The 8 Best Portable Scanners of 2020
Digitize your documents anywhere
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More and more people are taking care of business while they’re on the go these days. They’re no longer chained to their desks or workspaces, so they need office equipment that can travel with them, like portable scanners. To help meet your needs, we've rounded up options to help you record transactions and images from somewhere other than your desk. And with the rise of home-based jobs, these machines seamlessly let you scan from the office to your living room. Read on to shop for the best portable scanners today.
Best Overall: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i does everything you’d expect a portable scanner to do. It can digitize up to 12 black and white or color pages per minute—double-sided, no less. It has an auto-feeder and it senses each document’s size and color. The portable scanner also has a working relationship with most popular cloud services and can be powered by either an AC adapter or USB.
But the ScanSnap particularly stands out for its ability to directly convert the documents it scans into PDF format, so you won't have to do this as a separate step later on. The S1300i is markedly improved over previous versions with better, more streamlined features. It’s a little on the wide side, but given all that it does for you, that seems like a small price to pay.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Epson WorkForce ES-300W
The Epson WorkForce ES-300W is a bit bigger than the average portable scanner, but it still doesn’t take up a lot of space and there’s almost nothing it doesn’t do. Like any good scanner, it’s wireless and will sync with your computer, smartphone, or tablet, but it's also compatible with popular cloud services, including Dropbox and Google Drive.
This portable scanner is also fast (on par with the average full-size scanner). It can auto-feed up to 20 pages at a time at a speed of 25 pages per minute, and it doesn’t slow down if you use a USB power source, a problem that sometimes occurs with other scanners. Epson offers a free software bundle, too, in addition to the ES-300W’s compatibility with most office software. This one should handle just about any job you assign to it.
Check out our other reviews of the best document scanners available on the market today.
Best for Photos: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is truly portable, running on four AA batteries (no cords to drag around) and saving to either a USB key or an SD card. Best of all, it doesn’t require a computer. But, you won’t sacrifice anything in the way of features for all this mobility, and it has the option to work with your computer, too.
You also don’t have to insert your delicate or important photos or documents through a mini-roller or feeder with the Flip-Pal. As compact as this scanner is, it still offers a flatbed screen where you can safely place anything you want to scan. You can see the resulting image immediately on the little LCD display (without waiting) and the Flip-Pal will then conveniently and automatically store it on that USB or SD card. Better yet, it’s really affordable. Its only shortcoming is that you can’t edit the images in it, but you can always transfer them to another device where you can.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best photo scanners.
Best Handheld: VuPoint Magic Wand Portable Scanner
This portable scanner does its job when it’s handheld or when you plug it into its auto-feed docking station—it’s your choice. Do you want to scan a book? Use it as a handheld device. It comes loaded with all necessary software and produces resolutions of up to 1,200 dpi. It can scan documents up to 10.5 inches long. Consider it something of a workhorse to meet all your scanning needs or however you want to get the job done.
The Magic Wand scanner is powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery and measures just 12.5 x 5.6 x 2.1 inches, the very definition of “portable.” It automatically powers off when you don’t use it for a while, so you don’t have to worry about running down the battery when you’re on the move. It also includes a small LCD screen for you to see your results on the spot, and it has a built-in 32 GB memory and Wi-Fi.
Best Lightweight: Doxie Q
The Doxie Q weighs less than 2 pounds and isn’t quite a foot long. It’s slim and compact enough to take along wherever you're headed. Doxie offers a couple of other models of portable scanners, but this one has everything and it is, in fact, Doxie’s primo offering. It includes built-in Wi-Fi and has a pretty impressive 8GB memory.
The DX250 Doxie Q model will hold up to 7,200 images. It can access your smartphone and it has apps for both Mac and your PC to help you keep everything integrated. It’s also wireless with a rechargeable battery.
Best for Travel: Brother ADS-1250W
Brother’s Wireless Portable Scanner is easy to use and carry when you’re conducting business on-the-go. You can easily scan documents with its 20-page capacity auto document feed. For business expenses, it takes in receipts that are up to 34 inches long. To get your files onto your computer, use the Micro USB 3.0 connection with a laptop or PC. You also won’t need any software to scan—there’s mass storage support via scan to USB that allows you to retrieve files by opening the drive on a connected PC.
That said, the software comes with perks. It allows you to scan to specific destinations so that you can quickly organize business transactions and avoid the clutter altogether. If your business isn’t in a storefront or office, you can still take it with you wherever you go with relative ease, as it’s only the weight of a small laptop at just over 3 pounds and about the size of a thick ruler that’s less than 12 inches tall.
Best Computer-Free: Doxie Go SE
A truly wireless option, the Doxie Go SE lets you scan anywhere without needing a computer. Easily scan full-color paper, photos, and receipts in just 8 seconds at up to 600 dpi. At the size of a rolled-up magazine, this 12.2 x 2.2 x 1.8-inch portable scanner features a rechargeable battery that lets you scan up to 400 pages per charge. Even more, you can store up to 4,000 pages in the scanner's included memory. The included Doxie app also syncs scans, sends them directly to your apps, and can even convert them into searchable PDFs. Its super-compact size also means you can tuck the scanner in your bag for easy travel.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best receipt scanners and trackers available online.
Best for Speed: Epson WorkForce ES-50
One of the fastest portable scanners in the market, the Epson WorkForce ES-50 can scan a single page in as little as 5.5 seconds. And, despite its small size at 1.8 x 10.7 x 1.3 inches, the single-sheet-fed scanner can handle documents up to 8.5 x 72 inches, as well as ID cards and receipts. Use Epson's ScanSmart software to easily scan, see, and save your documents. You can even combine multiple pages of scans into one file with its automatic feeding mode. Compatible with Windows and Mac computers, the USB-powered scanner can also scan to cloud services, including DropBox and Google Drive.