best flatbed scanner

An In-Depth Guide to Buying the Best Flatbed Scanner in 2021

A scanner is a versatile tool that has become a staple of every home office and every workplace. If you’re thinking of getting the best flatbed scanner of 2021, then you should take a look at this product review and buying guide that we came up with. It’ll help you to choose and purchase the best product that suits your needs and is in your budget.

Top Pick

Epson Perfection V39

  • 4800×4800 dpi optical resolution
  • Contact Imaging Sensor (CIS) scan technology
  • Direct scan to cloud storage
  • Epson Document Capture Pro software
  • Space-Saving Kickstand

Best Flatbed Scanner For 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, And Cons

To make shopping easy for you, we have compiled a list of the 10 best scanners currently available in the market. If you want to buy a top flatbed scanner, this list is the perfect starting point for you. With this info, you will be able to pick something great.

IMAGENAME & DetailsDETAILS
Epson Perfection V39 Flatbed Photo & Document Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 4800 x 4800 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: Epson Document Capture Pro

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Epson Perfection V600 Color Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 6400 x 9600 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: Epson Scanner Driver & One-Touch Easy Photo Fix

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Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 4800 x 4800 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: IJ Scan Utility & Canon ScanGear

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HP ScanJet Pro 2500 F1 L2747A Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: HP Scan Utility & ReadIris PRO for OCR

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Plustek ezPhoto Z300 Flatbed Photo Scanner with CCD
  • Optical Resolution: 300 x 600 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: Plustek ePhoto Image Enhancement Software

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Plustek OpticSlim 2680H High Speed Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: No
  • Compatible Software: Plustek OpticSlim Driver & OCR Manager

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Visioneer OneTouch 7100D Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 1200 x 4800 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: No
  • Compatible Software: ArcSoft Photo Impression, ScanSoft PaperPort Deluxe & TextBridge Pro

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Epson Perfection V19 Photo & Document Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 4800 x 4800 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: Epson Document Capture Pro & Epson Easy Photo Scan

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Plustek Opticslim A3 OS 1180 High Speed Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: No
  • Compatible Software: Plustek OpticSlim Scan Correction Software

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Xerox DocuMate 4700 Color & Document Flatbed Scanner
  • Optical Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Direct-to-Cloud Feature: Yes
  • Compatible Software: Visioneer Capture SE and Organizer & Visioneer Acuity

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1. Epson Perfection V39 Flatbed Photo & Document Scanner - Best Overall

Highlighted features

  • 4800×4800 dpi optical resolution
  • Contact Imaging Sensor (CIS) scan technology
  • Direct scan to cloud storage
  • Epson Document Capture Pro software
  • Space-Saving Kickstand

The Epson Perfection V39 is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an affordable and powerful flatbed scanner. The sleek design of this model really stands out among the competition. We were also very impressed with the high optical resolution of this simple scanner. The Perfection V39 is the best flatbed scanner because it offers 4800 dpi of resolution. It also comes with included software that will let you upload your scanned documents directly to Google Drive, DropBox, EverNote, etc.

Pros

  • The sleek design of the Perfection V39 makes it space-efficient.
  • Epson Document Capture Pro software is an excellent addition.
  • The direct-to-cloud transfer ability of the scanner is really useful.
  • It offers 4800×4800 dpi optical resolution.

Cons

  • The scanning time is a little long.

2. Epson Perfection V600 Color Flatbed Scanner

Highlighted features

  • 6400×9600 dpi optical resolution
  • Charged Coupled Device (CCD) scan technology
  • One-Touch Easy Photo Fix
  • 48-bit Optical Image Depth
  • Transparency Unit for 35mm Slides

When it comes to the premium pick, the Epson Perfection V600 is the best flatbed scanner that you can find. With a resolution of 6400×9600 dpi, this scanner will provide you with pristine and high quality images. It also has an One-Touch Easy Photo Fix feature, which you can use to make color corrections to old photos too. We really liked the dust and scratch removal technology used by this scanner. The 48-bit image depth is also amazing.

Pros

  • We recommend using this scanner while working with film.
  • The One-Touch Easy Photo Fix feature is amazing.
  • The ReadyScan LED light source makes the scanner very fast.
  • Its optical resolution is fantastic.

Cons

  • The in-built software is difficult to operate.

3. Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Flatbed Scanner - Best Value

Highlighted features

  • 4800×4800 dpi optical resolution
  • ScanGear TWAIN Interface for third-party apps
  • USB Type-C connectivity for power and operation
  • Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scan technology
  • Send to Cloud5

This is the best flatbed photo scanner if your budget isn’t that large. The 400 Slim LiDE is a significant improvement over the LiDE 300. For instance, it has a 4800 dpi optical resolution and it will let you scan books, images, photographs, documents, etc. with remarkable ease. The scan speed is roughly 8 seconds, which is very impressive. The Send to Cloud5 functions will let you scan and upload documents directly to the cloud storage destination of your choice.

Pros

  • The transfer rate is an amazing 5 GBPS.
  • You can easily operate the included software.
  • The scanning speed of the LiDE 400 is 8 seconds.
  • Its design is sleek and space-saving.

Cons

  • OCR technology is limited.

4. HP ScanJet Pro 2500 F1 L2747A Flatbed Scanner -Best for office

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • HP ReadIris Pro OCR software
  • Automated Document Feeder (ADF) with 50-page capacity
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0
  • TWAIN & WIA Scan Drivers

With a scanning speed of 40 images per minute, the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 is one of the best mid-range flatbed scanners in the market. The fact that this scanner comes with 2-sided scanning makes our lives in the office much easier. We would also like to point out that this scanner has a low resolution of 1200 dpi, making it ideal for doc scanning. It comes with HP ReadIris Pro OCR software, which is one of the best OCR packs. It has a 50-page automatic document feeder as well.

Pros

  • The ADF can handle a volume of 1500 pages daily.
  • It has virtually no warm up time.
  • The ReadIris Pro OCR software is the best option.
  • It is the ideal choice for clerical and office work.

Cons

  • Resolution is low.

5. Plustek ezPhoto Z300 Flatbed Photo Scanner with CCD -Best for occasional scanning needs

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 300 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • Charged Coupled Device (CCD) scan technology
  • Plustek ePhoto Image Enhancement Software
  • Automated image scanning system
  • Plustek Unique Safe feed design

If you’re looking for the best flatbed scanner for light and casual use, then the Plustek ezPhoto Z300 is an amazing option. It has two settings – 300 dpi and 600 dpi. You can use the one that suits your needs best. Depending on the size of your photo, the Z300 takes 2-5 seconds to scan it nicely. It comes with image enhancement options – which you can use in lieu of PhotoShop. You can export your scans directly into the cloud drive.

Pros

  • The automated scanning system removes the need for cropping.
  • Scanning a picture takes only 2-5 seconds.
  • Auto-rotate and deskew functions are built into the Plustek ePhoto.
  • It’s very easy to use and set up.

Cons

  • The auto-cropping feature isn’t reliable.

6. Plustek OpticSlim 2680H High Speed Flatbed Scanner for Windows - Best for home office

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 300 x 300 dpi resolution
  • Advanced OCR technology
  • TWAIN support for Microsoft Windows devices
  • Four Smart Function buttons
  • Auto Rotate, Auto Crop and Deskew features

This is an amazing, affordable and minimalist scanner that is ideal for the home office. It comes with advanced OCR capabilities, that will allow you to work with text, spreadsheets, etc. It is also compatible with the file types that I need for my job, such as PDF, XLS and CSV. It can scan and upload an image in under 3 seconds, making it one of the best scanning software in the world. It supports TWAIN protocol only for MS Windows.

Pros

  • It has a very fast scan time of 3 seconds.
  • The OCR function can recognize 180+ languages.
  • It has four smart function buttons for easy usage.
  • It supports multi-image scanning and automatic cropping.

Cons

  • It’s only compatible with Windows.

7. Visioneer OneTouch 7100D USB Flatbed Scanner - Most powerful

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 1200 x 4800 dpi resolution
  • 48-bit depth of scanning colour
  • Simple USB interface
  • OneTouch 3.0 Link Engine
  • Visioneer ScanSoft PaperPort Deluxe 7 system

Despite having a simple design, this is one of the most powerful scanners you can find. With 48-bit scanning depth, the OneTouch will be able to reproduce your photos perfectly. It also packs in a decent resolution of 1200 x 4800 dpi, making it perfect for images and documents. It is USB-compatible, so all you need to do is plug it into your computer. The software packs that come with the scanner make it one of the simplest and user friendly scanners in the market.

Pros

  • This scanner is very easy to set up and use.
  • The 48-bit color depth is very striking.
  • The OneTouch 3.0 Link Engine is user friendly and easy-to-use.
  • The 1200×4800 dpi resolution is impressive.

Cons

  • The software is clunky.

8. Epson Perfection V19 Photo & Document Flatbed Scanner

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 4800 x 4800 dpi resolution
  • Contact Imaging Sensor (CIS) scan technology
  • Epson Easy Photo Scan software
  • Built-in vertical kickstand
  • Scan and Share to cloud

This is an economical flatbed scanner that would be the best addition to your home office. I bought this for my home office and I loved it a lot. It has a 4800dpi resolution, which lets me use it for documents and pictures both. Like all Epson Perfection scanners, this can scan and upload files directly to the cloud destination of your choice by using Document Capture Pro. It makes use of CIS technology and can scan any document completely in only 10-12 seconds.

Pros

  • The 4800 dpi resolution is powerful and more than enough.
  • The Easy Photo Scan software corrects mistakes very nicely.
  • It is very easy to set up and use.
  • The vertical kickstand saves space.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch software.

9. Plustek OpticSlim A3 OS 1180 High Speed Flatbed Scanner - Best for scanning larger documents

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • Contact Imaging Sensor (CIS) scan technology
  • Plustek OpticSlim Intelligent Scan Correction software
  • TWAIN/WIA compliant
  • Internal LED light source

This is a large size scanner that’s perfectly comfortable with A3 documents as well. We think that this is the best choice for architects, law students, etc. who have to routinely deal with documents of large size. It has a decent resolution of 1200 dpi and it also has an internal LED light source. This makes the scans accurate and fast – since there’s no warm up time involved. The scanning process can also be simplified with the help of 4 one-touch buttons.

Pros

  • The A3 scan takes only 9-15 seconds to get completed.
  • The one-touch buttons simplify and automate the scanning process.
  • No warm up needed because of the internal LED.
  • The software UI is stunning.

Cons

  • It is incompatible with artwork.

10. Xerox DocuMate 4700 Color & Document Flatbed Scanner

Highlighted features

  • Maximum 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • Visioneer Acuity technology
  • Visioneer Capture SE and Organizer AI
  • Connects to ADF scanner
  • Visioneer OneTouch scanner workflow

The Xerox Documate 4700 has a simplex design, which will allow you to scan images in only  2.5 seconds at a 300 dpi resolution. This scanner comes with Visioneer Acuity technology, which is a proprietary system that improves the clarity and quality of every image that is scanned. We were impressed how the scanner software automatically converts and saves the scanned sets into PDF documents for convenience. This is a great scanner for documents, and it also comes with 9 different OneTouch presets.

Pros

  • At 300 dpi, the scan speed is only 2.5 seconds/page.
  • Visioneer Acuity’s algorithm improves image quality and clarity.
  • Capture SE and Organizer AI makes document management simple.
  • The OneTouch workflow is easy-to-use.

Cons

  • The installation software is very clunky.
best flatbed scanner

Buying Guide

If you’re new to buying flatbed scanners or scanners in general, here are some pointers to help you narrow down your choices. Make use of this buying guide to buy the best flatbed scanner for your home or office. With this information, you can make recommendations to your friends too!

Scanning Resolution

If you want to buy the best flatbed photo scanner, you need to buy a device that has a scanning resolution of 600 dpi or above. If you are looking to scan documents only, then you will need a minimum scanning resolution of 300 dpi and more. The dpi is a very important metric to consider if you’re going to be archiving and saving the documents/images. For example, Plustek ezPhoto Z300 Flatbed Photo Scanner with CCD is a great versatile choice since you can choose between 300 and 600 dpi depending on your needs.

Scanning Software

Along with the scanner, you also have to think about the software tools that will help you make the most of the scanner. OCR software, photo and image correction software, automation software, etc. are all vital components of modern scanners. You need to pick a scanner that comes with all of the functionalities that you are looking for. Conversion software is also something you will invariably need.

Scanner Hardware

Check the hardware of the scanner, especially if it’s something that is going to transfer data to your computer using USB. Try to look for scanners that have USB 2.0 and above, since data transfer is fastest with that type only. You also need to consider all of the firmware features of the scanner – such as one-touch buttons, automation technology, ADF, etc. for maximum user convenience.

Scanning Speed

If you’re using the scanner for a lot of volume, then the scanning speed is a very important consideration that you need to make. Most flatbed scanners have a decent speed that usually falls between 20-30 seconds. For documents, you should look for scanners that have a maximum scanning time of 3-4 seconds only such as Xerox DocuMate 4700 Color & Document Flatbed Scanner. You can give the scanner a bigger window while working with color photographs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the fastest flatbed scanner?

The Xerox DocuMate 4700D is the fastest flatbed scanner that you can find right now. It has a very impressive scan speed of 2.5 seconds per page. However, the resolution needed for this kind of speed has to be close to 300 dpi.

Q: What is the best flatbed scanner to buy?

In our opinion, the Epson Perfection V39 should be your top choice. In fact, the Epson Perfection line of scanners stands out to us in general. The V39 is just the most affordable and impressive scanner that we have found.

Q: What is the best flatbed photo scanner?

The Plustek exPhoto Z300 is the best flatbed photo scanner, especially for those who want to use it to digitize and back up their old photographs. The ePhoto enhancement software and the CCD technology make this Plustek model one of the best choices.

Q: What is the difference between flatbed and sheetfed scanner?

A flatbed scanner is a scanner that is designed like a flat surface, against which the document or image to be scanned is placed. On the other hand, a sheetfed scanner is a device that can only work with paper scraps.

Conclusion

This is all of the information that you need to know to buy the best flatbed scanner for your needs. Make sure you do your research and go through the product reviews before you pick one. You should also remember to think about the exact scanning needs that you have.

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