Often when there is a review or article about the Fujitsu ScanSnap, there are commenters saying that they already have a multifunction all-in-one or flatbed scanner, so why would they need to pay for something that just scans?
I’ve decided to outline some of the pros and cons of each.
- Often cheaper – You can usually find a multifunction or flatbed scanner for much less money than a ScanSnap
- Can scan books/3D Objects – Since it’s flatbed, if you can put it on the scanner you can scan it. The ScanSnap can only scan flat things
- TWAIN compatible – Most of these scanners are TWAIN compatible, which the ScanSnap is not. This means you can initiate the scan from other applications
- Manual unless you have a document feeder type – Many flatbed scanners do not have a document feeder, or even if they do you have to manually flip the paper over to scan both sides.
- Flat – Because the ScanSnap’s paper path is not 100% straight, if you are scanning photos etc. it may be better to do it on a flatbed
- Scans both pages at same time – Don’t underestimate the usefulness of this. When you have a lot of paper to go through, having to do just one pass and bring in both sides at once can be a huge time-saver
- Discards blank pages – When you are doing double-sided scanning, having it discard blank pages automatically is both a time and a space saver
- Handles different size paper – With some flatbed/multifunctions, in the rare case where they have a document feeder, you have to have all the paper the same size when you feed in a stack. The ScanSnap will handle a stack of different sized pages no problem.
- Smaller footprint – Depending on whether you get the desktop model like the S1500 or a portable one S300, it is 1/3 or more smaller than a flatbed
- Portable versions can power from USB – If you have the S300 or S300M, you can run it off the USB instead of plugging it into the wall. This can be handy if you need to be portable or want to scan somewhere where a plug isn’t handy
- Incredibly easy to use with 1 button – Again, don’t underestimate the usefulness here. If something is not simple you (or at least I) won’t do it on a regular basis. Throwing the paper in and hitting a button is as simple as it gets.
So which is better, a ScanSnap or an all-in-one?
Like most things, it depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to scan lots of books or photos, a flatbed is probably a better choice. Something like the Canon MX850 is probably good, because it at least has a document feeder for those times you do want to scan some paper.
However, if you are wanting to scan documents on a regular basis, my personal opinion is that a Fujitsu ScanSnap is the way to go. The speed, ease of use, and included software will make a big difference.
Have I forgotten any pros and cons for either? Leave a comment and let us know.