On the go: The best portable document scanners

portable document scannerWe know, we know… we’ve been publishing quite a few articles covering portable gadgets like portable monitors or portable projectors in the past weeks. But we figured: What the heck? What is another one, right?

So,  in this article we will cover the (in our opinion) three best portable document scanners that are currently available on the market. We decided to only focus on the top three models that stood out amongst the compeition with their features, usability and portability. So if you or the company you work for are currently on the lookout for a nice portable document scanner, you should give this post a thorough read.

*TechImperatives.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

What Is a Portable Document Scanner?

Portable scanners are devices that capture images of documents so that they can be transferred to a computer, mobile device or cloud service. Flat scanners can be large and inconvenient to use. If you have multiple pages to scan, you’ll often have to remove each page from the scanner and replace it manually.

Many portable scanners allow you to feed several pages into the device at once. Even if they don’t have that option, they’re easier to feed than flat scanners.

Portable scanners typically save files in PDF or Jpeg formats. They may run on rechargeable batteries or use an outlet or USB cable to get power. Some connect to your computing device or cloud service wirelessly. With others, you must transfer data using an SD card or USB cable.

Plus, portable scanners are more compact than flat scanners. They take up less space on your desk and can be stashed away when they’re not in use. They’re also small enough to tote around with you, which can help if you work outside of the office or head to the library to study.

Why Would You Use a Portable Document Scanner?

Portable scanners come in handy when you have paperwork piling up and want a more streamlined way to organize it. Storing your files digitally reduces the need for bulky filing cabinets and boxes filled with stray papers. You can organize your files on a laptop or a cloud storage service so that you can search for and access them easily.

Some of the items that you might want to scan using a portable document scanner include:

  • Important Documents – Keep copies of birth certificates, insurance papers, automobile records, passports and other important documents in digital storage. Doing this makes life easier when you travel or have to evacuate due to an emergency.
  • Photos – Capture old photos before they continue to fade. By storing digital copies of your paper photographs, you can preserve your memories, make photo books and organize your pictures.
  • Business Cards – Get rid of the Rolodex by scanning business cards. You can use software to capture the information on the business cards and save it in a digital address book or spreadsheet, eliminating the need for tedious data entry.
  • Receipts – If you have trouble managing receipts, a portable scanner can make the work easier for you. Keep it in your car to track purchases as soon as you make them, or pull it out regularly to digitize your purchase receipts. You’ll also be able to use software to create charts or spreadsheets using the information on each receipt.
  • Artwork – Whether you’re an artist or have creative children, the chances are high that you have some masterpieces piling up. If you don’t need to save the originals, you can scan them and save them digitally. You can even create a digital scrapbook with the artwork.
  • Business Documents – Keeping business documents in one place is essential for streamlining workflow in any organization. Whether you work for yourself or in a large office, consider digitizing your business documents for better security and organization.

What to Look for in a Portable Scanner

If you’re planning to travel with your scanner, the size might be the most important feature. Look for a portable document scanner that is compact enough to fit in your bag, briefcase or suitcase. A lightweight device won’t drag you down.

Next, consider whether you need a power supply. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll always have access to an outlet or USB power supply, you might want to look for a portable document scanner that works with batteries. A portable wireless scanner may use traditional or rechargeable batteries.

You might also want to avoid dragging your laptop around with you. If that’s the case, you should seek out a portable document scanner that has incorporated memory. You’ll be able to do all of your scanning in the field and upload the documents to a computer or cloud drive later. With a portable wireless scanner, you may be able to transfer your documents without connecting a cable.

Another feature to consider is duplex scanning. That means that the portable document scanner can capture both sides of a document at once. This will save you time because you won’t have to flip the paper over and do a separate scan. A wand-style scanner won’t be able to tackle this task for you. You’ll need the type of portable document scanner that allows you to feed the paper through it.

The best portable document scanners must suit your needs. If you often capture thick or oddly shaped items, you might prefer a wand to a feed-through model. A portable wireless scanner doesn’t need a cable connection to a laptop or a computer, which can be beneficial if you’re moving around a great deal.

You should also look into the software that comes with portable scanners. The best portable scanners work with text recognition software, which is sometimes referred to as optical character recognition software.

This helps you transform handwriting into editable, searchable PDF:. Some devices have optical character recognition incorporated into the portable document scanner itself. Others are compatible with software that takes care of this task for you.

Some other features that are available from the software that comes with portable scanners include file organization and auto correction of color, cropping or contrast. Seeking out a product that turns the documents into searchable PDF: will help you locate the files later. You’ll be able to search for any text that’s included in the document to pull it up on your computer.

You can always research the customer rating for the portable scanners that you’re thinking of buying to find the best portable document scanner. Reading through portable scanner reviews can also ensure that you get the most from your money.

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Portable Document Scanner

There are many reasons to buy one of the best portable scanners.

  1. You’ll save money on photocopies.

When you’re at the library, you can scan pages from the books instead of photocopying. This saves you time and money. The best portable scanners are quiet and aren’t distracting in a quiet library or office.

  1. You’ll increase your security.

If you have a shared workspace or no access to a copier or scanner, you might not want to use a communal device. Using your own handheld portable document scanner helps you keep your important documents private.

  1. You’ll improve your workflow.

Streamlining your daily tasks is essential for efficiency. When you have a handheld portable document scanner, you don’t have to wait to take care of your documents. You can pull out portable scanners wherever you are and whenever you want.

  1. Save space.

If you live in a small home or work out of your car, you probably don’t want extra clutter. However, saving all of your paper documents requires room. Getting into the habit of saving everything digitally using portable scanners allows you to create space for the other important items in your life and minimize untidiness.

  1. You’ll be ready for a disaster.

We don’t want to alarm you, but you never know when you’ll have to leave your house quickly in case of an emergency. Whether you’re facing a fire, flood or hurricane, you can rest easy knowing that your important documents are stored properly, and you can access them as long as you have your computer, mobile device or cloud service login.

Portable Scanner Reviews

We have conducted portable scanner reviews to come up with the three best handheld portable document scanners. These portable scanners have a high customer rating, useful and convenient features and affordable prices.

Best Overall: Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i

$289.99
12 new from $289.99
15 used from $125.00
Free shipping
in stock
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am

The Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i* allows you to scan multiple documents into a searchable PDF: and editable Word and Excel files at the push of a button. You can scan to a computer or the cloud. This portable document scanner is compatible with popular cloud storage systems, such as Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive. It works with a PC or Apple computer.

This product captures clear images of text or image documents. You can use it to scan photos, although it may not produce the same quality as a dedicated photo scanner.

We consider this to be the best portable document scanner because it is compact, convenient and has the most features.

    Some of the most notable features include:

    • Duplex scanning – scan documents with two sides at once
    • 10-page automatic document feeder
    • Intelligent scan correction with auto color detection, auto rotation and blank document removal
    • Scan documents directly into the cloud
    • Scan up to 12 double-sided documents per minute
    • Optical resolution of up to 600 dpi
    • Converts business cards into editable and exportable contact data
    • Scan documents to a folder, email or printer
    • Comes with software for organizing files, digitizing business cards and performing text recognition

    The small footprint makes this portable document scanner easy to store or bring along with you while you travel. It’s powered via an AC or USB cable. After connecting the scanner to a power source, simply load the papers that you want to scan. Then, press the scan button.

    The ScanSnap portable scanners connect to a computer via the USB cable. You can also scan to a mobile device as long as you have the ScanSnap Connect application installed on the device.

    You can initiate a scan using the software. You can also initiate a scan directly from the portable scanner.

    Pros:

    • Can scan documents directly to the cloud, which is helpful if you don’t have a laptop while traveling
    • Press the scan button continuously to work with longer documents
    • Small and lightweight
    • Comes with all the connecting wires that you need to operate it
    • Creates a single file for all documents scanned at one time
    • Handles oddly shaped and poor-quality documents well

    Cons:

    • Has trouble scanning rigid documents, such as a driver’s license
    • Relatively slow compared to other portable document scanners
    • No paper output tray
    • Does not offer duplex scanning

    FAQs

    1. Can it scan extra-long documents?

    This scanner can handle longer documents, such as receipts.

    1. How well does it scan photographs?

    This scanner handles photographs well. It produces relatively accurate color and up to 600 dpi resolution.

    1. Is it compatible with PCs and Macs?

    Yes. It’s fully compatible with both Windows and MacOS systems.

    The Contender: Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi – The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner with Rechargeable Battery & Amazing Software

    $179.00 $199.00
    2 new from $179.00
    Free shipping
    in stock
    Amazon Amazon.com
    Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am

    The Doxie Go SE* may be the best portable document scanner if you don’t need to use duplex scanning. It runs on a rechargeable battery, which means that you don’t need access to a power outlet to use it. Plus, it’s no larger than a rolled-up magazine, which makes it the best portable document scanner for travel.

    You don’t even need a computer to use it. It stores up to 4,000 documents and comes with expandable memory. Sync it periodically to retrieve and clear the documents so that you can use this portable document scanner wherever you go.

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    Some of the most notable features include:

    • Creates multi-page searchable PDF:
    • Usable anywhere, even without power or a computing device
    • Full-color scanning
    • Scans up to 600 dpi
    • Auto-adjust fixes the skew, contrast and cropping
    • Can send documents directly to cloud or local apps
    • Rechargeable battery scans up to 400 documents per charge
    • Comes with an SD card for expandable memory

    You can choose to plug the scanner into a USB power supply for unlimited scanning without worrying about running out of a charge. However, if you don’t have access to a power supply, you won’t have a problem as long as the battery is charged.

    To use this portable scanner, hold down the power button for 3 seconds to turn it on. If the green LED is on, the product will scan at 300 dpi. Hold the button down for a few more seconds to scan at 600 dpi.

    After you have scanned a document, you can transfer it to your computer using the SD card or USB cable. Then, you can use the Doxie software to combine pages, convert handwriting to text or store your pages in the cloud.

    Pros:

    • Scans rigid items, such as a driver’s license
    • Handles papers with rough edges well
    • Handles papers up to 8.5 by 30 inches
    • Software includes optical character recognition
    • Portable wireless scanner can be used anywhere

    Cons:

    • Doesn’t offer duplex scanning
    • No automatic document feeder means that you have to insert pages one at a time
    • Not compatible with Android devices

    FAQ

    1. Can it scan to a mobile phone?

    The Doxie Go Wi-Fi can scan to an iPhone using an iOS app. However, the version without Wi-Fi doesn’t scan to a mobile phone.

    1. What are the scan speeds for this portable document scanner?

    The scan speeds for this portable document scanner are approximately 7 seconds for 300 dpi and 11 seconds for 600 dpi.

    1. Does it handle fragile paper?

    You can put delicate documents, such as receipts or glossy photos, in the included sleeve to protect them while scanning.

    The Best Handheld Portable Document Scanner: VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner

    $64.99
    2 new from $64.99
    2 used from $47.95
    Free shipping
    in stock
    Amazon Amazon.com
    Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am

    The VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand portable scanner* may be the best portable document scanner for students. It allows you to scan individual papers as well as bound items, such as book pages.

    It works like a wand that you swipe over the document. You don’t have to feed any pages into the device.

    This is the smallest portable scanner that we reviewed. It comes with a drawstring bag, which lets you toss it in a backpack, purse or briefcase without damage. The portable wireless scanner doesn’t need to be hooked up to a power source for use.

    The fact that the device scans directly to an SD card makes it even more convenient. You don’t have to drag your computer with you when you need to scan something while you’re away from your home or office. You can also connect the device to a computer using the USB cable, which is included.

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    Some of the most notable features include:

    • Compact size
    • 1.5-inch LCD display allows you to check quality before scanning
    • Scans documents up to 8.27 by 98 inches
    • Choose from 300 dpi, 600 dpi or 900 dpi resolution

    Although this product is compatible with a Mac or PC, the optical character recognition software only works with Windows. Still, you can save the files to a PDF or Jpeg on a Mac and use third-party software if you’d like to take advantage of character recognition.

    To scan, turn the power on. Select the type of scan and resolution using the LCD display.

    Hold the wand flat over the document that you’d like to capture. Press the scan button while you sweep the wand across the page using a consistent speed and smooth motion. Press the scan button to stop the scan.

    It takes about 13 seconds to complete a high-resolution color scan. A low-resolution monochrome scan should only take about 2 or 3 seconds.

    Pros:

    • Scans any flat item, including bound book pages
    • Excellent for scanning thick or oddly shaped items, such as CDs
    • Excellent for tight budgets

    Cons:

    • SD card is not included
    • There is a learning curve when determining the speed at which to scan
    • Creases or wrinkles in paper show up easily in final scan
    • No 2-sided scanning

    FAQ

    1. What kind of battery does this device require?

    This scanner runs on two AA batteries. You can get approximately 160 color scans from one set of batteries.

    1. Can you feed pages through this scanner?

    This scanner rolls on top of pages. Therefore, it accommodates thick items, such as a driver’s license or T-shirt. It can also be used to scan pages that you don’t want to tear out of a book.

    1. Does it come with software?

    This device comes with OCR software ABBYY FineReader 10, which can help with data entry. It doesn’t come with file or folder organization software, but you can organize the files from the SD card in whatever way you’d like.

    Conclusion

    That’s it. We hope that you are now well versed on the topic of portable document scanners. We hope that we could give you some insights into the (in our opinion) best three models that combine a lot of necessary features, great design and most of all portability. Stay tuned for more articles.. 🙂

    Here are all three scanners again:

    $289.99
    12 new from $289.99
    15 used from $125.00
    Free shipping
    in stock
    Amazon Amazon.com
    Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am

    $179.00 $199.00
    2 new from $179.00
    Free shipping
    in stock
    Amazon Amazon.com
    Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am

    $64.99
    2 new from $64.99
    2 used from $47.95
    Free shipping
    in stock
    Amazon Amazon.com
    Last update was on: August 5, 2020 8:57 am