Choosing the best flatbed scanner for your home or office can be a difficult task. You may not understand the terms or what difference one resolution makes from another. You may be confused about what features and how powerful you need the scanner to be based on what you will use it for. If all of this sounds too familiar, this is the article for you. We’ll guide you through what to look for when browsing at the electronic store and how to decide which flatbed scanner to finally bring home.
Best Flatbed Scanner Terms
Resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI). This may not mean much to you when looking at different scanners. But the DPI determines the quality of the scanned image. The higher the resolution, the clearer and crisper the final image. Depending on what you will use it for, the best flat bed scanners for your needs will vary. Are you scanning documents or forms? A lower resolution, or DPI, of around 400-600 should do. However, if you need photo quality images, 600-1200 DPI is more appropriate. If you may be scanning a mix of papers and images, you might go for a resolution somewhere in between.
Every pixel of the document or image is scanned but how well depends on the bit depth. A lower bit depth means less detail as a higher bit depth means more. For average use, a 24-bit scanner is good. The best flatbed scanner for producing posters or larger scans or just for better colors and detail is a 30-36 bit.
Again, this property determines how rich the quality of the final image is. Unlike DPI, which determines how crisp the image is, or bit depth, which is how much detail is captured from every pixel, dynamic range determines how many subtleties in the image are picked up. Dynamic range comes with a scale of 0-4 with most scanners falling in the middle. The best flatbed scanner for you will depend on how much quality you desire.
Speed is just how fast the scanner does its job. This is probably not as important to you as the quality of the scanning. However, if you’re in an office environment and scan a lot of documents, you probably don’t want a slow scanner. Again, the best portable flatbed scanner for you will depend on what you use it for.
So what is the best flatbed scanner for you or your office? Aside from browsing electronic stores and checking scanners against what you now know about them, it’s a good idea to look up the review the scanners got from professionals and consumers to see how it holds up over time. If you do a lot of scanning, you want one that will last. What you can expect to pay will depend on the features you choose. Better quality scanners will cost more. So how much you’re willing to pay will depend primarily on how much quality you really want. Whatever your choice, the best flatbed scanner in your case will have the resolution, bit depth, dynamic range, and speed that your scanning needs.