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Document Scanners: Everything You Need to Go Digital - Top Document Scanners For Families & Businesses

Scanner Guide

Document Scanners: Everything You Need to Go Digital in 2024

Find the right document scanner for your family, business, or both with this comprehensive guide

Document scanners are an essential tool for bridging that gap between the physical and the digital. However, finding the right document scanner for your needs can be challenging. Some are built to be affordable generalists, while others are built specifically for heavy duty workloads. The first step is to determine what overall category fits your digitization needs, then account for key features that will serve you best.

This guide will help you find the right document scanner for your home or business.

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Home document scanners: Digital imaging in comfort

Go with a home document scanner if…

  • You're setting up a home office and need a desk scanner to digitize important files.
  • You only occasionally scan documents.
  • You typically scan standard, letter-sized sheets of paper.

A home document scanner is a key part of any home office, and that's especially true as more and more workers report directly from their residences. Desk scanners are designed for home use rather than an office, and tend to be smaller than their enterprise counterparts. They're also meant to be easy to use, with a streamlined feature set that favors straightforwardness over the sophistication of an office document scanner.

ScanSnap® iX1400

The ScanSnap® iX1400 provides a hassle-free experience with one-touch scanning and fast, reliable performance day after day.

Choosing the right home document scanner

Know your needs

Desk scanners come in a variety of sizes and configurations, so consider ahead of time what sorts of materials you will be most likely to scan and which members of your household will be most likely to do so.

Measure your space

Use the info you gathered in the last step to pick out the ideal location for your new scanner, then measure its dimensions so you know what will (and won’t) fit in that space. Smaller desk scanners are designed to fit next to your workspace, while larger scanners may need a dedicated shelf or end table to accommodate them.

Prioritize peace and quiet

Hybrid work models are great, but having to wait until morning to digitize documents to avoid waking up half the family isn’t. A quiet home document scanner means a happier household.

Did You Know? The ScanSnap® line is built to connect your physical and digital worlds with a range of consumer-friendly options. Learn More.

Read more about finding the best scanner for your home with our guide: Home Document Scanners: How to Make the Right Choice For Your Household.

Network document scanners: Upgrade your cloud-centric office

Go with a network document scanner if…

  • Multiple employees will regularly use the scanner.
  • You want easy IT support over a distributed environment.
  • You want PC-Less scanning in a small footprint.

With increasing electronic workflows, modern offices need more ways to digitize their paper with less bottlenecks. Network document scanners are built to increase productivity in offices by being a one-stop solution for digitizing documents and getting them right where they need to be, with no other devices required as a middleman. This can substantially streamline operations, though it also means you’ll need to ensure the scanner itself is compatible with your network and business software environments.


The N7100E is the perfect stand-alone shared scanner for PC-less scanning. Scan directly to email, folder, and SharePoint®, with a secure Active Directory Access.

Unique selling points for network document scanners

Support for shared access

Any network document scanner worth its space will be a standalone device that can support multiple users.

Convenient placement options

Since it isn’t directly tied to any other devices, you should be able to place the scanner wherever it fits best for your workforce — not just where USB allows.

Minimal IT overhead

The right network document scanner for your organization will work with minimal installation time and allow for remote management.

Compatibility and compliance

Since it’s interfacing directly with your network, the scanner itself must work well with your corporation’s internal protocols and guidelines, such as being FADGI capable for archival purposes.

Intuitive usability

The interface should be intuitive and simple to use without any training.

Authentication and security

Like any device in a business network, a network document scanner should support multiple security layers and digital authentication.

Make the most for your search for the perfect scanner with our blog post, Network Document Scanners: 7 Things to Look For in a Standalone Imaging Device.

Affordable document scanners: Save on great performance

Go with an affordable document scanner if…

  • You need a flexible device on a budget.
  • You're building out a home office or a startup office.
  • You're uncertain if your digitization needs will change in the future.

Convenient and powerful document digitization doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. Affordable document scanners open up a world of new possibilities for home and hybrid office use, with options for handling all kinds of different workloads. Affordable scanners are a perfect companion for digitizing everything from important financial documents to precious family memories.


Scanning made simple with budget-friendly, thoughtfully designed hardware and intuitive PaperStream® software. The fi-7030 is an excellent front office scanner for lighter duty cycles but flexible enough to scan IDs and cards.

Top concerns for an affordable document scanner

Balance price and purpose

Consider how you will use your scanner, paying special attention to document size and quantity of pages, then set your budget accordingly.

Consider your space

Measure ahead of time to be sure your scanner will fit where it needs to Note any moving pieces may need extra space during operation.

Assess quality

Factor in the level of image quality you’ll need from scans, as well as any additional features, such as automatic size detection and streak reduction, that will benefit you the most.

To find out more about scanners to fit your finances, read our blog post, Affordable Document Scanners: How To Choose The Right Model on a Budget.

High volume scanners: Reliably tackle big workloads

Go with a high volume scanner if…

  • You need to scan thousands or tens of thousands of documents per day.
  • You want to minimize the amount of time employees need to spend on digitizing documents.
  • You have a range of different document sizes to digitize in a single batch.

High-volume scanners are built for organizations that process a lot of physical information on a daily basis. They're capable of scanning pages en masse — tens of thousands in the space of a day — with minimal human intervention, freeing up employees to handle other tasks. These heavy duty document scanners minimize the chance for time-consuming paper jams and other errors while also supporting flexible workloads of various sizes.


The fi-8950 scans up to 150 pages per minute, has a 750-page hopper, and optimizes every document it digitizes.

Key concerns for a high volume scanner

Estimate your average job size and usage rate

Roughly calculate how many documents your business needs to digitize daily. Account for growth as well, since a high volume scanner should be a long-term investment.


A high volume scanner is only as good as its ability to reliably work through large volumes of information. Look for scanners that use proven methods to prevent paper jams and mis-scans.

Make sure your compliance needs are met

Industries that handle sensitive information often must meet specific government guidelines, which means certification from the relevant regulatory bodies is a must.

Did You Know? The RICOH fi-8950 has a 750-sheet automatic document feeder and can perform double-sided scanning of up to 150 pages per minute. Click here to learn more.

Get more essential info digitized in less time with our dedicated article, High Volume Scanners: How to Choose the Right Model for Big Jobs.

Wireless document scanners: Cut cords at home or in the office

Go with a wireless document scanner if…

  • You want to be able to easily reposition the scanner to handle different tasks.
  • You want multiple employees to be able to use the scanner via the cloud.
  • You have a reliable wireless network connection where it will operate.

Wireless document scanners complement every office as they can be placed wherever there is a Wi-Fi signal. Wireless devices can scan PC-Less to cloud, mobile device, or a plethora of useful destinations with the simple touch of a button.

ScanSnap® iX1600

The newest flagship in the ScanSnap® family is 33% faster*, giving you more time back in your day. Designed for everyday use, the ScanSnap® iX1600 gets documents digitized, organized and sent anywhere—anytime—with minimal effort.

Special considerations for wireless document scanners

Built-in cloud support

Digitizing documents directly to cloud storage services such as Google Drive makes a big difference for efficiency.

Effective user interface

A powerful and easy-to-use local interface is important, as is the ability to use the scanner via networked computers and mobile devices.

Fixed locations versus portability

Will the device be used on the go? If so, favor a smaller form factor. Otherwise, a larger and more fully featured device may fit the bill.

Did You Know? The ScanSnap® iX1600 - with Worldox GX4 Pro bundle gives law firms an all-in-one solution for legal case management. Learn More.

High speed document scanners: Save time on demanding tasks

Go with a high speed document scanner if…

  • You have large workloads of documents to process.
  • You want employees to spend as little time dealing with potential scanning issues as possible.
  • You have some space to set aside, as they have a larger footprint.

High speed document scanners help workspaces break through the bottlenecks presented by massive piles of documents. Scanners built specifically to work through large quantities of information in a small period of time are built with special considerations in mind, with everything from expanded hopper sizes to carefully controlled document stacking.


With a large, 300-page hopper and advanced engineering, the fi-7700 is a popular mid-office scanner can handle wide and normal-size documents at high speeds. The fast, double-letter size flatbed can capture large, delicate, and bound documents.

Essential qualities for a high speed document scanner

High scanning throughput

High speed document scanners can work through anything from 24,000 sheets to a massive 120,000 sheets in a daily duty cycle.

Streamlined paper handling

The process of feeding documents into the scanner must be as reliable as it is fast, with a large hopper and automated technologies to prevent skewing and jams. Papers must exit the machine in orderly stacks.

Image enhancement for all documents

Minimal manual adjustments should be necessary to get the optimal scans for all types of documents. Reduced file size and accurate reproduction are important for every scanned image.

Improve your office’s efficiency with our guide, High Speed Document Scanners: How To Pick The Right Model When Time Is a Factor.

The best document scanner for any use case: Find the right fit

The ideal document scanner will vary greatly depending on needs and expected workloads. While many scanners offer unique features for completing specific tasks, there are several features no scanner should be without. Looking at a broad range of scanner capabilities will help you pinpoint the most important specifications for your use case, allowing you to hone in on the perfect scanner for your needs. Here are a few guidelines to consider as you search for the best document scanner.

General use-case considerations to find the best document scanner

Personal and small business scanners

These devices allow for one-touch scanning, all-in-one software, and a small operating footprint to work for as many people in as many places as possible.

Enterprise scanners

Finding the best document scanner to fit the needs of your enterprise means allowing for high expected daily volumes, with automatic image enhancement to produce ideal results with minimal intervention.

Specialized scanners

Workloads that regularly include documents of non-standard sizes, such as bound books or pocket-sized IDs, require special solutions. Fortunately, overhead scanners and mini flatbeds are purpose-built for just such use cases.

Make sure your search for a new scanner is as comprehensive as possible with our blog post, How to Find the Best Scanner for Documents By Use Case.

Shop Scanners Now

Digital imaging solutions built with your business in mind.

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Even with all of the uses for document scanners we've covered so far, there are still more ways to go digital. The full line of ScanSnap and fi Series scanners can help your home and business preserve what's most important today and tomorrow — click here to learn more.