These tips and recommendations will help you find the best business scanners for your office environment
A scanner is an essential tool for migrating your business' physical documents to useful digital data. Finding just the right scanner to fit your organization's needs may take some research, but the extra work up front will likely keep paying dividends for years.
More than 60 percent of all corporate data is now stored in the cloud, but there's no indication that physical forms, records, and other documents will cease to be a practical reality for businesses any time soon. That's where business scanners come in. Users at the enterprise and small business level (and everything in between) deserve scanners with feature sets suited to their unique needs, and we're here to help you find the perfect fit.
This article will lay out the basics of what makes the best business scanners based on your needs, and it will also present a pair of strong contenders for two of the most common use cases. Let's get started.
Need help picking the right scanner for your needs? Check out our guide, How to Choose the Right Scanner for Your Computer
Jump to a section:
- What are business scanners?
- What are the benefits of a scanner for business?
- What to look for in the best business scanners
- Our recommended scanner for offices: fi-8170
- Our recommended scanner for small business: ScanSnap iX1600
What are business scanners?
Business scanners are document digitization devices that are made specifically to meet the needs of organizational settings. While other scanners may focus on feature sets that allow them to scan special document sizes or digitize tens of thousands of documents in a day with minimal human intervention, a scanner for business is typically made to be a reliable jack-of-all-trades used in multiple areas of the business on a daily basis.
What are the benefits of a scanner for business?
Picking out a business scanner or home office scanner means prioritizing versatility, reliability, and practical usage for employees or individual users like yourself. Depending on the size of your business, you may want to opt for a model that can work through a sizable stack of paper in a short amount of time, reducing the labor costs and increasing the efficiency of your employee. Or if you want a scanner for small business, speed may not be as important as affordability. In either case, you’ll benefit from having a single scanner that can adapt to a range of tasks.
Did You Know? The Depot Scanner Service program provides mail-in unit repair service, complete with spare parts, labor, and one-way shipping back to customers. Click here to learn more.
What to look for in the best business scanners
Before you commit to a particular model, there are some common considerations you should keep in mind. Here are five points that will help you find the best scanner for business which suits your needs.
Fast and streamlined batch scanning
One of the paramount concerns for most any business is efficiency. The best business scanners clear out bottlenecks rather than creating them. To make sure yours fits the bill, you should look for models that feature an automated document feeder (ADF) that allow employees to set a stack of documents up for scanning and get back to work. Built-in features such as skew correction also free up time by minimizing the need for re-scans.
Versatile scanning modes and imaging
Your business’ important data won’t all reside on standard, letter-sized paper. Fortunately, modern document scanners for business can also be business card scanners, receipt scanners, pamphlet scanners, and a variety of other non standard documents. Manual scan modes allow for digitizing thicker or irregularly shaped documents, and versatile imaging options allow each business to find its sweet spot between storage space needs and demands for high-resolution clarity.
Works with your network and software
The best business scanners will fit right in with your organization’s established infrastructure and logistics. Make sure you choose a scanner that will function effectively with existing scanning architecture via support for common driver standards such as TWAIN or ISIS. Don’t forget to account for networking needs too, and plan ahead for whether you will connect to your network via wired ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Did You Know? PCMagazine assessed the fi-8170 as a “fast and accurate desktop scanner” that’s ideal for high-powered document archiving. Click here to learn more.
Easy to use controls
Buying a scanner for a professional environment means looking for a model that will be easy to use for all employees with minimal or no extra training. An easy-to-read display with prominently labeled buttons will make the device much more approachable, even for employees who don’t consider themselves especially tech savvy. The same accessibility considerations should apply to bundled-in scanning software.
The right dimensions for your space
Modern business scanners can be surprisingly compact for all the features they offer. Yet to slightly tweak the old saying, it’s still best to measure twice and order once. There are two ways to do this. You could find the ideal spot in your business place for a scanner then only look at devices that would fit, or you could start by finding the perfect scanner then plan out how to set aside the space — either way, make sure you account for the extra room a scanner may need to operate beyond its physical footprint.
Our recommended scanner for offices: fi-8170
Those in the market for business scanners have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our production grade fi and SP Series scanners.
Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.
In our opinion, the best scanner for medium-to-large offices is the fi-8170 thanks to its capacity for meeting demanding workflows with reliability and versatility. Its Clear Image Capture technology ensures pristine records for documents of all kinds, and it can work through up to 70 pages per minute complete with double-sided scanning and intelligent paper protection. While powerful and adaptive, its intuitive LCD display and wide array of connectivity options will make it easy to integrate into nearly any office environment. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.
Our recommended scanner for small business: ScanSnap iX1600
Meanwhile, the best scanner for small businesses and home offices is, in our opinion, the ScanSnap iX1600. It’s 33% faster than our previous flagship ScanSnap scanner, and its 4.3 inch touchscreen interface makes it easy to use for quick, common tasks. The ScanSnap iX1600 is easy to connect directly to smart devices or cloud services, which is perfect for small teams working across a range of systems. Its automatic document feeder allows it to work through up to 40 pages per minute, while Manual Scan Mode through ScanSnap Home is perfect for scanning oversized or difficult documents. Click here to learn more and shop the full line of ScanSnap scanners.