You should consider the following factors when choosing a portable scanner:
- Power Supply
Unlike normal scanners most of whom directly connect to a power socket to draw electricity, portable scanners rely on different options. Some of them have a USB cable which you have to connect your laptop/computer. These scanners won’t work unless you have connected them to a power source.
There is another type of portable scanners which have built-in, rechargeable batteries. If you decide to choose them, make sure they come with a battery charging indicator, so that you know when to charge the battery.
Also known as Dots per Inch, DPI identifies the scanning accuracy of the device. Obviously, the greater the DPI, the more accurate the scanner will be, and the better quality scans it will produce.
The baseline for scanning accuracy is 300 DPI, which is enough if you only want to scan documents. Conversely, if you plan to scan images, consider a scanner with DPI 600 or higher. Some scanners, meanwhile, offer as much as 1,200 DPI.
- Connectivity Options
How would you give commands to the scanner depends on its connectivity options, of which two are preferred by the majority of users. They include, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity.
If you are going to use your scanner at home, go for a USB document scanner, as you can easily connect your laptop to the device. However, if you’re going to use the portable document scanner in office, go for a wireless portable scanner.
There’s other, relatively small range of portable scanners, which is compatible with cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Then there are others which come with a compatible smartphone app, using which you can send commands to the scanner.
Some scanners require you to manually feed every page before scanning your desired file. There are others, which, like printers, have an auto-feeding mechanism. To operate these scanners, you can stack them with a batch of pages and the scanner will automatically feed them into its hopper.
However, just because the scanner will auto-feed the pages doesn’t mean you can fill its hopper with a ream of blank pages at once. Instead, even with auto-feeding, there’s a limit to the number of pages you can add at one time.
- Tray Connectivity and Built-in memory
If you choose a scanner with auto-feeding feature, make sure to check its tray capacity. That is the number of pages you can add to the scanner’s hopper at once. A bigger tray capacity will obviously translate into less-frequent refillings.
Also, having a scanner with built-in memory lets you easily navigate through previously scanned pages. There are scanners out there – like the Doxie Q – which offer 8GB built-in memory.
- Scanning Speed
In contrast to the abovementioned factors, there are no one-size-fits-all criteria for the scanning speed. Instead, you’d have to decide for yourself what type of speed you want from your scanner.
For instance, while some scanners – such as the Flag Power scan 1 A4 page in 3 seconds – others like AOZBZ take 10seconds to scan a high-resolution image.
- Multiple Resolution Modes
If you are going to scan a mix of files – documents, images, stickers – make sure your scanner offers multiple resolution modes. So that, when you’re scanning documents, you can activate low resolution. Conversely, when you’re scanning images, you can activate the high-resolution mode.