Did you know that scan speed and maximum resolution are not the most important things
to consider when buying a scanner? But if that’s the case, then what is?
Features you can’t live without
If you just consider scan speed or double-sided scanning, you’ll miss out on other features that are just as important, but maybe a little less measurable.
In general, companies should look for machines that can handle a variety of document types and output. As well, they should keep in mind that technology in ergonomics and user interface improves usability and productivity.
In other words, finding the right balance between efficiency and ease-of-use is essential to choosing the right product for you and your business. Features that are important for document scanners used by businesses are very different than what’s important for image scanners for consumers.
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Are you a business? Then you’ve got to ask yourself these questions before buying a scanner:
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- Can it scan documents that are stapled or paper-clipped?
- How much paper can be stacked in the paper feeder?
- Does the scanner have simultaneous dual-side scanning?
- Can it do 11" x 17"?
- How many pages do you scan in a day?
- Does it have a platen glass?
Ultrasonic multi-feed and missed-feed detection – huh?
Ultrasonic multi-feed is a great scanner feature to have. It’s fantastic because documents are fed one page at a time which reduces the dreaded… paper jam.
Missed-feed detection, on the other hand, means that all pages get digitized by the scan element and documents go through only once, not two or three times. Talk about a timesaver!
What used to be considered high-end features are now becoming more mainstream and this includes:
- top-of-the-line image quality
- scanning credit cards, ID cards and other plastic cards
- illumination for shadow-free images
- reduced multi- and missed-feeds
- minimized static
- reliable, versatile and flexible
These days, scanner interfaces have FireWire and USB 2.0 ports. Although they don’t necessarily provide the same level of data throughput as SCSI, they are found on most devices because they’re superfast while lowering costs and are compatible with virtually any PC.
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Wow, more features?
Detecting colour or monochrome
Automatically detecting whether pages are in colour or monochrome, then scanning them accordingly is very helpful because a user doesn’t have to scan monochrome pages in a separate batch from colour documents or manually choose the black or colour scan setting. You could just set everything in colour, but that would slow down the scan speed of black-and-white documents while also requiring greater storage capacity.
Think about maintenance
Buyers should remember that scanner rollers and bulbs need to be replaced from time to time, so try to ensure that those remain things that the average user can do without putting in a service call. Most manufacturers also offer a number of proprietary features in their scanners that allow for greater efficiency.
Who needs long document handling?
Specific industries do. Healthcare institutions, for example, would use it to digitize long documents, such as fetal monitoring and electrocardiogram (EKG) strips even if they’re hundreds or thousands of feet long. This means that instead of spending precious time trimming super long documents or mounting them onto 8.5" x 11" sheets before scanning, workers can focus on other tasks.
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