Portable Scanners

Life moves fast and having portable equipment has become an absolute necessity.  Do you recall the days of being confined by a cord plugged into the wall when using the phone?  Remember sitting down at a desk with a computer monitor and tower to complete your assignments?  The digital revolution has increased the pace of life, personal and work, so manufacturers are making equipment that can go on the move with us, and even scanners are going portable.

There are many types of scanners on the market, but many are designed exclusively for office use.  Portable scanners come in various shapes and sizes, but are designed to allow you to scan a document when you are out and about.  In comparison to scanners attached to all-in-one machines, such as the Brother MFC-9840, these devices are miniature.  There are two primary styles of portable scanner: a machine scanner with a paper path and an internal scanning mechanism, and a wand or pen, which is simply waved over the document.

Machine Scanners

Sheet-fed Portable ScannerThere are various shapes and sizes of this type of scanner.  Some are just about as small as the wand scanner, while others have a little more bulk but still are considered mobile.  The sheet-fed portable scanners actually have a paper path with an internal scanning mechanism that reads the text or image as the page is pulled through.  These types of scanners operate in the same manner as standard sheet-fed scanners, they are just designed to be travel companions.

Flatbed Scanners

Portable Flatbed ScannerPortable flatbed scanners are also available for anyone looking to print photos or high-quality graphics while on the road. Older models were light enough to carry, but were not nearly as portable as they are now.  Mobile flatbeds scanners are thin and sleek, combining a modern design with high-quality scanning.

Pen & Wand Scanners

When it comes to innovative technology trends, these devices are literally handheld scanners.  Some of the smaller ones will be able to fit right into your pocket, while others can slide right into your purse or laptop case.  Though primarily designed to scan text documents, some higher-end wand and pen scanners also have the ability to scan full color images.

Pen Scanner

A pen scanner is similar to a wand, but on a smaller scale. It is used like a pen, but instead of writing with ink, it is scanning the words.

Wand Scanner

A wand scanner is closely and slowly waved over a document, such as a newspaper article, and automatically scans it.












Here is a quick video on how to use a wand scanner (pen scanners will have a very similar operation):


With so many options of portable scanners on the market, it is often hard to decide which one is the most ideal for you.  The wand scanner will be the most convenient and easily mobile.  The sheet-fed scanner will provide the speed often required in a business setting.  The flatbed scanner will provide the exceptional quality and detail required for complex graphics and images.


Robyn Warner
Robyn Warner has been writing since she learned how to hold a pen. She wrote her first book of poems before the age of 10. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal in her 30s is to use her writing to inspire fellow cancer survivors and have a job that gives her the flexibility to live anywhere and never wear shoes.

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