which includes an ADF. Always take a good look at the scanner specifications information to get the full picture of what each scanner provides – and what it doesn’t.

Which scanner is for you?

In a nutshell, ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what you will be scanning, and what volumes you’ll need to put through it. Of course, your budget will probably dictate which model and make you go for. But if you can afford an automatic document feeder, you know you’ll be getting a device which can effectively lighten your workload. There are some great models available by all the leading brands. Take a look at Ebuyer’s range of ADFs here.

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