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Want to know more about Scanners
Document scanners are digital imaging devices that take optical character recognition (OCR) readings of paper documents, including reports, books, articles, photos, business cards, and newspaper clippings, and convert the text and images into computer files. Scanners help preserve the contents of ephemera while also freeing up space that would normally be devoted to storing bulk hard copies.

Different document scanners

Basic scanners include desktop-style scanners and flatbed scanners. Desktop-style scanners, resembling desktop printers, have top-load document feed trays where you insert multiple sheets of paper for scanning. Rollers grab each sheet separately and move it under the reader. Many all-in-one printers, with multi-function print, scan, copy, and fax capabilities, also have desktop-style configurations. Flatbeds have covers that swing open from the top, so you can place bulky documents like books and binders face down on a glass bed for scanning. Most also have automatic feed trays for scanning multiple single sheets of paper.

Specialty scanners are also available. They include hand-held scanners, called pens or wands, with readers embedded in the barrel. You pass them over the document to scan it. Most hand-held scanners have SD memory card slots for saving the scanned files. Other specialty scanners include slide scanners for scanning photo negative and slide strips without having to feed them manually. Battery-powered mobile scanners are also available, with wireless-ready functionality and compact, bar-style footprints that fit in backpacks.

Some common features of desktop and flatbed scanners

Many desktops and flatbeds share a few features. One is duplex scanning, in which they scan both sides of single sheets automatically. Another is continuous scan mode, in which an unlimited number of sheets are scannable into a single file. Flatbed and desktop scanners can also scan files directly into emails, computers, cloud storage, USB drives, and mobile devices, and both offer document-adjustment features like contrast and brightness correction, cropping, background cleanup, rotation and alignment, and de-skewing. All scanners work with common file extensions, including PDF, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG, TXT, and RTF.

Document scanner resolution and speed

Most scanners surpass the resolution standards of high-end copy machines. Many have at least 600 dpi resolution, and some have up to 1200 dpi. Many also have saturations of 24 and 48-bit depths, with 8-bit, 256-levels of grayscale. High-end automatic-feed desktop and flatbed scanners can churn out up to 60 pages a minute in monochrome and up to 40 ppm in color.

Scanner brands

Many scanner manufacturers also specialize in other office output equipment like printers, copiers, and fax machines. Some of the leading brands include the following:

  • Brother®
  • Canon®
  • Epson®
  • HP®
  • Panasonic

Check out Quill for the variety of scanners offered by these and other manufacturers, as well as the specific features and values that are right for your home or office.

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