I was really curious whether I could buy a decent book scanner from Amazon.
Immediately I went to their website to check what I could get. As I was “shopping” around, I suddenly realized this proved difficult even for me.
I consider myself a bit of a book scanner expert. Even so, the offerings seemed a bit confusing and I had to dig deep to understand what I wanted and which model could deliver on its promises.
We will initially list the 4 contenders. For every model, I will try and explain why we chose to evaluate it.
|Scanner Model||Scanning Size||Resolution||Scanning Speed||Price|
|1||Czur ET16 Plus||16.5 × 11.7 inch||280||1.5 seconds||Check the Price on Amazon|
|2||Fujitsu Scansnap SV600||17.0 x 11.8 inch||280||2 seconds||Check the Price on Amazon|
|3||Czur ET18||16.5 × 11.7 inch||280||1.5 seconds||Check the Price on Amazon|
|4||Czur M3000 Pro||16.5 × 11.7 inch||300||1.2 seconds||Check the Price on Amazon|
|5||Czur Aura||16.5 × 11.7 inch||240||2 seconds||Check the Price on Amazon|
What WE look for in a book scanner
From the start, I have to admit that I had to switch my focus from professional scanners for books to devices more suited to office use.
Professional book scanners are not yet available on Amazon, and it could stay that way for a while.
Without further talk, here are the main aspects we took into account when evaluating our options:
- Ease of use – We prefer scanning books or documents face up. This means the book is sitting down all the time and we are just flipping pages.
- Scanning Resolution – While we are more into professional scanning, we know that scanning at over 300dpi just doesn’t make much sense. Yes, there are some odd situations in which you have to, but it doesn’t happen very often.
- Overall scanning quality – The quality of scanned images is much more than resolution. Brightness and contrast values are sometimes more important. Having a good color consistency is also quite critical.
- Software – Everybody loves software. But when you scan 300+ pages and it takes you a while, any software crash will set you back. Not to mention you will be totally frustrated.
- How long will the scanner last – The thing with scanning books is that you scan a lot of pages at a time. Even when you have been in the industry for a long time, it’s still surprising how labor intensive it is. It is the same for the scanning equipment.
How to use a book scanner and where
This might seem like a stupid question given that it is called a book scanner. Given that these machines are more suited for personal or office use, I will give you the main areas where customers use them.
- Scanning books – This is probably the main area of focus before you buy the scanner. All in all, these machines are focused on scanning bound documents and books are the most notorious out of them.
- Office bound documents – Things like binders and folders are the main items that will be scanned in office environments. It’s just easy to take a folder, throw it on the table, hit scan and send the images.
- Small flat objects – Yes, some people will scan small flat objects. This is not a 3d scanner so don’t expect miracles. But it will scan a flat surface in a decent manner.
- Other office documents – A lot of the users are using this kind of scanner instead of multifunctional devices. They just lay a flat document, hit scan and send the document via email.
Book scanner prices on Amazon
From the get-go, I will warn you that in my mind I still focus on professional book scanners. These cost tenths of thousands of dollars, so please forgive me if I will say that a 1000 dollar scanner is cheap.
From what I’ve seen, this kind of scanner will start around 200 dollars and go up to 1500 dollars.
The thing is to see what you are getting for what you are paying. If you are spending 1000 dollars, you should expect better quality and productivity, then what you are getting from a 200 dollar scanner.
At the same time, you have to understand what you will be scanning. If you don’t need high quality and just want to scan and send, then you should not be paying 1000 dollars for this machine.
How do the 3 book scanner compare
To compare the 3 book scanners, we will try and use our list of things we want in a book scanner.
We will also include extra features that the scanners have and could be of use to you.
Ease of use
Fujitsu Scansnap SV600 – This book scanners works face up, just like the other two scanners in this article. You just flip the pages and hit scan. When you get better and faster at scanning, you can actually select the interval scanning. This means once every few seconds, the equipment will start scanning automatically.
- This is the only overhead book scanner made by a large scanner manufacturer.
- It is a bit more expensive than the Czur model.
- The fact that it’s a brand product helps when it comes to warranty and support
CZUR ET16 Plus – Just like the Fujitsu this is a face-up scanner. Scans two pages at a time. The user turns the page and hits the scan button. Czur has included a system that automatically detects when you turn the page and starts scanning automatically. This is a nice feature, but sometimes it can lead to false detection and double scans.
- This model has caught traction these last years.
- It is not the cheapest and not the most expensive scanner.
- We see it has a lot of reviews, especially from Amazon customers.
Koolertron Professional – Same like the other two models, all you have to do with this scanner is to flip the pages. Mind you, the camera system on this isn’t as good as the other two models. Still, when considering ease of use, they all work just about the same way.
Scanning Resolution for books
Fujitsu Scansnap SV600 – While Fujitsu claims the scanner will scan even at 600dpi, you have to know that this resolution is interpolated. If you want to learn more about the difference between optical resolution and interpolated resolution we have a good article on choosing the scanning resolution. Going back to the matter, this scanner has an optical resolution of around 280dpi. This will give you decent results, and we think you should not go above it anyway.
CZUR ET16 Plus – The Czur scanner has roughly the same optical scanning resolution. Both will scan your A3 book or document at around 280dpi. The difference is that the CZUR is using an area CMOS sensor and Fujitsu a linear CCD sensor. We always say that linear CCD sensors will yield better scanning results. This means the image will have far better consistency over the entire surface of the scan. At the same time, there should not be significant differences, but they will still be noticeable.
Koolertron Professional – The Koolertron uses a 3624 by 2448 pixel sensor. Roughly it should be 8 megapixels. This means the scanning resolution for an A3 is almost half compared to the other two. It will work ok for quick snaps and scans, but don’t expect high-resolution scanning. Even the two models above will struggle for high-resolution scanning, not to mention the Koolertron Professional.
Overall scanning quality
Fujitsu Scansnap SV600 – We have worked with this Fujitsu scanner in the past. It is an interesting equipment but we never offer it to the customers that want to do archival scanning. The scanning principle is correct, linear CCD with a decent sensor. But at the end of the day, we would not really recommend it for more than office work or scanning at home.
CZUR ET16 Plus – The Czur is more or less in the same league as the Fujitsu when it comes to scanning quality. It’s a good machine, but it’s not a high-resolution book scanner. Its purpose is to serve the demand of archives, companies, and individuals who want to capture information from a book, and pass it on to other co-workers. This is actually the main purpose of these machines.
Koolertron Professional – It’s the same story with this machine. We always thought this equipment would be great in an educational environment. As classrooms are going digital, it’s great to have a scanner that can quickly take snaps from a book and display pages on a larger screen. Or even sending students some scans from that book.
The Book Scanning Software
Fujitsu Scansnap SV600 – In theory at least, the Fujitsu scanner should have the best scanning software for books out of the 3 models we are evaluating. It’s more or less intuitive, but if you have never scanned books before, you will need a bit of time to get used to it. Curvature correction, deskew and finger removal are all features this software has. You will easily understand why such options are necessary, but it will take a bit of time to learn your way around it.
CZUR ET16 Plus – It’s the same story with the software of the CZUR scanner. One interesting feature it has is the Virtual Presenter option, which transforms the books scanner into a virtual projector. This is a really nice feature for classrooms and conference environments. One thing I am worried about is the overall support for the software and possible bug fixes. This might prove a challenge with a smaller manufacturer. At the same time, I have seen smaller companies launching more updates lately, so I might be wrong about this.
Koolertron Professional – This software is definitely not as good as the other two. But at the same time, it offers capabilities that you would expect from such a book scanner. I am not sure if their version of book curvature correction works. Still, if you see this machine as more of a virtual projector, you will be fine. And the software has just about all the features you need to use it for this purpose.
If I were to buy one of these equipment, I would choose between the Scansnap SV600 or the CZUR.
They both provide more or less the same features and the same scanning quality. There is nothing to choose between the two when it comes to price, as most likely it will depend where you buy them from.
Personally I still prefer the Fujitsu model, as it comes with warranty from a well known brand. Fujitsu is known for the quality of the products, therefore I would stick to it.
Still, the CZUR provides good value, and should not be neglected in the buying process.
While the Czur ET16 Plus is an entry level book scanner, the Czur Aura scanner is nothing more than a document camera that you can scan for snapping book pages.
Their scanning area is more or less identical, but the differences are in terms of quality and speed. The scanning speed for the ET16 Plus is a bit faster than the scanning speed of the Aura, but just by a little bit.
The scanning area is also identical, but the Czur ET16 Plus will achieve 280dpi for a size of A3. If you don’t really care about the resolution, they both scan just about the same size.
While the scanning engines for both the Czur M3000 and the ET16 Plus are nearly identical, there are some mechanical differences.
The Czur M3000 comes with an angled book holder, that allows you to scan more fragile books, or books that can’t be fully opened.
This option sounds great in theory, but from my point of view it’s rather useless. The angle is too wide and most books that open this wide will open all the way.
Therefore, if for no further spec differences, I would rather stick to the CZUR ET16 plus than pay extra for the M3000.
You can click to check the price on Amazon for the Czur ET16 Plus .
What book scanner should you buy
I guess it all depends on your needs. But our recommendation is based on the following criteria :
- Brand product and proven support – If you want to know you have bought a product that the manufacturer will support over the years, then clearly the Fujitsu Scansnap SV600 should be your choice. While the CZUR is an interesting prospect, it is too early to judge where the company will be in a couple of years.
- Best price-performance compromise – In this case, the CZUR should be your choice. This equipment has more or less the same features and specs as the Fujitsu SV600. If you are less worried about support and updates, then this machine should work just fine. It costs a bit less than the Fujitsu, and in theory, they do just about the same thing. Plus you get the Virtual Presenter option that the Fujitsu doesn’t offer.
- Virtual Projector – If you are looking for a virtual projector that can also take snapshots of documents or book pages then the Koolertron Professional should be your choice. It does all these things at a price point which makes the purchase a no-brainer. The resolution should be decent enough for this purpose and it’s not worth spending hundreds more on the CZUR scanner.
If it’s our choice, we would definitely get the Fujitsu Scansnap SV600. We love the constant updates we get to the software, plus we can buy with SWAP warranty extension.
As long as you are not doing archival scanning and expect high-quality scanning, you won’t be disappointed with your decision.