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The Best Desktop Scanners of 2014

03/10/2014

Choosing a document scanner to suit your needs can be a complicated process – there are loads of scanners out there, each claiming to offer the most efficient and effective way to digitise your documents. This rundown of the 10 best desktop scanners available on the market in 2014 is designed to cut through the preaching and promises of the manufacturers and get down to the real differences between the machines available on the market today. With scanners from just £124 achieving the cut of our list, paper to pdf digitisation has never been easier or more affordable.

·        Fujitsu Fi-7160, £559

The first scanner in our rundown of the top 10 desktop scanners available in 2014 is the Fujitsu Fi-7160.  Unlike some of the other scanners on the list, Fujitsu’s Fi-7160 doesn’t feature devoted ‘scan to..’ buttons or wireless connectivity. However, with scanning speeds of up to 60 pages per minute, USB 3.0 for high speed transfers between the scanner and your computer, and a throughput of up to 4,000 pages per day, the 7160 is simple and incredibly efficient. Combining the high scanning speeds of Fujitsu’s Fi-7160 with a document feeder for up to 80 pages, this entry shines through on this list as the most efficient and fastest document scanner. Although it’s incredibly powerful, the only reason it’s not higher up on the list is its simplicity – most of the other scanners in this class are offering dedicated scan-to buttons and a more attractive user interface.

Strong points: incredibly fast and efficient for the price

·         Canon DR-C130, £295

The Canon DR-C130 is next up, featuring scanning speeds of 30 pages per minute, a 50 sheet document hopper and a recommended daily scan cycle of 2,000 documents, which is fairly high compared to some of the more feature-packed scanners like the immensely popular Fujitsu iX500, at just 250.  The DR-C130 is a modest looking scanner, though is complete with ISIS and TWAIN drivers and compatible with Windows XP through to 8.

Strong points: Very high daily scan cycle of 2,000 documents for a scanner of this level.

·         Panasonic KVS-1046C

Next up is Panasonic’s KV-S1046C. The KV-S1046C offers scanning speeds of up to 45 pages per minute and features an automated document feeder for up to 75 sheets. With a host of measures for page protection, you can be sure that the KV-S1046C safely scans the paper you need, be it lightweight 20g/ m² or thick card at 209g/ m². That’s right – you can scan papers as thin as 20g/ m² with the Panasonic, a feature rare enough in this price bracket to make the KV-S1046C worthy of a place in the top 10.

Strong points: The automated document feeder for 75 sheets and the range of papers this scanner can handle are impressive.

·         Canon P-215II

Canon’s P-215II is a brand new scanner in 2014 and manages to hide the differences it has to its predecessor, the P-215, very well. In fact, these models are almost identical, the only difference being the software package. Canon's new P-215II has a totally new and upgraded system allowing the user to scan to Evernote, Google Docs, Sharepoint or Dropbox. With a 20 sheet automatic document feeder and the capability of scanning to Evernote or Google Documents, the P-215II offers the efficiency of a traditional desktop scanner in an incredibly mobile package. Furthermore, the P-215II offers compatibility with ISIS and TWAIN drivers for full integration with your existing imaging application.

Strong points: Massive range of cloud locations catered for with a great software package.

·         Epson GT-S85N

The Epson GT-S85N uses ISIS and TWAIN drivers for full compatibility with your imaging software, scans up to 40 pages per minute and has an automated document feeder for up to 75 pages. Often our customers will go for this scanner because they want to use it without a computer as a network scanner for a group of users – it’s one of the least expensive machines on the market to be able to do so. However, even without the option to network the GT-S85N, with resolutions up to 600dpi and ultrasonic sensors to stop damaged paper from jamming the machine, it’s a fast and efficient scanner.

Strong points: Network scanning on a 40 pages per minute machine at under £600 is impressive.

·         Kodak i1150

Offering scanning speeds of 25 pages per minute and a document feeder for 50 pages, the ScanMate i1150 is the ideal solution for desktops or reception counters where scanning through small stacks of documents fast is really important. Kodak’s i1150 is packed with useful features designed to streamline your services, including a built in business card holder, an icon based colour screen and automatic barcode reading. In ‘Transaction Mode’ you can scan up to 60% faster for the next 10 documents – if you have a customer waiting or are working through a scan intensive task, you can use this mode to scan at 40 page per minute for the next 10 documents. The i1150 is a quick and quiet entry in Kodak’s Scanmate range of document scanners.

Strong points: We really like the ‘Transaction mode’ for scanning in higher speeds when you have customers waiting (even if it does make 25 pages per minute feel slow again afterwards!)

·         Brother ADS-2600W

The ADS-2600W is currently top of Brother’s desktop scanner range and has a variety of features designed to improve productivity at home or in the office. With wireless connectivity and the ability to scan to email, Google Docs, Dropbox or Evernote makes the ADS-2600W a popular model for users looking for a wireless scanner on a budget. The Brother ADS-2600W is equipped with a 50 page document feeder, multi-feed detection, blank page removal and auto de-skew functions. This scanner is somewhat similar to the Epson DS-85N, in that they are both a new breed of inexpensive network scanner offering very competitive scanning speeds at an unbelievable price.

Strong points: Wireless network scanning in a fast and versatile desktop scanner at incredibly good value for money.

·        Fujitsu iX500

The iX500 is without doubt the best selling scanner on this list. The ScanSnap iX500 is a simple and efficient solution for scanning and managing your files at the touch of a button. This scanner has a recommended throughput of up to 1,000 documents per day. Scanning up to 50 pages per minute and offering resolutions of up to 1200dpi, Fujitsu’s iX500 offers the perfect balance between efficiency and quality. Featuring smart phone (iOS and Android) connectivity and a standard copy of Adobe Acrobat XI worth over £150 included in the box, the ScanSnap offers extraordinary value for money.

Strong points: We really love the ease of use offered by the iX500 – having just one button to operate the scanner makes the user interface ultra-efficient and a pleasure to use. Also free Adobe Acrobat!

·         Xerox 3115

The Xerox Documate 3115 is a document scanner offering awesome versatility. The 3115 has all the standard features of an efficient desktop scanner, with scanning speeds up to 30 images per minute and a 20 page automated document feeder (ADF). However, Xerox’s revolutionary design allows the user to then detach 3115 from its docking station for a fully functioning mobile scanner. The versatility of the 3115 is second to none, allowing your workers to use the mobile scanner on the road before logging in back at the office to process any paperwork with the 3115 dock’s ADF. This is really one for the gadget lovers out there - the sheer innovation of the 3115 merits a place on the list.

Strong points: The idea of having a mobile scanner which can be used with a dock featuring an automated document feeder is great for people in need of desktop and mobile scanners on a budget.

·         Canon DR-2020U

The new Canon DR2020U is one of the first desktop level scanners to combine an automated document feeder with a flatbed scanner, giving you the best of both worlds. When you need a mass of documents scanned quickly, you can leave up to 50 documents in the feeder for the scanner to automatically scan, deskew and optimise independently. However, when you have valuable or unusually shaped documents to be scanned the DR-2020U’s flatbed is more than capable. With a recommended daily throughput of up to 1,000 pages, the DR2020U is the perfect desktop scanner for the office in need of a fast and efficient scanner with a flatbed.

Strong points: Combining an automated document feeder with a flatbed scanner makes this the most versatile scanner on the list, hands down.

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