Scanners are fabulous machines. Imagine: you can take pretty much any physical document or photograph, place it in one of these devices, push a button, and you’ve got a high-resolution digital image of it.
The applications for this sort of technology are legion, but many folks balk at the idea of having to buy another piece of office equipment, preferring to go with a multi-function printer, or MFP. These machines are probably fine for occasional basic scanning, but they really aren’t suitable for much more than that.
This video describes the issues of MFP quite well:
With all of this in mind, then, how do you choose the best desktop scanner for your needs?
I’m not going to go into all of the details here, because it’s already been covered effectively by others. I’ll just make a couple of quick points to get you off on the right foot.
First of all, think about what type of documents you’ll be scanning, and how many. For instance, if you will be working with old photographs or other fragile items, you’ll likely want a flatbed scanner. The downside of this type, though, is that you can only place one piece at a time in the machine.
If your goal is to scan hundreds of records, a document feed scanner will be more effective, since you can load several items into it at once and let it run.
In addition, the resolution capability of the scanner is important. Again, this will depend on the types of things you’ll be scanning.
In the end, while it’s tempting to buy one online, you may want to visit an office equipment store and actually see the scanner you’re considering in action. This will help you make the most intelligent decision for your needs.