This digital age demands a lot from us. We multitask, we surf the internet almost constantly, and of course, read everything off of our digital devices almost 100% of the time.
A busy lifestyle requires we are always on the go and can transfer our work or files online seamlessly. While books offer a different kind of experience and learning for the reader, one can’t deny the convenience and effectiveness of E-books too as well as the efficiency to just scan your documents.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the best overhead book scanners in the market today that you could choose from.
Book Scanner Overview (Everything that you need to know)
What is book scanning?
Simply put, book scanning, or what we may call book digitalization is the method of converting your physical books, documents, and magazines into digital media. This includes but is not limited to converting them to electronic texts and images and that process that is responsible for us having E-book copies of otherwise old books that originally didn’t have any digital version.
An image or book scanner is the primary device used for the process.
And, before we discuss the device let’s discuss why you need to practice scanning your documents, to begin with. Here are a few things to ponder on:
- Of course, the most obvious benefit of having your books and documents scanned is the convenience and ease of file transfer that it offers. You can hold an entire library of books and documents in your smart devices (tablet or phone) and your computer all at once.
- Plus, you may easily access all of them. One quick query on your device and you’ll have access to such documents and books in an instant. You don’t have to go to physical libraries anymore and do manual research.
- Digitalization of such books and documents are also eco-friendly. Imagine the countless trees that you will save when you cut on the paper used for physical printing because most people will only want to order their book or document online as a softcopy.
- Having all of the documents and E-books that you need on your thin gadget is always more comfortable than bringing with you tons of books where the luggage space that they occupied can be used for something else more important when you travel.
- Digital documents may also be backed up infinitely for your convenience. You will no longer fear losing a copy of your favorite book or important documents.
- Bulk copies? Sizeable documents? No worries. Your only limit is either your hard drive space or cloud storage. Digital copies of your books or documents may be stored digitally and you don’t have to worry about physical storage space in your office or at home.
As you can see, having the choice to convert your documents and books into digital copies creates endless possibilities. Having a book scanner of your own will just make your life a lot easier.
Best Book Scanners Product Reviews
- Best overall book scanner: CZUR ET18 Pro Professional Document Scanner
“Superbly innovative. You can scan, study, and work with this unit at the same time. It’s not even the most expensive book scanner from our list.”
- Runner-up book scanner: CZUR ET16-P Professional Document Camera Scanner
“Given that it’s just one version below our best overall book scanner, this unit has got all of the features needed with just a few subtle differences that would still yield great value for your money.”
- Best budget: CZUR Aura-B Book & Document Scanner
“Powerful and advanced features for its price. Simply dominates the competition in this category.”
- Runner-up best budget: iOCHOW S3 Book & Document Scanner
“Armed with a variety of features that shouldn’t even be available for book scanners at its price point. This unit is powerful, versatile, and innovative.”
CZUR ET18 Pro Professional Document Scanner – Best Overall Book Scanner
We are starting our best book scanner review with the world-class CZUR ET18 Pro Professional Document Scanner.
This document/book scanner is a workhorse and offers high-quality digitization performance. If you’re looking for an efficient and convenient way to scan your files then this product should be on top of your list.
Armed with a sleek and compact design choose from white, black, or grayscale colors for swift scanning with faultless quality. It is infused with only the latest innovations, we’re talking about the 2nd generation laser curve flattening with 1.5s/p ultra-fast scanning speeds.
The ET18 Pro is then infused with Sony’s 18MP camera and it assured that you can finish scanning a 300-page book in just 10 minutes. That’s 10 times faster than your standard scanners.
It’s got an Auto-Scan technology that will then make it easier for you to work on books and documents. Just flip those pages and operate it through the foot pedal to then trigger the scans.
The ET18 Pro is also A3 and A4 applicable. Not just that, it should also work with any material smaller than A3, so you won’t have any issues scanning exam papers, blueprints, catalogs, magazines, or large books at all.
It’s got supplementary lighting. You will have access to two high-quality supplementary lights so scanning glossy papers won’t be a hurdle too. We only recommended that you turn off the overhead light and use only the sidelights for this process.
And lastly, you will have lifetime free powerful OCR or Optical Character Recognition software. The software is able to read 187 languages and will allow you to edit your materials after cropping and some other adjustments are done.
The scanned documents may be converted to PDF, TIFF, or Word formats.
It’s compatible with Zoom and can be used for remote learning as well as working with its many features like screen sharing to be the ultimate visual presenter apart from just being a scanning device.
So if you’re looking for one of the most innovative, modern, versatile, and powerful scanners, the CZUR ET18 Pro Professional Document Scanner is up to the task.
If you find yourself scanning a few delicate documents and books often then do it with the efficient Fujitsu PA03641-B305 ScanSnap SV600 Overhead Book Scanner.
Don’t be fooled by the simplistic design and looks for this overhead book scanner that is as effective as they come. It’s got high-quality CCD optics plus advanced LED illumination.
This scanner is armed with advanced capture tech to maximize the field of depth as well as minimize the unevenness of your pages. With this scanner, you can get a page done in just 3 seconds.
Scanning bound books will never be a problem with this unit and you may scan several files at the same time. One of its best features is its image correction capacity.
It can flatten the curves and distortions of your books and documents. It can also remove fingers captured as you scan with just a few clicks. And lastly, you may crop as well de-skew your scanned images too.
It’s so easy to use, this brand has been in the industry for a while now especially in the printing and scanning department that they know that the simpler the operation the better user experience.
It is also armed with a page-turning detection feature. Through this, you may continuously scan without needing to hit that scan button every time. That’s one of the reasons why scanning a bulky book with this machine is super-fast.
And what’s more, is that this scanning device is proven to be tough and will last for a very long time.
CZUR Aura-B Book & Document Scanner – Best Budget Book Scanner
The third entry on our book document scanner review is the affordable CZUR Aura-B Book & Document Scanner. When on a budget, there’s no need for you to settle for bad scanning machines and instead take a look at this unit and you’d be surprised by its value.
This book scanner is powered by AI tech and CZUR’s patented book curve flattening feature. It utilizes 3 precise lasers that yield accurate scans and clear images. You don’t really have to worry about the curves in your books with this scanner at all.
The smart and simple process of scanning your books or documents with this machine is backed by an auto color optimization feature to adjust color and tone. It also reduced image noise plus a lot of other useful photo editing options.
It comes with a sleek design and scanning all types of documents even the thickest books will never be easier. That design comes with a multi-function button, built-in interface with plug cable, and a collapsible design so it’s easy to store or transport.
It looks so good that it will fit in your furniture nicely may it be in your office or even your living room.
It’s got power enhanced OCR with its AI tech it can accurately recognize text that will then be editable. That’s captured JPEG images that can then be converted into word, excel, or PDF formats. The OCR technology in this machine can recognize 186 languages.
To ensure high performance, this unit is armed with a 14 MP camera for the best picture quality possible, a 1 / 2.3” CMOS sensor, and a 32-bit MIPS processor. This unit scans for up to A3 in size with the best speed and accuracy in its price range.
On a budget but don’t want to compromise on quality? Go get the CZUR Aura-B Book & Document Scanner.
CZUR ET16-P Professional Document Camera Scanner – Runner Up Best Overall Book Scanner
We jump from one CZUR product to another and this time with the popular and cost-effective CZUR ET16-P Professional Document Camera Scanner.
Still armed with the patented 2nd generation curve flattening tech, this scanner is perfect for your books and your documents. Its smart OCR feature is also compatible with either Mac or Windows computers.
The 3 laser lines that the ET16-P employs will efficiently analyze any contours of your book or even a bound document to calculate page curves of any material you try to scan to then provide a flattened output.
It’s got a scanning speed of 1.5 S/P and scanning a 300-page book will be done in under 10 minutes. This process is made possible by the Auto-Scan feature and all you got to do is flip the pages of your book.
The ET16-P can accommodate A3 and A4 size scanning or any size in between. It can practically scan any documents that you have. That’s why this unit is useful in offices, schools, and any other places where scanning is constant.
The same as with the ET18 unit we discussed earlier, this unit also has supplementary lighting that can accommodate glossy paper. And of course, this unit is also infused with a powerful OCR for editing your documents later on.
The ET16-P looks really nice and will fit in aesthetically to any office spaces adding that additional flair to the area. It’s also zoom compatible and is meant for virtual presentations making it fit for working at home or for your students to use as a learning device.
Store, share and create real-time videos with the HD Sony Camera that’s infused in this device. It’s super innovative and is definitely more than just your usual book scanner.
iOCHOW S3 Book & Document Scanner – Runner Up Best Budget Book Scanner
The next entry on our best book scanner review is another mind-blowingly inexpensive unit with amazing features. We’re talking about the iOCHOW S3 Book & Document Scanner.
This scanner is armed with an excellent and top of the line flattening algorithm with a finger removal feature. It’s got a timer function that will automatically scan your pages as you flip the pages.
The document camera install in this unit is a 17 MP camera that will support HD real-time demonstration. It will capture and then display images of up to A3 in size.
What’s more, is that this machine has 9 built-in LEDs that will provide ample brightness and will not be affected at all by any dark environment.
This is a multi-purpose scanner for the multitasker and it’s not just your usual book scanner. It can function as a video recording device and can project them in real-time. It’s not just all E-books but can also be utilized for modern learning and also perfect if you work from home.
This unit should be a nice add-on for your office or classroom and it will make everyone’s lives easier if you ten to do tons of scanning daily. It’s got a leading OCR feature that’s about 95% accurate so you may edit your scanned documents later on easily.
It’s got an auto-correct and filling feature, automatic segmentation, as well as the automatic merging of the 2 sides of any scanned ID photos plus it, will erase the rest of the unnecessary remaining parts.
Hardware-wise, this unit is super portable, has a nice design to it, and is so easy to operate. It’s foldable with a nice foundation that’s weighed down appropriately so it will be stable right on top of your desk.
The penultimate entry on our best book scanner review is the iCODIS X9 Book & Document Scanner.
First and foremost the flattening curve technology on this unit is truly amazing. It will flatten out curved books or bound documents seamlessly. And of course, it is armed with the continuous scanning feature.
All you have to do is to flip the page and pretty much the document camera will scan one page after another without any other manual processes. That’s what makes scanning using this unit a breeze and 300 pages in a book won’t last very long.
This is a high-performance machine and it’s got the highest camera quality on our list at 21 MP. That’s extremely high-definition, crystal clear images that are captured and then available for you to utilize.
That 21 MP camera will support real-time demonstrations, presentation, clear imaging replica of your images, and will support up to A3 sized scans. And of course, it operates with 9 LEDs that will provide you enough exposure and be highly reductive in the dark.
This unit is also powered by OCR and convert your scans to editable formats like word, excel, or PDF. This scanner does support multiple languages and will definitely make things easier for you whether you work in a school or office.
The hardware too in this device is built to last. The book and document camera have an aluminum alloy fuselage. It’s got an increased base weight for the unit to be stable and sit well on top of your desk or countertop.
The foldable design will then make it easy for you to carry it around, install, and use it anywhere.
We’re down to our last entry and we will end this review with the efficient iCODIS X7 Book & Document Scanner. One of the most affordable units on our list this scanner truly deserves to be on our best book scanner review.
This unit is armed with a 15 MP camera that will capture sharp images of your files even the most delicate or damaged ones. Its flattening curve tech is superb and it will take care of any bound documents as well as even the bulkiest books you have and fast.
It’s also armed with an intelligent continuous shooting scan feature that as you flip the pages you won’t have to trigger it manually and it will take care of the process.
You will also enjoy auto-corrective features as well as filling detective images automatically. This unit also possesses a scanning mechanism for bar codes and QR codes. It’s got automatic segmentation, it generates PDF intelligently, and is meant for real-time shooting.
It’s got powerful software with multiple functions that are rare for a book scanner at this price point. It’s designed to be used for education, offices, banks, or any facility that requires bulk scanning.
We really appreciate how vivid the images are when scanned through this machine. Good colors for presentations and demonstrations too.
It’s easy to operate, simple connections, and it’s got an internal shutter button that you can set at specified time intervals. Lastly, this unit is also infused with 9 LEDs for all your lighting needs, and make sure your images are just accurately exposed.
What to look for in a book scanner?
When purchasing a book scanner one should consider the aspects discussed below.
To get the best quality scanned documents, you should be wary of the resolution capacity of your scanner. For scanning your books, 200 dpi should quite ideal but 300 dpi is best for OCR as well as electronic archiving.
Fine arts and high-quality images should be scanner with 600 dpi.
Overall quality of scans
The overall quality of your scanned documents is not just determined by resolution alone. For consistent scans of the entire page, your scanner should have accurate lighting, tones, and color.
The larger the scanning size of your device the better. A3 scanner size should suffice but go for A4 if you can.
Efficient performance should also be on top of your list. Apart from quality, the speed of your scanner is also a major aspect that you should look into. This is where choosing a manual or automatic scanner comes into play.
Automatic book scanners are faster but delicate or damaged documents may not be scanned properly. Adjusting your preferences as with a manual book scanner would then be best but of course, it won’t be as fast. Choose your priority.
Your scanner may work perfectly in terms of its output but all of that may not be worth it if the machine breaks down on you prematurely.
Consider the cost and look for brands of products that may be worth your money. Sometimes, you may be reluctant to invest in a pricey scanner but take note that they may last longer and in turn, be more cost-effective.
The bottom line:
- A good scanner should capture and scan your book, manuscripts, periodicals, or any graphic filled books effectively.
- Will scan in high resolution without damaging your paper or the binding of the book.
- The cradle and the camera should be pretty high in quality and resolution.
- The book may face up and be captured by the camera page by page rather easily.
What about flatbed scanners?
As discussed aside from an overhead book scanner your other option is to get a flatbed scanner. Please do remember that while there are some advantages to this such as just working with a multi-function printer and making things simpler just be prepared in doing a lot of work.
A lot of work in terms of getting your entire book scanned. You will have to do a lot of page flipping and lid opening and closing just to get probably 300 pages done. This is not only tiring work but can get a bit annoying.
Aside from a flatbed scanner your other option if you don’t wish to purchase an overhead book scanner is to go for a professional book scanner service.
How does a book scanners work?
So, how does scanning work in general?
By now, everyone is probably familiar with an all-in-one printer, scanner, and fax machine. So, in general, here are the components and principles of scanning.
A scanner works with the ff. components:
- A glass plate on which your document will be placed upon
- A movable light source
- Fixed and movable mirrors
- CCD capture device
How do these components work?
- Once you place your document on top of the glass plate, a light array that is attached inside of your machine in its scan head, and then the light produced illuminates the document.
- The lenses and mirrors pass the light from your scanned document and then into your light sensory array.
- The lens then splits the colors of light and then the charge is measured by your scanner.
- The measurements are then converted to binary something your computer can read.
- After which the image converted is either uploaded to your computer or printed.
In a nutshell, this is how scanners work.
So, what about book scanners?
We can’t discuss how books scanners work without discussing the types. There are generally, 3 types of book scanners: the flatbed, overhead, and handheld.
The type of scanner that we discussed above is pretty much a flatbed scanner. Your document or book is placed on top of a flat surface and then covered with a lid so as not to expose it to any light.
And then pretty much the same mechanism that we discussed above happens to scan your book or document.
While the flatbed book scanner is the traditional way to go about your scanning needs, an overhead book scanner is one innovative way to go.
An overhead scanner typically employs a camera and captures images of your documents or books placed on a cradle. Overhead scanners usually capture better image quality as well as efficiently scan documents in bulk that’s why they are ideal for books.
Handheld or mobile book scanners as you might expect are portable and convenient devices that you may employ and can carry easily to scan documents with. They don’t usually go head to head with either a flatbed or overhead scanner in terms of market share.
And, as expected they offer inferior quality scanned documents as a trade-off for all that convenience.
How to operate a book scanner?
- Lay your book or document on the cradle
- Go to the page that you’re going to want to scan
- Press the scan button accordingly when ready
- Let the scanner do the work
- Once satisfied with the scanned image flip the page and continue along the rest of the pages that you want to scan until completed.
So, why go with an overhead book scanner?
Overhead scanners are generally really easy to use and are meant for books with how they are designed.
All you need to do is to place your document or book faced up let the scanner do its thing. Flip one page after another as if reading them and scan as you go.
Overhead scanners when operated properly yield the best images and are super easy and convenient to use plus your files may be converted into editable versions as well.
Scanning is tiring work, well, not if you just need to scan a few pages once in a while. But if you’re someone who scans tons of documents and a few books daily then you definitely need one of the best book scanners we’ve listed for you.
They are convenient, practical, versatile, and will help you manage your files easily. The CZUR ET18 Pro Professional Document Scanner may be the machine we declared as the best of the best but rest assured that the others we’ve researched are not so far behind.
You have a couple of units there that are fit if you are on a budget and scanning won’t be a chore ever again. So make your life easier and go grab one of these best book scanners NOW!