Choosing a Scanner

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by doubledee, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2012
    Currently I am away from home, and am *drowning* in paperwork?! :rolleyes:

    I would like to buy a scanner to scan in all of my paperwork (e.g. Reports, Tax Returns, Receipts, Manuals, etc.), and could use some advice.

    Here are some questions that I have...

    1.) Are all scanners created equal, or do some brand stand out best?

    2.) Has scanner technology changed much in the past 5 years?

    3.) Will any scanner work on my MacBook, or are most scanners just for Windows?

    4.) To me, the SOFTWARE is what makes or breaks a scanner - with no scanning software you have nothing. So similar to #4, will this be an issue if I have a Mac?

    If I want to scan in Textual Documents, and be able to read them on my monitor, but also be able to print them back out and read them on paper, then...

    5.) What DPI scanner do I need?

    6.) At what DPI do I need to scan at?

    7.) Can I scan things in as a GIF, or should I stick with PDF?:rolleyes:

    8.) Can I get a decent scanner that isn't the size of couch?

    9.) Can I get a decent scanner for under $250?

    Okay, thanks in advance!


  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is a pretty wide range of scanners out there. It depends on the amount of scanning you plan to do. I just scan a few documents at a time, so this Canon all-in-one works perfectly for me. I just use the OS X Image Capture app for most scanning.

    If you plan to do more volume and want faster scanning, many users like the Fujitsu Scansnap scanners, but you are talking about around $440!

    I scan all documents at 300DPI and save to a PDF. This gives me a nice clear image and being a PDF allows me to view the document anywhere like in the iOS Dropbox app for example.

    As far as software, like I mentioned, the OS X Image Capture may be all you need for the occasional scan. I have not used it, but a lot of people like the VueScan scanning software. The software that comes with the Canon all-in-one I linked is not bad either.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I bought the Fujitsu S1500M based on previous reviews here and haven't regretted the decision for a second. It has been great. I scanned over 3 file drawers worth of documents.

    That model has been replaced by the ix500 which adds wireless and support for iOS devices. It apparently no longer includes Acrobat Pro like the 1500 did but the supplied software does a pretty good job.

    I also recommend the book Paperless for learning how to transition away from paper.
  4. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2010
    Fujitsu ScanSnaps are great. I have the s1300i, currently $261 on Amazon.

    You definitely do not want a flatbed scanner for scanning paperwork.
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040


  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have a really nice "business class" Xerox color laser MFD with an auto feed scanner. It is probably as good a MFD as you can get.

    Still... compared to a Fujitsu... it is total junk. If you have any inspirations of going to a paperless environment... you need a full duplex document scanner. Anything else will nearly guarantee that you will give up in frustration.

    Fujitsu is #1 with nobody in 2nd place. I have the now discontinued, but still fantastic, ScanSnap S1500M. I played with the replacement model (iX500) at CES last month and it is even better.

    My strong recommendation... just buy the Fujitsu and don't look back. You will never regret that purchase.

  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Before I bought the Scansnap I used a HP B210 AIO that came with my wife's iMac. It was painful for anything other than single pages. The HP software is pretty weak, even on Windows. I was reminded of that recently when I needed to scan some pages out of a book.
  8. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    ScanSnap, easily. They just released a new high-end model. Get it.

    I've gone fully paperless now. Even when I have a college textbook that stupidly isn't available digitally, I take it to FedEx Office and have them slice off the binding for like $2 (takes 5 seconds and is perfect). I then load my ScanSnap S1500M's paper tray and let it perform OCR overnight. Searchable, highlightable PDF's at my disposal for all of my documents, on all of my devices.

    Once you get one, buy a shredder too. Best combo ever for maintaining home office harmony.

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