New Macbook Air what scanner to buy?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2019
Hi, I am about to buy a Brand new Macbook Air as my portable, onsite, work laptop. I will only be using it for quickbooks online, and to use a portable, basic document scanner to take on the road with me in my truck for service calls.

I have a single page hand written check list that i fill out on site, that i will leave with the customer. I would like to be able to scan that single page into a pfd, for myself, and save them in a folder on the MacBook air, so i can view them for reference in future, and attach to emails etc.

My question is:

What scanner to buy? I was looking at the snapscan ix100 and the snapscan s1300i ? I'm open to any brand or model though. (just don't want a flatbed type) Just want simple, and reliable. It will literally only be used for this one task, daily. averaging 8 sheets daily.

I've read of problems with the new mojave os? Is there a known, good, portable scanner guaranteed to fill my basic requirements of it, to work with a brand new MacBook air?

Thanks, So much. Your experience is VERY appreciated!
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macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2014


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2019
Hi, I did just now, actually tied and took a pic of the document, then airdropped it, and exported to desktop file as PDF. Problem is, it's 3MB in size. Scanned via scanner, in black and white, would be no more than 100kb, a lot less, being easier to store, as well as email.

I didn't like the scan quality of the scanning via notes app. Too small, and too blurry when zoomed.
[doublepost=1547661409][/doublepost]I think Honestly would be easiest and quickets for me to have a physical scanner.


macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
^^^^I certainly agree. Can't give you any advice, I use a flatbed with my desktop cMP.

But, then I use it for a lot more than simple scanning.



Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
Don't give up on a smartphone scanner.

Dropbox has a scanner function that allows you to adjust the scan quality.

Ditto Wordscan Pro. And sundry other apps out there.

Also, might want to try creating the PDF before Airdropping it. Easily done with a Shortcut. Might cut the size down before saving to disk.

Just a couple of things to try before moving on to a physical scanner.


macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
London, UK
I'm pretty OCD about document organization, work in a document-intensive industry and have used pretty much every brand and type of scanner (flatbed, sheet-fed) and tons of software over the years. It really comes down to using the right tool for the job. Bed scanners are the best choice for quality, and the only realistic choice in some cases (ie single pages of thick bound books). For that I use a simple Canon Lide 80 scanner. For incredibly fast conversion of tons of individual documents with character recognition I use the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. For years these were the only two methods of making scans that were of acceptable quality to me.

I still use these for specialist applications. But for the past several years my main method of scanning for simple record-keeping has been using my iPhone with app-based scanning. After trying many I settled on Scanner Pro by Readdle. In its black and white document mode, it makes flawless scans with OCR. I have it iCloud enabled, so the scans just appear in a folder on my MB Pro. If you're on the road without internet connectivity you could just Airdrop the files from phone to laptop, either way at the end of the day your day's scans would be collected in a folder on your Air. You can adjust the size of the outputted pdf in the settings.

The key to good scans is the LIGHT. It needs to be even and the document as flat and unwrinkled as possible (every wrinkle makes a shadow - this is why bed scanners will generally produce better-looking scans). But if you keep the document flat, are conscious of where the light source is and prevent your phone from casting a shadow on the scanned document, you can easily produce scans with your phone indistinguishable from a bed scanner. Scanner Pro will correct for distortion to a point if your phone camera isn't perfectly aligned with the document. The other key is contrast - scan a white document against a dark background ie the seat of your service vehicle and the app will easily pick out the edges. I use this method to scan tons of things on the go - train tickets on the train seat, receipts against dark tabletops, etc. Since you're in the same environment all the time, with a little trial and error you should easily be able to figure out a workflow to quickly make great scans every time. The scan quality is quite incredible - I don't like crappy copies lol! It took a long time to convince me a camera phone could do the same thing as dedicated scanning hardware - and frankly, with older phones and apps, it couldn't - but I'm fully on board now.

If you're only scanning a few pages a day an app would absolutely work for you. At the price you can try a few if you decide my own choice isn't quite to your liking.
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