How to Select the Best Scanner for Your Office

Most people believe that a scanner’s speed is the key indication of its desirability. This often means that speed is the first issue that businesses consider when purchasing a new scanner. However, you should also consider other features in a scanner such as size, type, scanning mode and resolution.

Document Size

A standard scanner can scan documents as large as the A4 paper size, which includes letter and legal-sized paper. An A3 scanner can handle larger paper up to 11.69 inches wide and 16.54 inches long. A larger scanner is also better able to produce documents with irregular sizes.

Scanner Types

Scanners can generally be divided into feeder and flatbed types. A feeder scanner has a feeder attachment that allows it use longer documents, while a flatbed scanner can only handle documents that are no larger than its scanning bed. The primary advantage of a flatbed scanner is that it can scan bound documents without separating the pages. The bed on some flatbed scanners is detachable, allowing you to scan thicker documents such as books.

Scanner Modes

A simplex scanner only scans one side of a document, while a duplex scanner scans both sides. Most scanners today are duplex, and you will typically select a scanner with this capability. The scanning modes currently available include black and white, gray scale and color. Most scanners have all three scanning modes, and some can produce documents with two modes at the same time.

Scan Resolution

Scanners have two types of resolution, including optical resolution and output resolution. Optical resolution refers to the amount of detail that the scanner can capture from the source document, while output resolution refers to the detail that the scanner can create on the output document. Optical resolution is usually more important than output resolution.


You may want a specialized scanner if you need documents in a large format or you need to scan books. Specialized scanners also allow you to scan documents over a network or with a mobile device. Contact us today to get more information on choosing a scanner.

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