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How Do I Choose the Best Home Office Scanner?

Eugene P.
Eugene P.

A home office scanner can be a vital piece of equipment to a home-based business. Choosing the best home office scanner involves predicting the different possible uses for the scanner currently and in the future of the business. Economical mini-scanners or document scanners can quickly process receipts, invoices and documents, but they might be unable to accommodate larger pieces of paper and color photographs. Some scanners have excellent color depth and high resolution, as well as allowing for different specialized attachments, but they could be a waste of power for simple document processing. One important consideration is the type of software that the home office scanner is bundled with, because it can make tasks much easier if optical character recognition (OCR) software or photo-editing software is configured for the hardware.

Businesses that deal primarily with text documents such as receipts, invoices and printed reports can sometimes choose to use a document scanner as a home office scanner. This type of scanner reads documents only in black and white, is fairly fast, and can be designed with a paper feeder on the top so multiple pages can be queued for scanning. Some complications that can occur with a document scanner are a lack of ability to accurately read color on a page, scan photographs and capture documents that are larger than normal.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Any home business that deals with photographs or color graphics could need a home office scanner with many more features than a document scanner has to offer. Important features to consider are color depth and the maximum resolution of the scanner. The speed of the scanner also might be important, because a high-resolution photo scanner might take a long time to process a single image.

Not all scanners have the ability to accept peripheral attachments, but it could be an important feature. The types of peripherals that a home office scanner can use include receipt or business card readers that digitize the text, slide or negative readers for photographs, and transparency scanners for overlays or documents printed on acetate. While some of these peripherals might be of no interest to a business, the potential ability to add them at a later date could be valuable.

The software included with a home office scanner can help to define which is best in some instances. For documents, OCR software that is configured to work with the scanner can help to turn a page of printed text into an editable digital document quickly and accurately. Simple image editing software can be useful to help increase the quality of anything that is being scanned. The depth of the software interface that will be used for scanning should be looked at, too, because having the flexibility to control the hardware through a convenient software interface could save a great amount of time and frustration.

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