We put eight portable document scanners in the $200-500 price range to the test.
The models tested include units with built-in and detachable automatic document feeder (ADF), single-sheet feed models and ultra-portable convertible models.
Through our rigorous testing we reveal which scanners:
- are the most efficient,
- produce the best-quality scans, and
- are the easiest to use.
On this page, you'll find:
Do I need a portable document scanner?
A document scanner can help you dramatically cut down on paper clutter in your home and office. If you're just starting out on the paperless trail, a portable model may be your best first purchase. They’re both smaller and more affordable than full-sized desktop models, making them ideal for the home user.
- Avision AV50F
- Canon Image Formula P-150
- Fujitsu Scan Snap S1100
- Fujitsu Scan Snap S1300i
- Microtek ArtixScan ASDI2125c
- Otek HC-1
- Plustek S410
- Qpix DS01B
How we test
Performance is assessed by scanning double-sided documents both with and without OCR turned on and measuring the speed and comparing the quality of the output using standardised settings. We also assess the quality of a colour photo scan (but this doesn’t contribute to the overall score in our table). Consideration is given to paper misfeeds, jams and skewed documents. Quality assessment is conducted by a panel of experts. We also look at the paper-handling versatility of each scanner using a mix of gloss-coated flyer and lightweight paper shopping dockets (again, this doesn’t contribute to the overall score).
Ease of use includes assessing the installation of hardware and software, where applicable, including any built-in help, tutorials and reference material. We also look at the user interface, software default settings and ease of using the hardware, including document feeding, error and paper jam correction, device mobility and options for scanned file output – for example, save to folder, send to email, send to any application, send to Evernote, send to printer (copy) and OCR options.