10 Cheap Document Scanners You Can Buy for Under $200 in 2020

Cheap Document ScannerDocument scanners have proven to be the answer to clutter, either in your home or offices. There used to be a time when papers were often wedged into folders before they were jammed into file cabinets. The advent of technology, however, has made it possible for you to digitize documents and store them inside your hard drive or online folder.

Whether it’s photographs or receipts or important business reports, you can digitize all of these using a cheap document scanner. Just because a scanner is cheap, however, does not mean that it is not of high quality. There are plenty of document scanners available and we are here to point to you the best cheap document scanners on the market today.

What to Look for in a Cheap Document Scanner?

Picking a document scanner that will suit your needs can be daunting. To help you make an informed decision, here are several guide questions that you should first ask yourself.

What will you be scanning?

The things that you will be scanning and how often you will be doing this play a huge part in helping you decide which document scanner you should acquire. The most common items that get scanned are photographs and documents, but items such as books, identification cards, magazines and stamps are also usual scan targets.

Will you need a flatbed?

If you plan on scanning pictures and fragile documents like old pages or clippings, you need a flatbed scanner. This is because the large glass plate on which you place the items that need scanning will help keep your items safe. You may opt to use a scanner that has a sheet feeder but you run the risk of damaging the items you want to be scanned.

Is the speed of scanning a concern?

If you plan on scanning documents regularly, you definitely need to get a sheet feeder. Having to open the lid and place the document one by one will take up a lot of your time. If you plan on scanning one to two pages at a single time, a manual sheet feeder will suffice. If you are going to be scanning longer documents, you may want to pick up an automatic document feeder (ADF), with its ability to scan a huge number of pages without your constant attention.

Do you plan on “duplex scanning?”

Duplex scanning is the ability to scan both sides of a single page at one single time. If you plan to scan documents that have content on both sides, you may want to acquire one that has this feature.

Is resolution a big issue?

When it comes to scanning, the resolution is an issue that almost never comes up. For most tasks, 600-pixel-per-inch (PPI) will do. However, there are originals that may need a resolution that is higher than what most document scanners have. In situations like this, you may want to get a scanner that has a resolution of 4,800 PPI.

The Best Cheap Document Scanners Under $200

And so, without further ado, here are the best cheap document scanners that you can pick up on the market today!

Brother DS-620 Mobile

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner, DS-620, Fast Scanning Speeds, Compact and Lightweight, Compatible with BR-Receipts

Easy to operate, and functions way better than most flatbed units

Able to scan:

  • Business cards
  • Receipts
  • Documents
  • Photos

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

If you want a document scanner that is cheap but reliable and is able to digitize a few documents every day, the Brother DS-620 Mobile is the ideal one for you. It provides more than decent quality, average speed and hassle-free file management with its ability to scan to cloud services and traditional file management systems. It also offers you convenience as it is handheld, lightweight (it fits easily into briefcases and most bags) and can be powered up with the use of a USB port.

The Brother DS-620 Mobile is not perfect. We found that it to be completely incapable of scanning a massive number of pages every day. But if you are looking for an easy, inexpensive and effective way to get some low-volume scanning done, this document scanner will fit you very well.


Epson Workforce ES-50

 Epson WorkForce ES-50 Portable Sheet-fed Document Scanner for PC and Mac

Small and lightweight, and has precise optical character recognition (OCR)

Able to scan:

  • Business cards
  • Receipts
  • Documents
  • Photographs

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

The Workforce ES-50 is the most convenient and least costly of all the portable scanners that Epson manufactures. Supported exclusively by USB connectivity, this lightweight scanner can be used by most mobile gadgets, making it perfectly ideal for scanning one- or two-page documents to your laptop. Because it is lightweight and portable (it weighs a mere 0.6 of a pound), we found the Workforce ES-40 to be an ideal companion for people that are out doing fieldwork.

In our tests, we found the Workforce ES-50 to be capable of scanning 10 pages per minute (ppm) when scanning straight to image portable document format PDF. However, it performs slower when scanning to searchable PDF. We also discovered that the ScanSmart and the Nuance OCR were very adept at transferring imaged text to that of an editable one.

All that said, you will find the WorkForce ES-50 to be a cheap answer to all your scanning needs, especially when you are on the go. You simply hook it up to your laptop and you are all set. And with its handy frame, it basically doesn’t add any unnecessary weight to your load. Just do not forget to bring your USB cable.


Canon CanoScan LiDE 300

Canon CanoScan Lide 300 Scanner

Image’s resolution is great right off the bat, hassle-free to set up, handy size, and is inexpensive.

Able to scan:

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Drawings

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

If you are looking for a document scanner that you can consistently use every day without worrying about it crashing, we’re happy to tell you that your search is over. The Canon CanoScan LiDE 300 is ideal for people that have daily scanning tasks. And while we found it to not be the most powerful or the fastest in the market, its great blend of decent image resolution, handy size and cheap price allowed it to make this list.

Although the CanoScan LiDE 300 is considered to be a junior member of Canon’s expansive fleet, it still manages to carve out a corner of its own with its pleasant image quality, quick-enough scanning capability along with the very same software that its more costly mates boast. During the tests that we made, the CanoScan LiDE 300 did very well scanning a wide range of content, ranging from office documents to photographs and even drawings. It even proved capable of handling books and magazines but failed in producing great results when it came to photo negatives.

The CanoScan LiDE 300 can also scan at 2,400 which we believe is more than enough to deal with mundane office tasks such as scanning documents, photos and receipts. But before you go out and purchase this, be aware that Canon’s software does not allow saving files larger than 100 MB. This basically prevents you from scanning photos and documents at ultra-high resolution.


Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner

Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner

Photo scans are vibrant, comes with great software, a kickstand for better positioning and is very easy to use.

Able to scan:

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Receipts

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

The Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim is a performance scanner that was built with the purpose of providing users with efficiency and convenience. When it comes to scanning, we found the CanoScan LiDE 400 to be mighty impressive, with its capability for ultra-fast scanning at 300 dots per inch (dpi) with the use of the USB Type-C cable. This flatbed scanner also packs quite a punch inside its slim frame as it is able to scan with a resolution of 4,800 dpi as well as the color depth of 48-bit, which makes for a clear and crisp image.

This Canon product also features the ability to augment scanned images with its innate enhance capability like dust removal as well as color restoration. The CanoScan LiDE 400 also flaunts its versatility through the Z-Lid™ expansion top, which makes for an easy time scanning large materials. In addition, it offers you the ability to scan upright — with the use of the included stand — thus saving precious desk space.

And like most recent document scanners, the CanoScan LiDe 400 can also upload images straight to Cloud services. All told, with the CanoScan LiDe 400, scanning documents and photographs has never been this easy or fun.


Doxie Go SE

 Doxie Go SE - The Intuitive Portable Scanner with Rechargeable Battery and Amazing Software

It is portable and perfect for either home use or on-the-go scanning.

Able to scan:

  • Loose leaf documents
  • Photographs
  • Receipts
  • Business cards
  • Small pieces of artwork

Compatible OS platform: None, stand-alone

If you are talking about portability and convenience, the Doxie Go SE can mix it up with the best of them. An ultraportable scanner that does not lean on a computer to function, the Doxie Go SE is perfect for scanning loose-leaf documents, photographs and small pieces of artwork that have not been digitized yet.

Although technology is already inescapable — for example, pictures are easily taken and uploaded with smartphones while forms can be filled out and submitted digitally — the fact remains that there are still corners that have yet to totally bring their materials to this era. This is where the Doxie Go SE comfortably steps in and steps up as we found this nifty device totally capable of digitizing years worth of documents to save both time and physical space.

And since it is not tethered to any computer, you can bring it along with you wherever you need it. Perhaps the most important feature the Doxie Go SE has is that it can go where most document scanners cannot. It can be kept inside your desk drawer, a small cabinet and any space that is nice and small.

The Doxie Go SE’s scanning functionality works pretty well as it is able to go through a fair amount of documents in a day. However, if you have plans of scanning books or anything that is bigger than an 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper, you may need the functionality of a more traditional flatbed.


Brother DSMobile DS-720D

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner, DS-720D, Fast Scanning, Compact and Lightweight, Duplex Scanning

It is able to scan plastic identification cards, has a Duplex scanning feature, and is able to scan to FTP.

Able to scan:

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • ID cards
  • Invoices
  • Recipes

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

The Brother DS-720D is considered to be one of the very best mobile scanners for someone that is constantly on the go who needs one strong scanner. This device can scan virtually anything — from receipts to business cards, from plastic IDs to invoices to photos and so much more. Not only that, but it also provides clear and crisp images as it can at up to 1200 x 1200 dpi with speeds of up to eight ppm simplex or five ppm duplex.

It is also portable and lightweight, at just a little less than 11.5 inches in length and weighs under a pound, making it so you can easily just store it inside a backpack, a briefcase or computer bag. And as powerful as this machine is, it functions using the included USC cable and holds no need for a power outlet.

The DS-720D also features a number of “scan-to” options that include file, e-mail, shared folder and print. This device is also compatible with a PC, Mac and Linux. The software suite is also already included in the package.


 HP ENVY 5055

HeroFiber HP All-in-One Wireless Bluetooth Photo Printer Envy 5055 with Scanner Copier

It features automatic duplex printing, has very durable construction and great colored printing resolution.

Able to scan:

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Receipts
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Recipes

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

If you are particular about versatility, then we strongly suggest you check out the HP Envy 5055 All-in-One Printer. This nifty device gives you the ability to easily connect, scan and then, print right from your mobile device. The Envy 5055 is made for those that desire a machine that is able to do it all — copy, scan and print documents, e-mails and even web pages.

We also found the Envy 5055’s scanning capabilities to be impressive as it can scan documents as large as 8.5 x 11.69 inches at resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi. The Envy 5055 is realty the smart choice for people that just want to scan and print a few pages daily. It’s a no-frills device so do not expect any premium features like external storage printing capability. But trust us that when it comes to functionality, durability, and most of all, versatility, the Envy 5055 delivers.


Canon imageFORMULA P-215II

Canon imageFORMULA P-215II Mobile Document Scanner

It is portable, has a duplex scanning feature and works very fast.

Able to scan:

  • Documents/Receipts
  • Photos
  • Thick ID cards
  • Driver’s licenses

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

If you are in the market for a lightweight document scanner that will also be able to double as your desktop scanner, then might we interest you with the Canon imageFormula P-215II. While it may appear to be larger than most portable scanners, it boasts of crucial extra features such as an ADF as well as a duplexer, which allows you to scan two sides of a document at one time. The P-215II also boasts of ultra-fast scan speed, making it a personal favorite of ours when it comes to document scanners.

With its small size, lightweight and more than reasonable price compared to its other competitors like the Epson Workforce ES-200 or Kodak ScanMate i940, the P-215II delivers in the areas where it is needed the most, especially in the areas of functionality as well as portability.


Epson Workforce ES-200

 Epson Workforce ES-200 Color Portable Document Scanner with ADF for PC and Mac, Sheet-fed and Duplex Scanning

It comes with complete software, able to scan quickly and save to PDF, has a duplex scanning feature, is powered using a USB cable, and has an accurate OCR.

Able to scan:

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Recipes
  • Clippings

Compatible OS platform: Windows, Mac

The Epson Workforce ES-200 is actually a close relative to the acclaimed Epson model ES-300W, minus the Wi-Fi capability. But even without that stout feature, we believe the ES-200 to be a highly capable device that boasts of an impressive collection of OCR, and document management programs. And very much like the gadget that was reviewed right above, this Epson model also has an ADF and the ability to scan two sides of a single document in one go.

However, you should know that aside from not supporting Wi-Fi scanning, the Epson ES-300W also does not have an internal battery. It is basically a less costly version of the wireless model that provides you with the ability to scan documents during business trips or while you are on field duty.


iCODIS Document Camera X3

iCODIS Document Camera X3, High Definition Portable Scanner, Capture Size A3, Multi-Language OCR, English Article Recognition

It has optical character recognition, automatic correction, broken edge correction features.

Able to scan:

  • Flat objects and documents
  • Books
  • Sheets
  • Cards

Compatible OS platform: Windows 8 or Latest

The iCODIS Document Camera X3 provides you with much bang for your buck. To start, it has optical character recognition, broken edge correction and automatic correction features. In addition, you can also merge images, delete any excess and collapse a section of the camera to make it portable and easy to carry wherever you go. That particular feature also allows it to be stored easily.

Although it is easy on the budget, this device does its job and does it very well. It is great for flat documents and objects, with its eight-megapixel camera delivering flawless and crisp imagery. However, what it does not have though, is an auto-flattening feature, which means the curve in the middle of the books will show up in the scan.

Aside from that minor flaw, the iCODIS Document Camera X3 can take care of nearly every scanning need and is considered to be one of the very best in the market, thanks to its very affordable price.

Summary

Yesteryear’s mementos can pile up and make a mess out of whatever space you may have. If you want a solution to these but do not want to add another bulky item to your house nor do you want to burn a hole in your wallet, then you best pick up any of the best cheap document scanners that we concisely reviewed and discussed above.

A document scanner is an ideal tool for your home or office, which can truly help clear up a mess or a jam inside your living or business space. All told, these devices are virtual must-haves with its ability to digitize documents, freeing you of the need to have cumbersome file cabinets.

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