When shopping for a scanner, people tend to think of price first. While it’s obviously a huge factor in the buying process, there are things you should take into consideration before price even crosses your mind.
Look at it this way: if you end up with equipment that doesn’t do what you need it to, then what? You’ll end up paying exponentially more in add-ons, or heading back to the drawing board and purchasing a new one altogether. If you’re in the market for scanners, here are a few important things you should ask yourself first…
1. What exactly will you be using the scanner for most?
Are you scanning images from 3D objects? How are you going to fit a 3D object through a sheet feeder? Are you scanning business cards? You can technically scan business cards in a sheet feeder, but there is a high risk of jamming it and/or damaging them.
There are options available if you’ll be scanning items like this every once in a while, but if they’re your primary focus, you may want to go with a flatbed scanner. Alternatively, a flatbed scanner probably wont make much sense if you’re using it for traditional document scanning.
2. What size are the majority of the documents you’ll be scanning?
If your primary focus is photos, you’ll need a different scanner than if your primary focus is posters. Need we go on? This seems obvious, but it is actually often forgotten.
3. Does the resolution of your images matter?
As a general rule, you can expect higher quality scanners to produce higher resolution images (though there are always exceptions). Ask yourself what you will be using the images for. Are you designing a billboard or are you just scanning receipts to file digitally? This makes a big difference.
4. How many pages will you need to scan at a time?
Assuming you are using a sheet feeder, are you scanning single-page or hundred-page documents? This is going to play a huge role in whether you need an automatic or manual document feeder. How do you feel about hand-feeding pages into your scanner 100 times? How do you feel about paying for automation when you may never actually have to scan more than 3 or 4 pages at a time? Exactly.