These are the best portable photo scanners of 2020

You do not need a big flatbed scanner that will take up half your desk for digitizing your family photos anymore. We present to you the best portable photo scanners

They are small, light and just as powerful. And the best part? They are so much faster and fun to use than a flatbed. You can carry them around with you anywhere and digitize on the go

Here is our list of the best portable scanners for photos.
These are the best portable photo scanners  of 2020
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Our choice

Doxie GO SE

Doxie GO SE
7 IPMA4USB8.5 in. x 30 in. (215 x 762 mm)No1.3 lb. (0.59 kg)Click for more info

Epson ES-60W

Epson ES-60W
15 IPMA4USB 2.0, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n8.5 in. x 72 in. (215 x 1828 mm)No0.66 lb. (0.3 kg)Click for more info

Vupoint ST 470

Vupoint ST 470
6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 125 in. (215 x 3175 mm)No2.8 lb. (1.27 kg)Click for more info

Brother DS-720D

Brother DS-720D
10.6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 32 in. (215 x 812 mm)No1.1 lb. (0.49 kg)Click for more info

Canon imageFORMULA P-215

Canon imageFORMULA P-215
30 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.0, USB 3.08.5 in. x 39.4 in. (215 x 1000 mm)Yes2.2 lb. (0.99 kg)Click for more info


Let’s have a look at each product in particular.

Doxie GO SE

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Doxie GO SE

Doxie GO SE
7 IPMA4USB8.5 in. x 30 in. (215 x 762 mm)No1.3 lb. (0.59 kg)Click for more info
The Doxie GO SE is the first scanner in our list. It’s not as fast as the other scanners in this comparison. It scans images at a rate of 7 images per minute while the average scanner that we featured here can digitize 10. So speed is not on the Doxie Go’s side. It’s an A4 format scanner with a 600dpi resolution. The 600 dpi will be more than enough for scanning good quality photos.

You can connect the Doxie GO to your PC with it’s integrated USB port and it can digitize documents that are even 30 inches long. It’s not a duplex scanner, but neither are most of the scanners we talk about here. The only duplex scanner here is the Brother DS-720.

The integrated auto color detection will help the Doxie GO distinguish between color and black & white photos and automatic image rotation helps you by not having to worry in which way you put the photos into the scanner. Even if they are upside down, the scanner will automatically rotate them. There is also an auto-crop feature integrated into it, which will get rid of the black space around your photos, cropping them clean. Deskew is the last of the integrated image enhancement functions that the scanner has.

Doesn’t matter if the photos are skewed, even if it’s is as little as 1 degree, the software will correct them. No punch hole removal installed on the Doxie GO SE though. The Doxie GO SE comes with integrated OCR, however it doesn’t have an ADF tray, so you will have to manually feed the photos.

It is worth mentioning that this is our favourite scanner in this category.




Pros: It’s really light and it has auto image rotation and auto deskew.

Cons: Slow speed and not as compact.

Epson ES-60W

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Epson ES-60W

Epson ES-60W
15 IPMA4USB 2.0, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n8.5 in. x 72 in. (215 x 1828 mm)No0.66 lb. (0.3 kg)Click for more info
The Epson ES-60W is the second scanner on our list. It is far faster than the Doxie GO because it has the ability to scan 15 images per minute. It’s also like the Doxie, a 600dpi scanner with the capacity to scan A4 formats. However, the ES-60W portable document scanner has something extra to offer, wireless connectivity. Also, the scanner is capable of scanning very long documents, up to even 72 inches. It doesn’t have duplex, but then just 2 of the scanners that we feature here have it. And since photos are not duplex I wouldn’t consider this as being a disadvantage.

The integrated auto color detection will help the scanner decide if it’s dealing with a grayscale or a color photograph and treat them in different ways. Auto crop also will make sure that you don’t have any black space around your scan, even if the photo is really small. The scanner is smart and it’s going to tell if you fed the photo upside down and automatically rotate it.

It lacks a background removal feature, but bear in mind that that feature is good for documents and will not help in photos. Usually when we want to scan just photos in our digitizing center, we turn that function off because it distorts the bright colors, thinking that for example a cloudy sky is actually background. It comes with punch hole removal which is completely useless for photo scanning but there you go. The scanner also has an OCR feature with the Scan Software and I do recommend you use this. For sure, you’re not going to scan just photos with it and it’s important to have great OCR.

It’s small and at just 0.66 lbs it’s such a light scanner and the nice thing about it is that it lets you scan to your cloud storage with the Epson ScanSmart software.

Vupoint ST 470

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Vupoint ST 470

Vupoint ST 470
6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 125 in. (215 x 3175 mm)No2.8 lb. (1.27 kg)Click for more info
The 3rd scanner we’ll be covering here is the VuPoint ST 470 (Yes, the makers of the Magic Wand Portable scanner), one of the most interesting photo scanners with feeder. This one is the slowest among the ones listed here with a scan speed of just 6 Images per minute. It’s also A4 like the other ones that we covered, but it has a little party piece: A 1200dpi optical resolution. That’s a lot and it will make a difference in photo and document scanning. However, in my humble opinion, sensors from Epson and Canon and the larger manufacturers have more dynamic range, so it’s not just the megapixels. For example, the Moire effect that appears in scanned photos can be toned down if you fiddle with the resolution options (It’s just a thing of maths, complicated to explain). So the more resolution options you have the better chance you are going to get to a good result in terms of scan quality.

It has just a regular 2.0 USB port and no wireless connectivity. VuPoint however states that it can scan things that are 125 inches long. I personally do not believe that is realistically possible because you would have to feed the paper perfectly straight through the feeder. So if the paper is as wide as an A4, after 2 meters it might crumple inside the scanner and break. But if it’s narrower it will forgive you.

It doesn’t have duplex and like I mentioned before, you won’t miss it. But you will miss the auto image deskew and auto image rotation features, both of which are not present on this scanner and I cannot understand how that is possible in 2020, but there you go. It’s also considerably heavier than some of the scanners here at 2.8 lb.

By this point I would like to mention the fact that these scanners don’t digitize film negatives, only photos. For that we recommend a specialized Slide and Negative scanner. One cool thing about the VuPoint Solutions ST 470 is that you can scan directly to an SD memory card. They even provide one in the package. Another cool thing is that you can supercharge your productivity by buying an autofeed docking station for it.

Brother DS-720D

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Brother DS-720D

Brother DS-720D
10.6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 32 in. (215 x 812 mm)No1.1 lb. (0.49 kg)Click for more info
The next scanner in our line-up is the Brother DS-720D. As far as speed is concerned, it’s right in the middle. Not great, not terrible. It’s sensor can do just 600dpi, but you will find that most of the time it’s more than enough.

You can connect this one to your PC with it’s USB 2.0 port and you cannot connect it using WiFi because well…it doesn’t have it. What it does have is a duplex mode. That’s nice to know, because when you will be using it for document scans(and you will, your family archive can only have so many photos before this device will be repurposed). If you have had a scanner or printer with manual duplex you will appreciate this feature.

For some reason, Brother didn’t equip this scanner with the intelligent enhancement features, also know as ICE technology that we find on the Epson, which I find to be a huge minus for image quality and the fact that there is no ADF tray makes it quite disappointing. It is a light scanner though at just 1.1 lbs.

As with the other scanners listed here, you won’t be able to use it to scan negatives and slides (for that you need a scanner with a film holder that is specialized for film and slide scanning), but you will be able to easily scan 4×6 photos

Canon imageFORMULA P-215

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Canon imageFORMULA P-215

Canon imageFORMULA P-215
30 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.0, USB 3.08.5 in. x 39.4 in. (215 x 1000 mm)Yes2.2 lb. (0.99 kg)Click for more info
If you want fast scanning, look no further than the Canon ImageFormula P-215. It can scan almost 30 images per minute (We say almost because spec speed doesn’t always translate into real speed, but it basically means really quick scans). That’s faster than anything that we have reviewed in this article. Format-wise and resolution-wise it’s business as usual, 600dpi for high-quality scanning (You can scan pictures at 600dpi and they will come out very nice) and A4.

Canon could have fitted this with Wi-fi connectivity, but instead they went for USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 port. In my opinion, all the speed that you gain with the USB port you lose looking for the cables. It’s a duplex scanner (which we like) and it can scan documents that are up to 40 inches long (which we’re not really impressed about).

Another thing that we like are the image enhancement features. It’s got it all from automatic deskew (which will straighten pictures even if they are slightly skewed by as much as 2-3 degrees) and automatic color detection, which will tell if you are scanning a black & white photo or a color one. Worth mentioning that it includes software for OCR.

It’s got a major advantage though over the other scanners: A full ADF tray. Yes, you can just stack the photos in the tray and push a button and the scanner will work it’s magic. It’s rechargeable battery will last for about 400 scans.


If it were us, we would just get the Doxie Go but we have to admit that each scanner has it’s own party piece. The VuPoint has that 1200dpi sensor for example which is really nice but it lacks in speed and it’s so heavy. When we selected our favourite, we looked a lot at what people think after 6 months of using the device and Doxie Go just won in reliability and customer satisfaction. That makes it our favourite as well. You might be asking yourself why didn’t we include models like the Epson Perfection V600 or the Epson FastFoto FF680W or the Epson Perfection V370 or maybe some Canon CanoScan lide220 model. The problem with those is that we don’t consider them to be trully portable (Not even the FlipPal mobile scanner). They are lightweight cordless flatbed photo scanners. Portable for us would be something that you can easily fit in a small bag and that you can use to easily scan a photo. We will however be doing a review in the future of the Pandigital Personal Photo Scanner Converter. Worth noting that this is not really the only way to scan physical copies. There are other portable devices with good scanning capability. Mirrorless cameras can also do the job, but certainly not as good as the CCD sensors built into these scanners.
Our Score

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