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6 Considerations in Selecting a Scanner

Tips for Finding the Right Scanner-Vital Records Control

Whether used at home for personal purposes or at work for business, scanners are considered multi-functional devices that improve workflow and limit paper documents. And if you’ve decided to move towards a paperless workplace by purchasing a scanner, you have a full assortment of styles and brands to choose from.

Questions to Consider When Purchasing a Scanner

When it comes to choosing the right scanner, it all comes down to your company’s requirements and preferences. Here are six tips to keep in mind when buying a scanner:

1. How much space is available for a scanner?

Because scanners vary drastically in size, knowing what will fit comfortably on your desk or beside your printer is crucial. Some scanners are relatively large and bulky, and quite often, take up more room than a computer. If you find your work-space is limited, you should consider a small, compact scanner as an option. A sheet-fed scanner (also referred to as automatic document scanner) is usually small, taking up as little office space as a small desktop PC or printer.

2. How many dots per inch (dpi) do you require?  

If you are in need of a scanner that provides high resolution, you’ll want to choose a scanner with a higher dpi. Unless you are a graphic designer, you probably don’t need a scanner with the most top dpi, but it is a feature you should look into. For the most part, businesses will find a dpi of 600-1200 is more than enough.

3. How much bit depth do you need? 

Just like the dpi, a higher bit depth is better. However, you may decide you don’t need one so high. For standard color scanning, a significant depth ranging from 24-36 should be sufficient.  If you’re a designer and work with graphics on a regular basis, you’ll want this number to be even higher.

4. How much would you like to spend? 

The higher the dpi and bit depth, the more a scanner will cost. It’s imperative that you have a clear budget in mind before deciding upon the model and make of the scanner. Buy a scanner that covers all of your needs, and don’t overdo it if you don’t need to

5. Do you prefer a flatbed scanner or a sheet-fed scanner? 

A flatbed scanner is more flexible and will generate a better quality image of your documents. Also, a flatbed scanner allows you to scan pages from books or magazines. Fundamentally, think of a flatbed scanner as a copy machine – whatever you copy, you can also scan with the use of a flatbed scanner.

Alternatively, sheet-fed scanners are typically less expensive than flatbed scanners and don’t require much office space. They also scan bulk amounts of paper simultaneously. However, sheet-fed scanners tend to produce fewer quality images. If space or price are not concerns, you may wish to weigh out the advantages of investing in a flatbed scanner.

6. Does this scanner suite all my document imaging needs?

During your search for a new scanner, you may discover your needs outweigh the various features and functionalities a traditional scanner offers. Additional software, data storage, and image hosting needs may come into play, so you’ll need to consider all the pros and cons of scanners.

Need further advise? Learn more about our document digitization services that can help you.