Thursday, 15 September 2016

Choosing a Scanner: What To Consider

Not all scanners are created equally. Different models have different features which can aide or deter your office productivity. As such, you’ll want to consider a few things before settling on a machine that captures your paperwork of photos into a digital format.

All scanners perform the same process using a combination of mirrors, glass, light, a CCD chip and some combination of motors and rollers to move the document and/or scanner pieces around. But, while the process may be the same, the quality produced and the effort necessary to scan each document varies drastically between models.

Do you scan a lot of documents or just a few? If you’re transitioning from a paper filing system to a digital filing system and need to scan boxes and boxes of docs, you won’t want to be sitting there manually laying down pages in a flat bed scanner and turning them over for the sake of having both sides of the doc scanned. See what we mean?

So, here are a few questions you want to ask yourself when choosing a new scanner for your office:

  • What kinds of documents will you be scanning eg. Text based files, photos?
  • Will you be scanning black and white documents?
  • Do you have a need for speed? How many scans per minute are you looking for?
  • Do you want a sheet-fed scanner and if so, how many documents do you want to load at a time?
  • Do you have special resolution requirements?
  • Do you need the ability to scan both sides of a document at the same time, i.e. a duplex scanner?
  • Will you be scanning documents to send to an electronic document management system?
  • Do you need wireless capabilities?

By addressing these questions up front you can narrow down models that have the features you are looking for, rather than buying something that seems like a great deal and then cursing the day you bought the thing.

Many devices have the capacity to scan double sided, feature automatic feeders and can also copy and print in addition to scan. Multifunction printers do just that – they scan, print, copy and fax. If all these things are necessary in your office environment, then it may make more sense for you to invest in a multifunction printer rather than a standalone scanner.