An absolutely vital part of any home office or home computer configuration is a scanner. No longer a luxury, today we scan documents, images, photos, articles – you name it, into a digital format. Whether that is to simply email to another friend, archive digital documents, or convert physical pictures into digital images to work with in Photoshop. Today, a scanner is a vital part of any setup. Prices have never been lower, with basic scanners now selling for less than $50 depending on functions offered.
So what kind of scanner do you need? First, you need to think about how you will use it. Once you know what features and functions you need, you can then shop for the best scanner to meet those needs. Almost all scanners today will handle documents and photos just fine.
Scanners, whether they are flatbed, multi-purpose, or photo scanners, are all easy to install. Most auto-install simply by inserting an installation disk and following the onscreen prompts. Typically it will install some software and then prompt you to plug in the scanner. It just can’t get much more simple than that.
There are three top consumer and small business brands of scanners that you really need to look at. Cannon, HP, and Epson all make top scanners that each provide unique differences worth looking at. Do you want a flatbed scanner? Do you care more about photos? HP makes a create Photosmart line of scanners for around $120. An All-In-ONe multi-function scanner, HP makes a nice unit that includes a scanner, printer, and copier all in one. It is also compatible with both a Mac and a PC. It is a great unit that allows you to work with documents and photos and share them with your friends.
Once you have determined the features you want, you can compare features at any online retailer to compare the differences between different scanners. Cannon makes a great CanoScan line of flatbed scanners which includes both hardware and software technology that automatically enhances and corrects common problems such as dust and scratches as well as retouching photo graininess and bad lighting. For a unit under $50, it is pretty affordable.
For more sophisticated photo needs, you should consider the Espon line of Perfection Photo Flatbed scanners, they are a little more pricey, typically coming in around $179, but they offer the Digital ICE technology which makes it easy to scan slides and negatives converting them into high quality images. No matter what the features are that you want, there is a perfect scanner out there for you.