Scanners Guide - An Introduction
A scanner optically scans text, images, objects, or handwriting, and then converts it into a digital image. There are several common types of scanners, including desktop or flatbed scanners, hand-held scanners, and 3D scanners.
Scanners let you store a digital copy of your document electronically. They are widely used in both home and commercial applications. Drum copiers were the first type of scanner, capturing image information using photomultiplier tubes. The item being scanned was mounted on a rotating drum cylinder, which is then passed in front of the equipment that captures the image. Drum scanners are still in use because they capture extremely high quality images. However, they are too expensive for home use or everyday office use.
In the 1990s, small hand-hand scanners became available. Users would slowly draw the scanner over the page to be reproduced. These scanners usually created a monochrome image. Another drawback was that they required a very steady hand and that the scanner be moved at a consistent speed. Later in the 1990s, the flatbed scanner became affordable. The item to be scanned is laid on the glass, while the optical reader is facing upwards underneath the glass. This type of scanner can capture colour, image quality has improved, and prices have decreased, making it the most common type of scanner.
If you are buying a scanner, whether for home or office use, photos or documents, Price Inspector is the best place to buy. We answer your questions in our buying guide, giving you all the information you need to make an informed choice. When you’re ready to buy, we make sure you get the cheapest prices. We compare prices to bring you the best deals in the UK.
There are many brands and models to choose from when selecting your scanner, including:
- Cannon 8800F: This is a high-speed, professional quality photo and film scanner that does not require any warm-up time. It produces maximum colour ppi of 4800 x 9600. It’s simple to operate, letting you quickly scan your photo to copy, create emails, or create PDFs. Its built-in technology will help enhance the final images. As an added time saver, you can scan a batch of up to twelve 35mm pictures or four slides, either pictures or negatives. The Cannon 4400F scanner is very similar, but with a max of six 35mm pictures. They both have an expandable lid that lets you copy thick items that don’t lie flat, such as books.
- The Mustek A3 Flatbed Scanner is a good option for any home office. It offers 36-bit colour, with 300 x 600 ppi optical resolution. Its hinged lid lets you scan book pages, two letter-size pages, or magazines.
- The Epson Perfection 4490 Photo Scanner gives you professional-quality 4800 x 9600 ppi resolution. The Epson Easy PhotoFix lets you restore colour to faded pictures. The built-in transparency unit helps you scan slides more uniformly. The scanner includes film holders for 35mm negatives, slides, or 2 ¼” transparencies.
- The Epson V700 scanner gives you 6400 ppi optical resolution, and it has a dual lens system that selects the correct lens automatically based on the resolution you need. You can batch scan slides, negatives, and medium format film. The V750 is the professional model, with an anti-reflection optical coating on the glass.
- The Epson GT 20000 offers a large 11.7x17 scanning area, and it can automatically detect your document size. It provides 600 x 12000 ppi resolution. The optional Automatic Document Feeder can hold up to 100 pages, scanning as much as 23 pages per minute.
- Epson’s V200 scanner is an affordable but powerful scanner. It scans up to 4800 ppi, and it offers one-touch scanning, email, and copying capabilities.
- The HP Scanjet G2710 gives you beautiful picture scans with 2400 x 4800 ppi and 48-bit colour. Your photos will be more lifelike, as you can remove red-eye or increase details in shadowed pictures. With the HP PhotoSmart Essential software, you can print, organise, and share your scanned photos.
- The Ion Scanner Slides2Go makes it easy to transfer your 35mm negatives and slides to your computer. It offers fast scanning, two slide trays, a negative tray, optics cleaning tool, and a software CD.
- Plustek MobileOffice scanners are some of the lightest, smaller portable scanners available. They are perfect for anyone who travels for business, as well as for the small office. The AD 450 model can be used indoors or outdoors. Power it from the USB port of your laptop or using the adapter plug. It has three customisable buttons, which means you can define your common settings, rather than having to set up the job each time. It can also scan plastic cards such as insurance cards, credit cards, and driving licenses.
- The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 is a sheet-fed scanner. You can digitize both sides of your documents in a single pass, scanning up to 18 colour pages per minute. It’s an ideal scanner for small offices or home offices.