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The 10 Best Scanners - May 2017

Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every scanner on the market in the UK to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 284 scanners, 593 reviews and 5,330 prices. Last updated 19 May 2017.

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ScanSnap iX500
#1 in Scanners

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500

alphr.com - Recommended (A List)PC Mag - Editor's ChoicePC Advisor.co.uk - Recommended
42 Reviews + 3 Awards
  • Three industry awards
  • A best selling product
  • Supports legal paper size
Yes
Flatbed
USB 1.1
Colour Scanning Function
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
9000F
#2 in Scanners

Canon 9000F

computeractive.co.uk - Buy ItExpert Reviews - Ultimate
20 Reviews + 2 Awards
  • Two industry awards
  • A top selling flat-bed scanner
  • Only 24 input colour depths
Yes
216mm
Flatbed
Colour Scanning Function
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
USB
Standard Interfaces
Perfection V600
#3 in Scanners

Epson Perfection V600

Trusted Reviews - Recommendedtipa.com - Technical Image Press Association Award
15 Reviews + 2 Awards
  • Two industry awards
  • A top selling scanner
  • Moderately priced
Yes
Flatbed
USB
Colour Scanning Function
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
  • £172.36
    eBay
    View Details
  • More shops: 29
  • £217.96 Amazon UK
  • £217.99 Argos
ADS-3600W
#4 in Scanners

Brother ADS‑3600W

4 Reviews
  • Good expert reviews
  • Supports legal paper size
  • Does not have a bundled software
Yes
ADF
Ethernet
Colour Scanning Function
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
  • £559.78
    Ebuyer Business
    View Details
  • More shops: 7
  • £621.60 Misco
  • £709.99 Amazon UK
Perfection V39
#5 in Scanners

Epson Perfection V39

PC Mag - Editor's Choice
3 Reviews + 1 Award
  • One industry award
  • Not expensive
  • Popular choice
Yes
4mm
Flatbed
Colour Scanning Function
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
USB
Standard Interfaces
  • £61.42
    eBay
    View Details
  • More shops: 21
  • £73.98 PC World Business
  • £73.98 Ebuyer
I1150
#6 in Scanners

Kodak I1150

alphr.com - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Recommended
7 Reviews + 2 Awards
  • Two industry awards
Yes
215mm
ADF
Colour Scanning Function
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
USB
Standard Interfaces
  • £282.47
    Ebuyer Business
    View Details
  • More shops: 12
  • £299.97 Ebuyer
  • £304.70 PC World Business
Perfection V550
#7 in Scanners

Epson Perfection V550

PC Mag - Editor's ChoiceEphotozine - Recommended
7 Reviews + 2 Awards
  • Two industry awards
  • Popular choice
  • Has a bundled software
4mm
Flatbed
USB
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
  • £146.13
    eBay
    View Details
  • More shops: 31
  • £179.98 PC World Business
  • £179.99 Amazon UK
Perfection V39
#8 in Scanners

Epson Perfection V39

PC Mag - Editor's Choice
3 Reviews + 1 Award
  • Not expensive
  • Has a RoHS compliance
  • Does not have a bundled software
Yes
Flatbed
USB 2
Colour Scanning Function
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
  • £93.98
    Amazon UK
    View Details
Officejet 7612
#9 in Scanners

HP Officejet 7612

chip.com.my - Recommended
7 Reviews + 1 Award
  • One industry award
  • Moderately priced
  • Popular choice
3mm
ADF
USB
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
Standard Interfaces
  • £22.43
    eBay
    View Details
  • More shops: 33
  • £101.59 Misco
  • £104.99 Argos
PS286
#10 in Scanners

Plustek PS286

toptenreviews.com - Bronze
8 Reviews + 1 Award
  • One industry award
  • Has a duplex scanning function
Yes
220mm
ADF
Colour Scanning Function
Maximum Scan Size
Scanner Types
USB
Standard Interfaces
  • £247.83
    Amazon UK
    View Details
  • More shops: 8
  • £279.99 e-GlobaL Central UK
  • £287.99 Ebuyer

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Scanner Brands

Find out how scanner brands compare. The average rating for each brand is based on the rating of all of their scanners. Click on a link to compare all scanners made by your favourite brand.

Logo Brand Number of Scanners Price Range Average Rating
Epson logo Epson Scanners 31 £57 - £3,459 84%
Plustek logo Plustek Scanners 21 £45 - £1,440 74%
Other brands Other Scanner Brands 149 £22 - £13,668

Scanner Buying Guide

Scanners are devices used for digitising physical material such as documents and photos, and turning them into digital images for archiving, sharing and editing. They are extremely helpful peripherals, since they allow you to easily digitise large amounts of paper very quickly, meaning less clutter and mess on your desk! This guide will look at the major considerations when choosing a scanner, so you can find the device that is right for you.

There are several different types of home scanners available, though they can be largely placed into two main categories: flatbed or sheetfed:

Flatbed Scanners: These scanners consist of a large rectangular ‘bed’, onto which the documents are placed. The lid is closed, and the scanner runs the length of the document, creating a digital copy. These scanners tend to be slower than sheetfed models, and require far more deskspace when using. However on the plus side they produce higher-quality scans, and are also better for scanning photos and delicate documents. Large-size flatbed scanners are also the best option for scanning large documents and photos (A3 and larger).

Sheetfed Scanners: These scanners look a bit like fax machines - a feed at the top of the device takes the paper and runs it past a static scanning unit. The paper is then discharged the bottom of the device, and a digital copy is generated. Because these scanners don’t have to fit the whole document at a time, they can be significantly smaller - indeed many sheetfed scanners are a fraction of the size of an average flatbed scanner. This means they are far easier to transport and store. This portability comes at a cost - most sheetfed scanners aren’t nearly as powerful as their flatbed cousins, and so the scanning quality isn’t quite as good. However, for simple black & white document scanner, they should be more than sufficient. Therefore if all you need is to digitise your bills and invoices, a sheetfed scanner might be the best option.

Automatic Document Feeder

An additional extra mostly commonly found in sheetfed scanners is an automatic document feed (ADF). This is a system that allows you to place a stack of paper into the scanner, and the scanner will automatically feed in the documents, scan them, then eject them from the machine. This is extremely helpful for anyone needing to digitise a lot of documents at once, since you can queue 50 pieces of paper at once, and the scanner will take care of the rest. Not all scanners have this system, but it is worth seeking out if you routinely find yourself bulk-scanning documents.

Resolution & Scan Speed

As mentioned above, not all scanners scan at the same quality. The scanning resolution is measured in dots per inch - the higher the dpi, the better the quality of the scan. Very high resolutions also allow you to expand small photos into larger prints - something that is not possible with low-resolution scanners. High resolution is also important for retaining fidelity when scanning photos. As a rule 300dpi is perfectly fine for black & white text, but won’t suffice for photos - you will need something with at least 1,200dpi or higher.

It’s also important to consider the scanning speed of the peripheral. Different models of scanners can have extremely varying scan speeds - with some taking twice as much time to scan a page as others. The scanners on our site are measured in the amount of pages they can scan per second, split out into colour, black & white, photo, etc. While the speed may not make a difference if you only scan a single document every once in a while, if you routinely scan large amounts of paper, this can add up to a substantial time saving.

Device Size & Maximum Scan Size

As mentioned above, there can be a large difference in size between models of scanner. This is important not only for desk and storage space, but also because it affects what documents can be scanned. All of our scanners can handle A4 size paper and smaller, however it requires a specialist scanner to effectively digitise anything bigger than A4. For many people, this won’t be necessary - an A4 scanner will handle nearly all bills and important documents, and most photos.

However if you require the capacity to digitize larger documents (posters, blueprints, large books, etc) you will have to pay attention to the maximum scan size accepted by your chosen model.

Extras

Finally, there is a host of other considerations when choosing a scanner. These can include:

OCR Scanning: Some scanners come with software to perform Optical Character Recognition on scanned documents. This analyses the scanned image and picks out letters and words, turning the image into a readable and editable document. This is very important for anyone wanting to edit documents once they’ve been scanned, rather than just archiving them.

Film Scanning: Some advanced scanners contain the ability to directly scan film negatives and digitise them. While not a mainstream use by any means, it is a very helpful feature for digitising old camera film to keep the images safe.

Network Support: Most scanners connect directly to your computer via USB. However some have wifi, ethernet or bluetooth support, allowing them to be used wirelessly. This means that the document can be scanned from anywhere, and will be sent directly to your computer. This is helpful for offices, since the scanner can be in a central location, rather than being passed around from computer to computer.

Cloud Support: Related to the above - some newer network-enabled scanners have the ability to upload the scanned images directly to the Cloud, meaning they can be immediately be accessed by any computer, making it very easy to backup and share images all over the world.

Portability: Finally, some sheetfed scanners concentrate on the portability, making the device extra-small and including a carrying bag or case. If you frequently use your scanner while travelling, this may be a good option to consider.

Scanner Retailers, Prices and Features

Flat-Bed Scanner Prices

Scanners range in price from £22 to £13,668 and in total we found prices for 189 scanners. The average price of a new scanner is £829 and 80% of flat-bed scanners are priced between £85 and £1,440. The most expensive scanner that we found is the Kodak i4650 Scanner at £13,668, and the cheapest is the HP Officejet 7612 at only £23.

Flat-Bed Scanner Brands - Price Range

Kodak flat-bed scanners range in price from £282 to £13,668, and the average price of Kodak flat-bed scanners is £3,972 which is the highest average price of all flat-bed scanner brands.

The %8highest average flat-bed scanner price out of all brands is Fujitsu scanners with an average price of £1,520. Fujitsu scanners start at £260 and the most expensive Fujitsu flat-bed scanner costs £6,100.

Xerox scanners start at £48 and the most expensive Xerox flat-bed scanner costs £5,609. The third highest average flat-bed scanner price out of all brands is Xerox scanners with an average price of £897.

Scanner Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 205 expert reviews and 21 user reviews for flat-bed scanners from across the internet and used these reviews to calculate the average rating for each brand of scanner. Avision is the top rated scanner brand with an average rating of 85%. Fujitsu is the second best brand with 84% and Epson is the third best brand with 83%.

Biggest Flat-Bed Scanner Retailers

We found 140 current offers for flat-bed scanners from eBay making it the biggest scanner retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, BT Business Direct for whom we found 115 current offers for flat-bed scanners. The third biggest retailer is Ebuyer with 112 current scanner offers.

When Are Most New Flat-Bed Scanners Released?

We couldn't see any prominent trend in the release dates for new flat-bed scanners over the last 3 years. December was the biggest month in 2016 for new flat-bed scanners, with 13 new flat-bed scanners released that month. 106 new scanners were released in September 2015 making it the biggest month that year for new flat-bed scanner releases. In 2014 most new flat-bed scanners were released in June, with 31 new flat-bed scanners released that month.

How Fast Do Scanner Prices Drop After Release?

On average, in the first 6 months after release, flat-bed scanners drop in price by 15%. That means that on a typical scanner costing £829 you could save on average £123 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Colour Scanning Functions

Of the 253 new scanners currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are flat-bed scanners with a colour scanning function. 238 out of 253 scanners are flat-bed scanners with a colour scanning function.

Optical Scanning Resolutions

We found 171 scanners that are scanners that have an optical scanning resolution of 600 x 600 DPI, which makes 600 x 600 DPI the most popular optical scanning resolution amongst new scanners. The second most popular optical scanning resolution amongst new scanners is 1200 x 1200 DPI. We found 36 scanners that are flat-bed scanners that have an optical scanning resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI.

Maximum Scan Sizes

The maximum scan sizes of flat-bed scanners range from 2mm to 1,118mm. The maximum scan sizes of the majority of scanners range from 190mm to 230mm. The flat-bed scanner with the biggest maximum scan size is the HPHD Pro, which is a 1,067mm maximum scan size scanner and sells for £71.99. The HPHD Pro has the smallest maximum scan size. This flat-bed scanner is a 3mm maximum scan size scanner and is on sale for £1,308.98.

Biggest Scanner Retailers

We found 140 current offers for scanners from eBay making it the biggest scanner retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, BT Business Direct for whom we found 115 current offers for scanners. The third biggest retailer is Ebuyer with 112 current scanner offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Scanners?

With the cheapest price on 52 scanners, eBay is most frequently the cheapest flat-bed scanner retailer.

Proportion of Scanners for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

eBay most frequently has the cheapest scanner prices (found to be cheapest for 37.1% of its flat-bed scanners).

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