We selected the Best Flatbed Scanners for your Mac in 2020

If you have a Mac and you want to buy a flatbed scanners you first need to make sure that it’s compatible as most scanners work with Windows but not all with OS X. We researched the Top Flatbed Scanners for Mac and any device running the Mac OS operating system

Here is our roundup of the Best Flatbed Scanners for Mac, based on specs, performance, value for money and customer ratings.
We selected the Best Flatbed Scanners for your Mac in 2020
ProductFormatOptical ResolutionConnectivityColor DepthPrice
Our choice

Epson Perfection V600

Epson Perfection V600
A46400 dpiHi-Speed USB 2.048-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info

Epson Perfection V39

Epson Perfection V39
A44800 dpiHi-Speed USB 2.048-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info

Canon CanoScan Lide 400

Canon CanoScan Lide 400
A44800 dpiUSB Type-C48-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info


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

Epson Perfection V600

ProductFormatOptical ResolutionConnectivityColor DepthPrice

Epson Perfection V600

Epson Perfection V600
A46400 dpiHi-Speed USB 2.048-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info
The Epson Perfection V600 is one of the perfect flatbed scanners for Mac. It will connect to your Mac through a USB 2.0 port, so if you have a 2019 or 2020 Macbook Pro or Air, then you need to connect it through an adapter from Thunderbolt port to the regular-size USB. None of the flatbed scanners have a lightning port either. It might miss the good stuff on connectivity but it doesn’t let down in other areas.

First, there is the quality. It has a CCD Sensor like Most Epson Scanners that can output digital images at an optical resolution of 6400 DPI. That is the kind of resolution you find on high-end scanners that cost 3-4 times as much. It is compatible with the latest version of Mac OS (OS X El Capitan, Sierra, Mojave and Catalina). When you scan in color, you’ll get a color depth of 48-bit and 16-bit for grayscale scanning. Obviously it has an LED lamp for scanning so that it doesn’t warm up. Then there is the fast scanning speed: It can scan an A4 photo at 300 dpi in about 6 seconds which makes it a fast flatbed scanner.

You can scan film negatives with this photo and document scanner on your Mac using the included transparency unit. It comes with 2 film holders so that you can scan photos on 35mm film negatives and also 35mm slides. Here is a tip: Since the scanner comes with only one set of film holders for slides and negatives, if you want to batch scan you can get after-market film holders on Amazon so that when one batch is being scanned you load the other. If you check prices on Amazon you’ll see that they are cheaper too.

The scanning software that is bundled with the Epson V600 is compatible with the holders, it will detect the frames, crop them and adjust the orientation. It also has some Digital ICE features to remove scratches and dust from them. Scratches and dust isn’t such a big problem on scanned photos but on film, you have to remember that the image will be enlarged so they become much more noticeable.

The software package in the box with the Epson Perfection v600 color photo image film scanner includes: Epson Easy Photo Fix (image enhancing and photo editing software), Epson Copy Utility, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR.

The Epson Easy Photo Fix gives you the option to do automatic photo enhancement with one click like auto crop and deskew, without fiddling through the settings and the ABBYY FineReader converts JPEG, Bitmaps and TIFF files to searchable PDFs or Word Documents.

It has the best text recognition accuracy of all OCR software at the moment excluding Tesseract which is an API and does tend to perform better sometimes. The ArcSoft PhotoStudio is a great Photoshop knock-off but hey, it’s free. One of the downsides is that you can’t scan directly to a cloud storage but at the end of the day, you can just setup a Google Drive hotfolder and scan the files there and they will sync automatically.

This flatbed scanner for mac weighs about 9 pounds and it is 4.6 inches thick. Not the slimmest scanner by any means. All of these features make it the best photo scanner for Mac in our opinion.

It is a very fast flatbed scanner however if you need to digitize a lot of photos, then you should go for dedicated Mac compatible photo scanners like the Plustek ePhoto z300 or an Epson fastfoto FF-680W should be your pick. The only problem with flatbeds and with these photo scanners is that they cannot scan directly to SD card like most dedicated film and slide scanners.


Epson Perfection V39

ProductFormatOptical ResolutionConnectivityColor DepthPrice

Epson Perfection V39

Epson Perfection V39
A44800 dpiHi-Speed USB 2.048-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info
The V39 is Epson’s idea of a cheap Flatbed Scanner for Mac. It costs 3 times less than the V600 and it can do a lot but obviously it misses some specs and features. It is compatible with Apple devices like the iMac, Mac Pro or Macbook and with all the versions of the Mac OS. It connects through the same type of USB 2.0 port so if you have a newer Mac you will need an adapter. You are probably asking yourself why we included devices for which you need an adapter and the answer is simple: Because there is only one scanner that has a newer port and that is the Canon Lide 400 about which we will be writing below.

The image resolution is 4800 DPI and this comes from a CIS sensor. From the CIS you can expect not as much RGB color vividness as you get on CCD sensors but the newer CIS sensors are so good that you have to look closely on your retina display to tell the difference. CIS sensors are built for document scanners and low-cost flatbeds where quality is less important. The pixel density is good enough for most applications. But even though it is enough for high-quality photo scanning, Epson have decided that this scanner won’t be able to scan film negatives or photo slides, so you don’t get any film holders or software to help you with that. The sensor uses an LED lamp that doesn’t require any time to warm up.

Speaking of software, the included package with the Epson Perfection V39 color photo scanner contains: Epson Easy Photo Fix, Epson Event Manager, Epson Copy Utility, Epson Easy Photo Scan, Epson Document Capture Pro, ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe (Windows only). This time the OCR isn’t an ABBYY license so you will be using the OCR with the Document Capture Pro app which points to the idea of this scanner, that it was built to scan documents. This is a document scanner with scan-to-cloud, so you can sync this scanner through your Mac to automatically upload the scanned images to DropBox, Evernote or Google Drive. Epson provides TWAIN drivers so that you can use it with any scanning app for Mac or PC.

Canon CanoScan Lide 400

ProductFormatOptical ResolutionConnectivityColor DepthPrice

Canon CanoScan Lide 400

Canon CanoScan Lide 400
A44800 dpiUSB Type-C48-bit Color or 16-bit GrayscaleClick for more info
The Canon CanoScan Lide 400 is the only flatbed scanner for Mac that has a port for 2020. It has and this is true, a USB-C port. If you have a quick look, you will notice that the Canon 400 and Epson V39 are direct competitors in the sub-100$ range and that’s why they have mostly similar specs. Both have the same type of sensor and the same number of pixels per inch with a 4800 dpi scanning resolution, same scanning size.

The included software with the Canon is: IJ Scan Utility (Windows), IJ Scan Utility Lite (Mac), Auto Scan, Document Scan, Photo Scan, Custom Scan, Stitch Scan, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition), ScanGear MP Driver, Quick Menu. Like with the Epson V39 you don’t get a separate ABBYY license, you have to use the Optical Character Recognition functions included with the Canon scanning software. All the software included is compatible with PC and Mac.

The Canon comes with a vertical stand so that it doesn’t take up space while you are not using the scanning system. It can also scan vertically but I wouldn’t recommend that. The scan speed is decent with an A4 at 300 dpi being digitized in just 8 seconds, which is quick scanning by flatbed standards. There are dedicated buttons including one for scanning to a laser printer or inkjet printer.

If you need a Canon device with a higher scan quality and more scanner features, Canon used to make a high-resolution flatbed photo scanner, the canon canoscan 9000f mkii that was the top of the line. It would now be the direct competitor to the Epson Perfection v850 pro. It is discontinued but you can still find it on Amazon through some sellers. Also make sure to check the price as there can be higher fluctuations with discontinued products.

At this price level, you can also find a portable scanner, the Doxie Flip (Made by the same company that makes the Doxie Go SE Portable Scanner). But know that it is an A6 format scanner, so you can only scan 4×6 photos. This device and the Epson V39 are similarly priced but it is good to check Amazon once in a while for discounts.


Which is the best Flatbed Scanner for Mac?



If you want a high-quality scanner that you can use with your Mac and you don’t want to spend too much, then the V600 is the perfect option.

If you want a good bargain, the V39 or Canon 400 are the best choices with their 4800 dpi optical resolution. The V39 is slimmer but the Canon 400 has a better data transfer rate with its USB-C port.

Scanners like the Epson perfection v370 color photo scanner although compatible with Mac and PC devices, did not make our list because they are not produced anymore.

Besides these photo scanners for mac, when you weigh on the decision to choose the right scanner you also have option of purchasing an HP Scanjet 2500 f1 which is compatible with mac and has a flatbed unit together with an automatic document feeder or buying a canon imageformula r40 and then a separate flatbed unit, same for the Epson Workforce models. Every big brand has an optional flatbed unit that you can buy. If you just want to scan photos, then the plustek photo scanner which can scan a 4×6 photo in 2sec and has auto crop and deskew with CCD sensor.

If you decided that you want a portable scanner, then our recommendations are the doxie go se wifi, fujitsu scansnap ix100 mobile scanner or the Epson DS-80W. Now a portable document scanner is not meant to be just a scanner for photos, more like receipt scanners for office documents but in most cases they can produce quality scans and have the advantage of wireless connectivity and sometimes an integrated preview LCD. One scanner that resembles the idea of a flatbed is the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand portable photo scanner.

If for some reason, none of the above situations fit yours and you actually need a high-speed photo scanner, then the epson fastfoto ff-680w wireless high-speed photo scanner or the Plustek ephoto z300 are the right choices.
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