A receipt scanner serves a two-fold purpose— one it ends the need to carry papers everywhere and two it cuts back on paper simply lying around taking up space.
Here’s how it does that. It scans physical documents and makes it easy for you to share those with anyone. Keeping records of your purchases has never been easier. Be it photos of your loved ones or a tax related document, these nifty little device can scan all of them in high resolution.
I had the habit of misplacing important documents all over the place. However with this new piece of technology— keeping receipts, grocery bills, documents, employment papers, invoices, business cards, payroll receipts, employee documents, and bills in one accessible place has never been easier.
Less papers results in lesser carbon footprint. You are not only making your life easier but also taking care of the environment. If you are on the move and need a copy of documents then these scanners can come in handy.
There are different products available from different companies. Here’s a quick overview of the best among them. After reading this post you will not only be able to determine which mobile scanner has all the right features but also which one would be the best fit for you.
A receipt scanner is a software or device that digitizes physical documents.
They capture data from receipts, bills, documents, papers and also keep a digital image of the original document. The captured data can be transferred to various third party programs like tax software, expense calculators, excel, word file or even searchable pdf file.
The detail with which the tool captures data will depend on the accuracy of the OCR and quality of the device as a whole. Here are reviews on 10 of them for you to read.
A good document scanner scans the material you feed it and turns the data from the physical format to searchable pdf format. They have OCR- Optical Character Recognition technology built into them to that end. Based on how good the OCR is, you will find better veracity for the data. Any good scanner should have above 90% accuracy and ideally 100%. That’s all there to it. Based on how accurately you’re able to reproduce the material with any given scanner the better it is barring a few other points
A good point of reference is the page speed per minute which the manufacturer lists on the product page. But real-world speeds depend on a range of factors. Also, see if the scanner works in duplex or simplex mode. With simplex mode you can only scan one side of the page at a time, requiring you to feed the paper twice. Duplex mode chucks of that limitation.
Some ultra-portable models lack Automatic Document Feeder technology requiring you to hand-feed each piece of paper which is quite taxing.
So, let’s jump to how we tested the different models to arrive at the best ones:
To test the portable document scanners at hand we fed each of them a set stack with fixed number of papers. These paper stacks were printed in serif and sans serif fonts. After feeding the paper we set them to create editable pdf files and measured the time it took for each scanner to finish the work.
Other than the time, we measured if there was any noticeable difference when using the scanners with AC power and wi-fi. And if we faced any wi-fi connectivity issues.
Here are the test results.
On speed the Epson DS30 stood between 20 to 22 pages per minute. The Fujitso scanner scored a second place at 15 pages per minute.
Most of the scanners in our list have a 20 page limit which is what we recommend in real-world application.
The DS30 produced a 100% accurate replica of the document when we used the ABYY software. Using the Epson software the accuracy dropped to 92%. Fujitso was a close second. Brother Scanner scored a dismal 75%.
For receipt scanning even with the automatic feeder enabled we loaded receipts one by one. Both Epson s300w and DS30 scored well.
Both Fujitso and Epson scanners last as long as the company specified battery life times.
Fujitso’s ScanSnap can be rightly called a two-in-one wonder. It’s one among the smallest double sided portable scanner. It’s also fully compatible across both PC and Mac.
Weighing just around 4.8 pounds, the device comes in two colors- Black and Silver.
The tool not only replicates images and documents in high quality but also organizes them neatly.
I will shortly explain the two sets of features separately.
You can scan photos of your family or use this tool in your office or business to take digital copies of relevant documents and store them safely. You can carry all your files with you wherever you go and never arrive ill-prepared.
Another feature that I love about Fujitso ScanSnap s1300i is its integration with online services.
You can easily upload the scanned documents to file sharing sites like Google Drive, Evernote and scores of other similar services.
Some powerful features are the automated image processing functions like Auto Skew correction, auto orientation and automatic color detection. If you mistakenly scan documents the incorrect way, this device automatically straightens it out.
You can throw pretty much anything at it to be scanned like thick business cards, thin cards, receipts of various descriptions etc. and it would come out right.
Towards the organization feature— the device will automatically detect paper size, color of the text and will further auto crop it. The device also allows hassle free export of the scanned files as word, excel or pdf files. Once scanning is done, selectable quick menu pops up with multiple options. Clicking on the desired option sets the scanning intention and proceeds accordingly.
You can also change the default options to the ones that you use the most. If you tend to print double sided documents the most then you can set it as a default option thus saving you time.
Additionally, you can get ready to edit word documents, excel sheets or PPT slides. The integrated ABBYY FineReader software enables that.
Here’s a quick overview of the features.
Brother DS 620 isn’t heavy on your pocket despite supporting color printing. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest scanners available in the market today.
Weighing just 1 pound with a length of 11.5 inches, this is an extremely compact and lightweight machine.
But it’s a scanner best fit for occasional use.
Often falling short of expectations when it comes to heavy usage, the DS-620 won’t serve you well for consistent business use.
You can scan different documents, receipts and photographs with this device. It digitizes documents and photographs with good fidelity.
The features are nothing outstanding when compared to other mobile scanners. However, it’s a good device to store away your documents and files.
The area where it falls short is it doesn’t always pick up every piece of information from the document. If your document has many details and each of them needs to be perfectly replicated as is, then the DS 620 won’t be ideal.
You might just end up supplementing at least some blanks that the tool wasn’t able to fill.
On the exporting end, the device can export documents as Microsoft office formats like Word and excel and also as searchable pdf.
The scan resolutions stand at 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution (interpolated) and 600 x 600 dpi (optical), with speeds up to 8 ppm. The maximum capacity is one sheet at a time.
While document and business card scanner softwares come freely integrated with the device that’s not the case for receipt scanner software which must be purchased separately.
Even then, it isn’t the best software and leaves much desired.
NeatReceipts is a great product for scanning documents and editing data.
Among all the devices seen so far, this one is the lightest and the most compact.
It’s especially useful for preparing accounts and tax statements as it integrates all the data from receipts and bills into excel sheets or tax software automatically. This makes creating expense reports a breeze.
You need not run around at the last minute creating tax statements for IRS. Everything is done for you. Well Almost.
It scans and impeccably organizes data into a digital filing cabinet.
Needless to say about the amount of time it would save you.
It also supports tools and software like TurboTax, Quickbooks and Quicken. With the desktop app, you first send the data to the app and then sync it with the different tools and software like Quickbooks. Same goes for the Cloud version of the app.
The present problems with the tool are on the software end— especially the Cloud version of the app.
Over the years the device supported its desktop application on PC and Mac. At the moment they bent on replacing the desktop application with the Cloud app which is buggy. The cloud version called NeatCloud and comes with a 30-day trial when you purchase the device.
After 30 days you need to pay a premium to access the cloud tool. It costs a yearly subscription of $80. The desktop version is available but the kicker is that it isn’t supported anymore. There are no upgrades lined up for the desktop version.
If you face a problem, you’re stuck with it. The image quality is poor as well. It’s excellent for scanning data but not so much for photographs.
Here’s what’s under the hood—Neat Mobile Scanner, Neat software installation CD, USB cable, protective pouch, scanner calibration and cleaning paper, Quick Start Guide.
The LiDE120 is a cheap yet effective scanner that replicates photos and documents with excellent clarity and truth to detail.
Canon’s LiDE120 Color Image scanner lets you scan photos and documents with relative ease.
You can also directly upload scanned photos and documents to Cloud sharing services like Evernote or DropBox.
Photo scanning is relatively easy and provides a great output with the scanner’s optical resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi. It works well even for old photos and provides great fidelity when digitizing them.
Another great feature is the automatic document fixing— it offers area-by-area data correction and image analysis not frequently seen in other scanners.
Scanning, copying, sending to cloud or creating a pdf gets done is minutes with the four dedicated EZ Buttons built for the purpose.
The DS-30 is a portable scanner from Epson that fits like a USB device to your pc/laptop, scans and uploads documents directly to the cloud.
It supports scanning of documents and business cards whose dimensions are up to 8.5″ x 14”. The scanned data can be turned into editable text as well.
The software allows direct upload of scanned files to Cloud based file sharing services, to emails and searchable PDFs.
There are a wide variety of correction tools available. The device automatically removes punch hole marks from scanned documents. The documents are auto-sized and image skew is corrected.
AC power isn’t required to power the device. It can run as a USB powered device.
DS-30 additionally enhances image and color accuracy, recognizes Black-and-White and Grayscale thus enhancing OCR accuracy.
The software that powers the device are as follows— Epson Document Capture Pro, ABBYY FineReader for changing scanned text into editable format and NewSoft PageManager (Mac).
Doxie’s automatic mobile scanner makes the case for true mobility. It has a rechargeable battery inside which implies that a computer or wall outlet is not needed for charging when travelling.
It has wi-fi integrated which makes transferring files across devices easier. It also comes with its own set of PC, ios, Mac apps.
You can insert up to 8 full color pages at once and hit scan. The automatic paper feeder takes care of everything. You need not actively monitor it unlike other scanners. Compared to most flatbed scanners this device scans at least 4 times fast.
There’s also a direct feed slot that scans— photos, receipts, cards, and other fragile items.
The most incredible thing about Doxie Q is its brilliant software that integrates with a large number of third party apps.
You can synchronize scans either with the USB cable provided or with Wi-Fi to your PC or Mac with their respective apps. Or send it to file-sharing sites like Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, iCloud Drive. You can also sync directly to your iPhone or iPad. The ABBYY fine reader technology converts scanned text to editable text.
Inside the box you will find 8 GB SD memory card, rechargeable battery, USB cable, worldwide power adapter, accessory kit etc.
The Epson WorkForce ES-200 is a beast among portable document scanners. It’s built on great software that can be customized to however you want it. It scans double side documents and can do 25 or more pages per minute.
It’s also light-weight weighing just 2.9 pounds and is under 11.4 inches in length.
ES-200 has one of the fastest scan speeds at 25 pages per minute. You can put business cards, grocery receipts, tax documents, bills etc. at it and it won’t complain. It allows for quick scanning of batches of papers and supports up to 20 papers in one go.
Not only does it do that. It comes with all the little bells and whistles like scanning directly to file sharing services like DropBox, Google Drive, Evernote, OneNote, SugarSync and Sharepoint.
It supports charging from either the provided AC adapter or the USB cable. However the laptop/pc must have USB 3.0 port for the device to be able to be connected.
On the exporting end you get the output as editable word, excel or searchable pdf files.
The resolution is 600*600dpi which is a bit on the lower end compared to other similarly priced devices.
The entire suite of software included is as follows: Epson Scan, Epson Document Capture Pro, ABBYY FineReader OCR, NewSoft Presto! BizCard.
When reviewing the ES 200 I also came across the ES300 which isn’t all too different from the former. However there are certainly few features that set the ES 300 apart.
The ES 300 isn’t priced too far away from ES 200 but for the slightly higher price you also get wireless connectivity. This takes ease of use to a whole new level.
It weighs just 2.9 pounds and is under 11.4 inches in length.
It shares most features like double page scanning, color scanning, 25 ppm scan speed, 20 page auto feeder but at the same time you can wirelessly send the scanned data over to file sharing services.
Doxie Go plus as the name implies fulfills all criteria for truly mobile portable scanner.
With its rechargeable battery, you can carry it everywhere and use it even inside your car.
Scanning of full color pages at 600dpi takes just 8 seconds. The time factor is higher than other similarly priced scanners. It comes with built-in internal memory which can store up to 450 pages of scanned documents.
The app that comes with the device directly syncs the scanned images/files to file sharing sites like Google Drive, OneDrive, Evernote etc.
The scan resolution can be adjusted between 300 and 600 dpi. There are auto correct features too— ranging from auto adjust that auto crops the documents, de-skews and adds contrast as relevant..
There’s also a wireless version of the same.
It sports all the features of Go Plus along with wireless connectivity. The Doxie app lets you sync scans Wi-Fi to your PC/laptop and works across Mac and Windows.
It’s an affordably priced wireless double page color scanner. Compared to other scanners the DS-920 offers a lot at this price range.
It scans one-side documents at 8 pages per minute and duplex sheets at 5 pages per minute. 4GB SD Memory Card included
The maximum supported dimensions for the most common type documents are 8.5″ x 32″.
It’s very lightweight weighing under 1 pound with a length of only 12.5”. The optical scanning resolution stands at 600 x 6000dpi with interpolated scanning at 1200dipi.
DS-920 comes with BR-Receipts software which makes integration with Quickbooks and Quicken possible at the touch of a button.
The supported drivers are TWAIN and SAN which are industry recognized.
Should you upgrade?
Scanners have a comparatively long shelf-life and will last for many years. If you have a scanner that’s already working well then you shouldn’t be bothering to upgrade it anytime soon.
So there you have the list of the best receipt scanners. Choose one that meets your needs. If you need consistent use then a scanner that has consistent software will be best for you.
If you just like scanning some family photos then a scanner with good resolution but easy on the pocket would best suit your needs.
Do let us know what you think in the comments below.