Best Portable Scanners TechnoBuffalo 2021
I spend two-thirds of the year on the road. That means my tools need to be as portable and reliable as I'm expected to be. As a writer and photographer, a portable scanner is a must-carry in my bag of tricks. I've spent years hauling scanners around the world. After three years of continual use, my favorite is the Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi. This slender unit doesn't need a computer, syncs over Wi-Fi anywhere my day takes me and can scan up to 400 pages per battery charge. If you're in the market for a new portable scanner, you can't go wrong with any of these models.
- Best Overall: Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi
- Best Duplex Scanner: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
- Best for Mobile Offices: Epson Workforce ES-60W
- Best for Creatives: Doxie Flip
Best Overall: Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi
Imagine carrying a scanner in your bag that is as small as a rolled-up magazine. That's what you get when you invest in the Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi. This sleek portable scanner is the perfect solution for those who need a color scanner that takes up minimal desk space and is travel-friendly.
You won't be tied down to power cords with the Doxie Go. Thanks to a rechargeable battery and Wi-Fi, you're never tethered to anything. You can scan up to 400 pages per battery charge. Full-color pages scan cleanly in less than 8 seconds, and up to 600 dpi. Better still, you can scan and sync documents without the need for a computer. All the magic happens over Wi-Fi, with documents syncing to your iPhone or iPad, or in cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, and iCloud.
The included software for Mac and PC makes easy work of syncing scans to your desktop, organizing documents, creating searchable PDFs, and managing your workflow. The Doxie Go is excellent for scanning documents, receipts, business cards, drawings, photos, and more. If there's a downside, it's that this device cannot scan the front and back of documents automatically. You must feed your paper in, scan, then flip the paper over to capture both sides. If you don't mind the minor inconvenience, the Doxie is a genius way to go paper-free.
- Scans up to 400 pages per battery charge
- No need for a computer
- SD card included
- No duplex scanning
Best Duplex Scanner: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
The best duplex scanner I've found is this model from Fujitsu. You can up to a dozen double-sided color documents in under a minute. Built-in intelligent scan correction software does automatic quality control for you, adjusting colors, removing blank pages, and even auto-rotating upside down sheets. Brilliant! The 10-page automatic document feeder works well when scanning anything from receipts to business cards to extra long pages.
The weight is a downside for the scanner. This model weighs in at twice that of other portable scanners. Luckily, it can be powered by dual USB.
That out of the way, the Fujitsu does an outstanding job of accurately and quickly scanning documents and creating searchable PDFs. The included software is robust yet easy to learn. Files can be scanned to searchable PDFs or editable Word and Excel files and placed directly in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere.
- Double-sided scanning
- Auto color correction
Best for Mobile Offices: Epson Workforce ES-60W
Taking work on the road is easier with the trouble-free Epson Workforce. This portable scanner is one of the smallest and lightest on our list of favorites. Weighing in at just over half a pound, the tiny WorkForce is massive on features. This device creates searchable PDFs and editable Word and Excel files in addition to scanning single-sided documents, photos, receipts, business cards, and more.
On the downside, this portable scanner lacks a few non-crucial things like duplex scanning and memory card support. Also missing, and perhaps more important to most, is that there is no automatic document feeder. That means you must manually insert each page by hand as you go.
Back to the plus side, this outstanding scanner is geared toward professionals who don't always work in the office. The included software supports uploading files directly to the cloud, a needed feature for travelers. Color reproduction is excellent, as is the speed. This model can scan a single page in four seconds. If you need a good all-around portable scanner, this bag-friendly unit should be part of your office gear.
- Space-saving design
- Micro USB rechargeable
- Good color accuracy
- No duplex scanning features
- No memory card support
- Manual document feeder
Best for Creatives: Doxie Flip
The Doxie Flip is a one-of-a-kind tool that's perfect for photographers, genealogists, collectors, artists, and other creatives. Billed as a cordless flatbed photo and notebook scanner, this unit can capture pictures, scrapbooks, letters, stamps, sketches, pocket notebook entries, and so much more. Included Doxie software keeps digital copies organized on your desktop or in the cloud.
I have two gripes with the Doxie Flip, though neither are show stoppers. First, the Flip takes four AAA batteries. If you spend a few hours scanning anything, be prepared to put in fresh batteries. Investing in rechargeable batteries is the best solution here. Next, this unit only outputs JPEGs. If you need to scan a document and save it as a PDF, you're out of luck.
It's worth noting that the Flip comes with software that enables you to do things like crop and stitch photos, drop images into Facebook, and share directly to Dropbox, Evernote, and other cloud services. For the artsy, crafty, and creative, this handy portable scanner is a worthwhile investment.
- Dead simple to use
- Excellent tool for creatives
- Nice size
- Produces JPEGs only
- Runs on four AAA batteries
The best portable scanner on the market today is the Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi. With a space-saving design, this scanner tucks away nicely in a drawer or bag, and operates quietly and efficiently via a rechargeable battery.
There's a bit of room for improvement here. The Doxie supports memory cards only up to 64GB, and that may not be enough room to store hefty PDFs or more than a few albums of family photos. Also, This scanner cannot read both sides of a page, requiring you to flip sheets over to capture two-sided documents manually. Despite minor inconveniences, this portable scanner is an indispensable tool and the one I've carried in my backpack for years. It's durably designed to withstand travel and is every bit as capable as a full-size flatbed scanner.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jodi Owan is a freelance writer and photographer who has been published in print and online. When not climbing mountains with a camera, she can be found testing and writing about technology. Find her on Instagram and her website.
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