Need a portable assistant to keep record of your purchases and work documents? Read on to discover the best portable scanners money can buy.
There is nothing worse than a wallet or car console full of receipts or a filing cabinet bursting with unsorted documents. A portable document and receipt scanner can make your life so much easier. Organize, send, and even search your documents from your PC. In no particular order, we run down the best portable scanners designed to de-clutter and save you time.
HP 1000 Scanjet
- Two-sided scanning
- No clunky software required
- No internal memory
- No battery power
The HP 1000 is a lightweight (1.4 pounds!), portable machine that scans in full color and saves in a variety of formats, including PDF, TIFF, and JPEG. The scanner is powered by your computer's USB port and does not feature any internal memory, meaning you will need to keep it paired with your laptop or desktop.
If you scan a lot of business cards you'll be happy to know the HP 1000 features two-sided scanning with 600dpi scan resolution and 5ppm — a decent set of specs for a portable scanner. If you scan one side at a time the speed is upped to 8ppm, enough to handle a moderate workload.
The HP 1000 does come with editing and archiving software, but does not require extra software to scan. It uses TWAIN drivers already installed on your PC thus providing quick and easy setup.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
- Double-sided scanning
- Fits up to 10 documents at once
- Scans documents fast and with accuracy
- Requires an AC or USB connection for power
- Users report some software is difficult to employ
- Not as mobile as you'd like
Fujitsu's portable unit scans documents and receipts in full color and saves files as PDF. If you're in range of Wi-Fi, you can save images directly to Google Docs, Evernote, SugarSync, or Dropbox. Not in Wi-Fi range? Save documents to your phone or tablet.
The ScanSnap scans fast and is capable of scanning both sides of a document simultaneously. Add the capability to queue up to 10 documents and you have a portable scanner capable of handling a heavy workload.
This scanner does require an AC or USB connection for power, meaning it's not as mobile as some might like. However, if you plan on keeping the scanner in your work vehicle there is the option to plug it in using a suitable adapter.
Included with the scanner is ABBYY FineReader, which recognizes text and automatically imports documents into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint — a great feature for professionals concerned with organization. Some users have claimed the software is difficult to use, so keep this in mind when choosing your portable scanner.
Doxie Go Plus
- Battery powered for extra mobility
- Expandable memory using SD cards
- Compact and lightweight design
- No double-sided scanning
- Software can be incompatible with long receipts
The Doxie Go Plus portable scanner has mostly positive reviews that mention easy setup and good design. Truly portable and lightweight, the Go Plus is about the size and weight of a rolled magazine. If you're someone who needs to carry their scanner around all day, the Go Plus fits nicely into backpacks and laptop bags.
Internal memory can hold up to 450 pages or 1800 photos before requiring a sync with your PC. You can also upgrade the internal memory with an SD card or USB flash drive if you're experiencing especially busy days or don't have access to a PC for an extended period of time.
Each page will take about 8 seconds to scan, and the Doxie Go's battery will last for about 300 scans. Included with this scanner is a power adapter that lets you begin scanning immediately while the internal battery charges.
AABBYY FineReader software is also included with the Go Plus. Users have noted that attempting to see particularly long receipts is troublesome within FineReader, and documents must be exported to other software to properly see them.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Fast scan speeds
- Provides several scan-to options
- No battery option
- Finicky software included
Brother's portable scanner claims to give users several save-to options — something generally uncommon in scanners without Wi-Fi capabilities. You do, of course, need a USB connection to your PC to enable these save-to options; otherwise, you're stuck with nowhere to save to. If you plan on keeping a scanner in your car and don't have a laptop, you will want to look at a scanner with internal memory.
The DS-620 scans quickly and clearly, perfect for anyone with many documents to work through. There are several pieces of software included with the DS-620, including Presto!, BizCard, Button Manager V2, Nuance PaperPort 12 SE, and DSmobileCapture. Like other scanners' FineReader software, PaperPort 12 SE allows you to search, alter, and organize documents saved on your PC.
This is a good scanner when paired with a PC at all times. If you're concerned with maximum mobility, look elsewhere for your next portable scanner.
- No computer required
- Built-in battery for extra mobility
- Fast scan speed
- Scans sometimes come out crooked
- Single-sided scanning only
- Can't scan legal sized documents
The Doxie One portable scanner is essentially the Doxie One Plus' older brother. Featuring less software and a weaker battery, the Doxie One does have some redeeming features and is well-loved by its users.
About the size of an empty paper towel roll, the Doxie One is able to scan full color documents in eight seconds and included with your purchase is a 2GB SD card that easily transfers documents to your PC. Because the Doxie Go uses four AAA rechargeable batteries, you can quickly swap dead batteries with charged batteries, which shouldn't be too costly, Doxie One's price isn't bad either.
This scanner includes only one piece of software: the Doxie app, which organizes, searches, and shares your documents, and is compatible with Evernote and Dropbox. Overall, you have a simple, portable scanner that can be carried along throughout the work day.
VuPoint Magic Wand
- Least expensive scanner on the list
- Several scan options to choose from
- Very portable
- No crop feature so all scans are the same size
- Low durability
- Drains batteries fast
The VuPoint Magic Wand is the least expensive and most portable scanner on this list and if that's all you're looking for in a scanner, the Magic Wand is for you. Included with the scanner is a 4GB SD card that can save up to 2000 images for easy transport to your PC.
There are several options to choose from when scanning, including quality of scan and size of scan. An auto-off function will help save battery life since users report the Magic Wand eats batteries like they're candy.
High resolution scans will take up to 13 seconds; low resolution scans will take about 2 seconds, perfect for anyone in a rush who wants a basic copy of a receipt or document.
Some users report a lack of durability, so if you are hard on your gadgets you might want to choose another option. If you'd like an inexpensive, lightweight, and very portable scanner that can be carried around all day, the Magic Wand is your best option.
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