Buyers Guides & Videos - Scanners
Scanners are devices that optically scan images such as documents, photos, film, printed text, handwriting, or even objects, and convert them to a digital image ready for computer manipulation in office applications or editing software. Euroffice has a great range of scanning products available from reputable brands such as Fujitsu, Canon, HP, and IRIS.
Types of Scanner:
Ideal for personal use, desktop, single-page A4 scanners deliver sharp, exceptionally detailed scanned images. Usually connected to the computer via a USB cable, the item being scanned rests on a glass plate while the scanning head moves underneath it. These machines will handle all your low volume photo, document and film scanning needs with ease.
Machines specifically designed for speedily scanning loose sheets of paper, widely used by businesses to scan office documents. These units are more like a fax machine because they move the page being scanned past the scanning head, rather than the other way around. This tends to mean that they take up less desk space. Some sheetfed scanners only scan a single sheet of paper at a time while others, such as the HP ScanJet range, come with built-in document feeders that can scan multiple page documents, unattended.
- Mouse and Scanner
The all-in-one scanner and mouse sits at your fingertips all day long. Simply press the scan button, swipe in any direction on a document, book, magazine or even street map, up to A3 size, and watch text and images appear instantaneously on your computer screen. When you’re not scanning, it works as a regular mouse. The IRIScan Mouse and Scanner offers fantastic value for money.
Simply slide the pen over printed text or numbers from newspapers, magazines, fax and letters, etc and the text will automatically retype in your computer using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. The pen can also save and import logos, signatures or small graphics into your favourite application. The IRISPen range also has text-to-speech functionality for over 30 languages.
Small, portable scanners are available for use away from a computer; ideal for letters, contracts, invoices, receipts, bills, handwritten correspondence, photos or business cards. Scan anything, no matter you are. The documents are scanned into the internal memory, SD card or a USB flash drive. Stored scans can then be transferred to your office applications later.
Book scanners are extremely compact and easily slip into your laptop bag or drawer. Powered by batteries, with a memory card inserted, you can scan all your documents without being connected to a computer. Whether you're at the office, out and about, in a customer meeting or sitting on your couch, you’ll never have to rip a page out again.
These are designed to scan items such as transparencies and negatives, which need to be scanned differently because the light has to pass through them rather than be reflected as in normal scanners. Some flatbed scanners come with an adapter for these sorts of scans.
- All-in-one scanners
Check Euroffice Printer Buying Guide as all-in-one or multifunction printers (MFP) have a built in scanner and other useful functions.
Specifications to consider:
- Scanning modes
Black and white or colour.
A specification to check while shopping for a scanner is the unit's speed. How much the speed of a scanner matters depends on how many times you intend to use it. Those scanning once or twice a day will certainly be less bothered by a slow scanner than those who are constantly acquiring images. Considerations include: the resolution (dpi); speed of the scanner's driver software; the size of its memory cache; and the type of connection between it and the computer. These factors all weigh in on overall performance. It's also generally true that scanners take longer when scanning at higher resolutions, or when applying filters to an image during the scanning process.
The higher the scanner’s bit depth, the more accurately it can describe what it sees. This, in turn, makes for a higher quality scan. Most colour scanners today are at least 24-bit; a 24-bit unit can theoretically capture over 16 million different colours, this is near-photographic quality, and therefore commonly referred to as "true colour" scanning.
- Optical Resolution
This is measured in dots per inch (dpi). Quite simply: the higher the value, the better the quality.
The majority of office scanners, especially desktop models, cannot be networked and will need to be located at one computer. All-in-one printers or MFPs have built in scanners which can usually be networked, but please check the manufacturers specifications before you purchase.
- Media feed
This states whether the scanner is manual load or has automatic load facility (ADF).
- Document size
The maximum and minimum size of documents or items that the unit can deal with.
- Interface Type
How the scanner connects to a computer to upload the scanned image. The majority will be via a USB cable.