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How to Find the Right Cheap Scanner
In an age of smartphone scanning apps, affordable all-in-one printers, and portable document scanners that can fit in a messenger bag, standalone flatbed scanners are becoming a niche product. Scanner manufacturers aren’t doing much to make them enticing, either. Most models you can buy today are several years old, and some have been available for a decade. They don’t have built-in Wi-Fi and can’t scan to the cloud without first transferring files to your computer. Most of their software looks like it was written around the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, these dinosaurs are still the best choice for a few specific kinds of users.
These kinds of user are, for example, people who need to scan at very high resolutions: Mobile scanning apps are limited in resolution by your device’s camera, and the image quality is usually little more than serviceable. Also, those who scan delicate or thick material: In these kind of cases, a flatbed scanner will provide better results with less wear and tear on the originals. A flatbed—whether standalone or as part of an all-in-one printer—is also the only choice for thick materials like books and magazines. Another good example, is photography buffs, especially ones who shoot film.
If you need to scan for any of the above reasons, then this list is for you! However If you don’t fall into these categories, an all-in-one printer that includes both an automatic document feeder and a flatbed scanner is likely a more sensible purchase.