Scanners have become an integral part of office document solutions in recent times. Today, all multi-function copiers come with a scanner. A scanner basically analyzes an image and processes it. This is done by shedding a light ray on the document where the reflected light is directed onto a photo-sensitive element. The sensing medium mostly used in scanners is called a charged couple device (CCD).
Printer and Scanner Specs
Multi-function Scanners - #1
|Model||HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw||Epson WorkForce WF-3640||imagePROGRAF iPF825 MFP M40||DCP – L2520DW||Lexmark MX611de||WorkCentre™ 4265||Estudio287CSL|
|Scan Speed||21 ppm black / 14 ppm color||10||13||19||55||30|
|Width||ADF: 8.5 x 14 in Maximum; 4 x 6 in Minimum; Flatbed: 8.5 x 11.7 in||17.7"||N/A||N/A||26.50 x 22.56 x 23.58 in.||N/A||17.7" x 22.2" x 12.1" (W x D x H)|
|Depth||30 bit||24 Bit output||24Bit||24BIt||24Bit||24 Bit||24 Bit|
Multi-Function Scanners - #2
|Model||HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M630h||Epson WorkForce WF-M1560 Monochrome Multifunction Printer||imagePROGRAF iPF815 MFP M40||MFC-J5520DW||Lexmark MX611de||WorkCentre™ 3325||eSTUDIO407CS|
|Single Page per minute||60 ppm black / 45 ppm color||34||13||30||32||55||42|
|Width||29”||Not specified||42”/40”||11X7”||18.44 x 17.48 x 23.2 in||N/A|
|Depth||24 Bit||48Bit||24Bit||24Bit||24 Bit||24 Bit||24 Bit|
Recommendation for a home office
For a home office, Brother DCP – L2520DW multi-function scanner is a good buy. This machine comes with a print speed of 27 ppm and 2400x600 dpi resolution. This machine comes with a high-quality document glass that enables you to easily scan documents and share them to a variety of destinations. The optical scan resolution is 600 x 2400 dpi. Scanned documents can be sent to your mobile phone or to the cloud. It supports regular scan file formats. Automatic duplex is available. The price is around $159.
Recommendation for a small office
For a small office scanning needs, Xerox WorkCentre 3325 is the best buy. This machine has a print speed of 37 ppm and prints at a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. The monthly duty cycle is 80,000 pages. It comes with an automatic document feeder and offers automatic duplexing. Scanned documents can be sent to a USB, PC, network device, mobile or cloud. The front-panel comes with easily accessible buttons to streamline scanning tasks. With the latest security features in place, you can securely store and process scanned documents. The price of this multi-function scanner is around $529.
Scanners are available in different types:
Flatbed scanners are seen in every office. They are versatile, easy to use and come at a lower price. When a document is placed in the scanner, the scan head moves from one end to the other and scans the document. As the scan head is moved, and not the document, you don’t have to worry about the document getting jammed inside the machine.
Sheet-feed scanner s are used for high-volume scanning environments. While the technology is the same, sheet-feed scanners produce more throughput but at the expense of quality. Here, the sheet is moved instead of the scan head.
Drum scanners deliver the highest quality but are expensive. They use a technology called photomultiplier tube (PMT) where the reflected light is divided into three beams for a better quality of the image.
Features of a scanner
While the primary job of a scanner is to scan and digitize a document, the innovation in the scanning technology has brought several useful features to users. Modern scanners are able to scan documents at a faster speed and at a higher resolution. Most importantly, all these features are available with a smaller model, too. Here are a few of them:
Automatic text recognition
The automatic text recognition feature in a scanner automatically converts the scanned document image into machine-encoded text, enabling you to edit it. Modern machines reproduce the formatted text almost identical to the original source. This is especially useful while doing data entry with printed paper records.
Scan to email
Businesses normally require sending important documents to their clients. With modern scanners that come with an email app, you can directly send the scanned documents via email. Simply select the email address or enter one and then press the touch button to complete the job. With this feature, you can share hard-copy documents anywhere in the world.
Remove blank pages
When a mixed batch of single-sided and double-sided documents are scanned in duplex mode, you get some blank pages in the digital version. However, modern scanners can automatically detect blank pages and remove them for you. When you use the scan software, you’ll have to enable this option. In addition, you can remove unnecessary parts of a document and create a new hard copy that contains the desired content.
Straighten scanned images
Businesses that deal with images would often experience crookedly-scanned images. With modern scanners, crooked images are automatically straightened. You can even crop them or extract them to make them ready for print or email.
While purchasing a scanner, you should first identify the type of material you will be scanning:
Flatbed scanners: When you have to scan important documents or precious photos, you cannot take the risk of getting them jammed inside the machine. So, using a flatbed scanner is an ideal choice. Flatbed scanners are normally designed for a letter size document. If you want to scan a legal size document, check out the size of the flatbed scanner.
Sheet-feed scanners: When you have a stack of docs, using a sheet-feed scanner is recommended. You don’t have to open the lid and place the documents every time.
Automatic document feeder: When you scan stacks of receipts or documents, having an automatic document feeder is very important. It reduces the chore of placing each document for scanning. Modern scanners can hold 50-100 sheets and scan them easily.
Duplexing feature: When scanning documents that contain content on both sides, the duplexing feature saves a lot of time. When the scanner comes with 20 cpm, it actually scans 40 images.
Resolution: Normal documents do not require a higher resolution; 200-300 dpi should be enough. Photos need a resolution of 600 dpi. Modern scanners normally come with a minimum dpi of 600. So, the resolution should not be an issue. However, if you are looking for a higher resolution, you can choose one with 4800 ppi optical resolution.
HP, Canon, Brother, Lexmark, Epson, Toshiba and Xerox are some of the top brands that manufacture multi-function copiers with scanning capabilities.
HP offers MFC copiers under the HP Laserjet Pro series for home offices as well as small businesses. While the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M225dw is priced at $299, the HP LaserJet Enterprise Flow MFP M630z for enterprise users is priced at $4,999.
Epson delivers multi-function scanners under the Workforce WF 2000/3000/4000/7000 series. Most of these scanners are color flatbed and use a color CIS line sensor. In addition to ADF and high resolution, these machines deliver advanced features, too.
Canon delivers multi-function scanners under the imageRUNNER Advance 2000/3000/4000/5000/7000 series. The imageRUNNER Advance 8000/9000 series machines come with higher print and scan speeds. The scan speed of these machines is 200 ipm.
Lexmark offers multi-function scanners under the MX 310/410/510/710/910 series. Newer models are offered under the 925/950 series. MX910 and above series are designed for high-productivity environments. For instance, Lexmark MX910de scans at a speed of 140 sides per minute in duplex mode.
Xerox produces dedicated scanners under the DocuMate 3000/4000/5000 series. The multi-function scanners are available under the WorkCentre series. The company offers a range of products that are affordable for home offices, small businesses and large enterprises.
Toshiba offers multi-function scanners under the e-STUDIO 2000/3000/4000/5000 series. However, Toshiba scanners are slightly more expensive when compared with other brands.
Brother offers a range of multi-function scanners that are categorized into three segments: home office, small office and large enterprises. With hundreds of models available in the catalog, Brother provides you with the flexibility to choose the right machine that is affordable and productive. You can check out all models here:
Why choose a multi-function scanner?
Multi-function scanners allow you to scan a hard-copy document to create a digital copy or a print out. You can archive, share, email or fax the digital copy at your convenience. Moreover, these machines save a lot of foot print, consumables and power. With multiple features built into one machine, you can efficiently perform office tasks with ease.