If you don’t need high quality scans and don’t want to spend a lot of money, these more affordable models are the ones to consider. Both are flatbed scanners which could be used to scan photos or documents.
Here are some of the Best Cheap Scanners of 2021:
Nowadays, cheap doesn’t mean low quality. In fact, Epson and Canon are two of the leaders in the flatbed scanner arena and even their lower budget scanners are more than sufficient for most home use needs.
#1 – The Epson Perfection V19 Scanner
The cheapest in the ‘Perfection’ line of Epson scanners, Epson V19 serves only one purpose – affordable but still accurate scans of documents and photos, at a modest throughput. For an average user it’s a perfect combo of price and scanning results.
Although its maximum resolution is stated at 4800 x 4800 dpi, be warned that it significantly prolongs the scanning time. Nonetheless, a third of that resolution is more than enough to achieve great scanning results, and even less than that for text documents, particularly PDF files. When you scan letter-sized documents, the scanning speed is about 10 seconds.
The setup and operation is as easy as it can get, to the point of using a single button. It doesn’t even need a second cable for power as its compact size is energy-efficient enough to only draw power from the included USB cable.
In less than 5 minutes you will be ready to achieve high-quality scans. Its size is a big bonus if you are often on the move; at 17.2 x 3.4 x 12.2 inches weighing merely 3.75 pounds it can be stored in the drawer, put into a laptop bag, or even held up vertically thanks to its in-built kickstand.
When you buy products from well-renowned brands like Epson, you can always count on a wide compatibility range, and the V19 is no exception; it works with Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2 or later, and Mac OS X 10.6.x, 10.7.x, 10.8.x, 10.9.x, 10.10.x.
Further emphasizing convenience, you can remove the top lid in order to scan bulkier family photo albums as a batch of photos, which you can then easily edit in the included software that offers color restoration and artifact/dust removal. For anything more advanced you would have to venture into a more specialized photo-editing software.
As far as integration with online services goes, only Scan-to-Facebook with Easy Photo Scan is available. Scan-to-Cloud is only available from the V39 model, and upwards. But like we mentioned previously, for such an affordable price, the convenience of a few extra clicks can be easily overlooked, and not even counted as a negative.
The top of the ‘Perfection’ line of Epson scanners is almost at a $1000 price range, and V19 is much, much less. This should tell you everything you need to know. If you need:
- Highly portable, compact scanner which doesn’t even need a power cord
- More than good enough quality scans of documents and photos
- Low throughput
…it would be impossible to find a better scanner for this price.
#2 – The Epson Perfection V39 Scanner
Scanners usually come as a part of multifunctional devices that besides scanning offer printing and telefax, but when you have a scanner that does its job exceedingly well, is thin, compact, and highly portable, you would do yourself a disservice to dismiss it.The Epson V39 offers a professional-grade scanning quality for an affordable price.
It is true that you can find even higher quality scanners, but not for that price. Furthermore, what was top of the line just a couple of years ago is now a technology implemented within Epson V39 for a fraction of the price.
In short, all of your scanning needs are covered with Epson V39, with its ultra-high 4800dpi optical resolution and no warm-up time. If you have old photos that you want digitized and preserved for the digital era, with its effectively infinite data redundancy, you could hardly find a better deal.
In addition to having no-compromise scanning capability, Epson V39 is updated to be used with the modern usage in mind. Besides being fully compatible with all the latest Windows and Mac OS versions, you can easily send your scanned material to Facebook, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or any other online cloud service. The included Epson Document Capture Pro and Easy Photo Scan software ensure that all of your scans are effortless and hassle-free. After all, Epson is an old company that has plenty of experience in making their products accessible to average users.
Of course, if you want software that has more professional editing features you would have to go outside the default software bundle that is included, but that can be said for every product of that nature.
Weighing only 3.4 pounds, and measuring 14.4 x 9.9 x 1.5 inches, Epson V39 was designed to be a portable scanning power house. Even if you would want additional functions, like printing, it is hard to pass by its remarkably affordable combination of professional-grade scanning with its light footprint. It even comes with a built-in kickstand for vertical placement.
Buying a Cheap Scanner
So what are you losing by going for a lower priced model?
Well, scan resolution will not be as high as with a higher-priced scanner. You also won’t have the ability to scan formats like film or slides as you have with a good quality photo scanner. Scanning 3-dimensional objects like books is also difficult on these cheaper models as there is no “gutter correction”. The more expensive scanners also tend to come with photo-editing software like Photoshop Elements.
On the plus side, the low-priced scanners listed above tend to be smaller and more compact than their higher-priced cousins. If you are short on cash and desktop space that will work out to your advantage.
Finally, don’t forget mid-priced models which have the pros and cons somewhere between the two extremes discussed here. Canon and Epson scanners are the best place to start.