Scanners

Forewarned is forearmed - have your answers READY!

The best way to ensure that you buy the right scanner is to have more answers than questions.

Make a check list

Whether you are buying for the home or the business, the salesman will probably ask you at least some of the following questions - which you should have the answers for:

  • What tasks do you need the scanner to perform?
  • What type of computer do you use? (i.e., PC or Mac)
  • What is the configuration of the computer to which the scanner will be attached? (i.e., CPU, RAM, hard disk, etc.)
  • Which operating system do you use? (e.g., Windows XP, Mac OSX, Linux)
  • Which types of documents or items do you wish to scan? (i.e., pictures, slides, transparencies, books, documents, forms)
  • How many scans do you expect to do per week?
  • Who will be using the scanner? (i.e., novice, professional, student)

Have some background information memorised or close to hand. The following part of the guide is a brief overview of commonly available scanner technologies, what they do, how they work, and their associated options and software.

Common types of scanners

Handheld Barcode - as used at supermarket checkouts and in warehousing.

Flatbed Scanner - looks like the top of a photocopier - found in homes and offices

Slide Scanners - dedicated scanners for scanning transparencies and slides - as used by print shops, graphics artists and photography buffs

Drum Scanners - Super high resolution, very expensive technology used by professional print shops and pre-press industry

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?