Whether you’re choosing a scanner for work or personal use, it is most likely going to be used a lot, once you get the hang of scanning everything, you will find it’s extremely convenient to have everything important stored in the one place on your computer rather than strewn around on bits of paper that are more than likely to go missing (particularly the really important ones). Picking the scanner that is best for you of course depends on how you are going to use it, but i’m sure every single person is united in the fact that they want one that is quick (aint nobody got time to wait round for the scanner), easy to use (technophobes unite) and affordable. Scanners can even be used to save things like old photos if they are spoiling over time, basically functioning the opposite way to a printer, transferring paper to digital print, rather than the other way round. There are definitely scanners out there that will tick those three all important boxes, so how do you go about finding the best one? Here are a few things that you can look out for when picking your scanner.
First things first, where to go? there are many places both online and on the high street that will sell scanners to you. It is often worth considering visiting a specialist site such as The Scanner Shop, where all devices listed will give you a detailed explanation of what they do and how much they cost. You can use the filtered search to rule out anything you don’t want, or discover new products that you do want. All in one scanners are definitely a viable option, not only scanning, but also printing and sometimes faxing too. These multipurpose devices are great for anyone that doesn’t have a lot of space for a lot of different machines, or simply just want to keep all their document sorting in the one place. Of course scanners aren’t only used for scanning paper, you can scan things such as photos, paintings or even pieces of fabric /clothing. When purchasing a scanner you will notice that there is a number on the side (or back or wherever the manufacturer has chosen to display it) which represents the resolution of the product. Some scanners are 1200 dpi and some are 600 dpi. Whilst the 1200 dpi technically gives a better result, don’t be tempted to buy it just for that reason. If you are using your scanner solely for scanning documents (cheques, letters, bank statements etc) then you will only need a 600 dpi scanner, to give a clear image. So it it worth considering what you are going to use your scanner for. For that same reason, if you want a quick scanner, be sure to choose one with a laser printer, although pricier, you will probably find an inkjet printer too slow for constant use. For the occasional print, it is probably worth saving your buck and opting for inkjet.
If you are planning to use your scanner for a particular use it may be worth investing in a specialist scanner, rather than a multi-purpose all in one device. These types of scanners are usually known as flatbed scanners which have become more and more advanced in recent years. Whilst some may require you to feed photo’s through manually ( a slight chore if you are scanning many) the newer and improved flatbed scanners have an auto feed function that feeds photo’s through the scanner so that you don’t have to. If you are needing to scan mass items regularly, then choosing one of these could be a wise decision. You will find that these are produced by major digital retailers such as Canon and HP. if it is photos that you need to scan, you can become even further specialised and buy a scanner that is a dedicated photo scanner, generally higher in quality. These however, are not as budget friendly as the all-in-one or flatbed scanners.
The power of Infrared
Whilst you may get scanners for kinds of uses and purposes, there is definitely one thing to keep an eye out for when purchasing a scanner, and that is its infrared qualities. The better the scanner’s infrared light, the better it is at picking up dust and scratches, which when fed back to the software can eliminate as much as possible, any dirt or marks affecting the overall scanned image. A scanner without these qualities will stop producing quality images as soon as it gets marked, which is no good as scanners are extremely susceptible to these sorts of injuries.