Tech

Six compact document scanners up to 500 euros in the test

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If the boss puts a laundry basket full of files in the office and asks them to digitally archive them in a contemporary way, that is exactly the right task for a document feeder scanner. Nobody wants to put sheet by sheet on a flatbed scanner, and the document feeders of multifunction printers are usually not suitable for such tasks. Feeder scanners are specialists: Depending on the model, they work briskly to extremely fast, accept different formats and paper thicknesses from thin carbon paper to credit cards, handle the process from scanning to filing as a searchable PDF at the push of a button and do not need a lot of floor space on the desk.

Document scanners cost more than simple multi-function printers, but devices are available for less than 500 euros that effortlessly digitize over 1000 sheets per day in the desired form. We brought six inexpensive models to the laboratory for testing: Avision AV332U, Brother ADS-2400N, the WorkForce models DS-310 and DS730N from Epson, Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 and Plustek SmartOffice PS186.

What is reserved for the premium models in multifunctional devices is also standard in the lower price range with document feeder scanners: All devices in the test have two scan lines and thus digitize the front and back of the original in one pass. If a document scanner scans about 30 sheets per minute, then it delivers 60 pages (or images) per minute to the PC. Usually you only have to press the scan button to start an order, everything else is done by the PC software. Depending on the presetting, it also specifies the scan mode (color, grayscale, black and white) and the resolution in dots per inch (dpi).

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