We researched the Best scanners under 100$ in 2020

100$ is not a big budget for a document scanner for PC and Mac, I’ll be honest, but we took on the challenge of finding the best scanner under 100$. What we found is that it’s not actually as bad as we thought

Altough you can’t expect much in terms of specs, so no ADF trays and smart features, you will still be able to find decent photo and document scanners for a maximum price of 100 dollars. All of them are portable because desktop scanners have a higher price

Here is our list of the Best Scanners you can buy under 100$.
We researched the Best scanners under 100$ in 2020
ProductImages / MinuteFormatConnectivityMax. document sizeADF TrayWeightPrice
Our choice

Brother DS-620

Brother DS-620
16 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 32 in. (215 x 812 mm)No0.88 lb. (0.39 kg)Click for more info

Epson ES-50

Epson ES-50
10 IPMA4USB 2.08.5 in. x 72 in. (215 x 1828 mm)No0.59 lb. (0.26 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

VuPoint InstaScan Pro

VuPoint InstaScan Pro
8 IPMA4Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, USB 1.0/1.18.5 in. x 130 in. (215 x 3302 mm)No1.2 lb. (0.54 kg)Click for more info


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

Brother DS-620

ProductImages / MinuteFormatConnectivityMax. document sizeADF TrayWeightPrice

Brother DS-620

Brother DS-620
16 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 32 in. (215 x 812 mm)No0.88 lb. (0.39 kg)Click for more info
The Brother DS-620 is the first budget scanner for photos and documents that costs under 100 USD. First of all, let’s look at the scan speed: it’s a decent with the ability to scan 8 pages per minute. It’s not the fastest one in this list as the average is at 22 images per minute.

The Brother DSMobile 620 will scan any piece of paper as long as it’s up to A4 format and even if it’s longer…much longer, approximately 32 inches longer to be precise. And it will scan it at an optical resolution of 600dpi which is good enough image quality. It’s going to do well as a portable photo scanner and also as a document scanner. You’ll be connecting it to your PC using the integrated USB 2.0 port. This scanner lacks a bit here as well because some of the others have USB 3.0 as well. There is no duplex mode for double-sided scanning either and the scanner lacks all the digital ICE features like automated cropping or automated image rotation.

It is a very light scanner though, at just 0.88 lbs and also quite a slim scanner. A document feeder ADF tray would have made it heavier. It’s integrated OCR will let you create for example a searchable PDF file or a Word document. The Brother may not have the top specs but in terms of real-world usage, it has some of the highest customer ratings of all budget scanners. At the time of writing this scanner’s price was below the budget of 100 USD and prices can change.


Epson ES-50

ProductImages / MinuteFormatConnectivityMax. document sizeADF TrayWeightPrice

Epson ES-50

Epson ES-50
10 IPMA4USB 2.08.5 in. x 72 in. (215 x 1828 mm)No0.59 lb. (0.26 kg)Click for more info
The Epson Workforce ES-50 is the second document and photo scanner under 100 USD we will be looking at. With it’s 22 IPM fast scan speeds it’s quite fast for a budget scanner. It can digitize your documents and photos at an image resolution of up to 600dpi. I personally use 300dpi for most of my scanning stuff, but I always enjoy the superior 600dpi resolution for high-quality photos. The 300 DPI scan quality is perfect for text documents and 600 for photos. It can scan any paper that’s up to A4 in paper size and with a staggering 72 inches length.

So if it’s as wide as an A4 but up to 72 inches long, the device will be able to scan it. There’s no duplex scanning function on this scanner, so if you want to scan double-sided documents, you’ll have to run them through the scanner twice. The range of paper types that you can scan varies between 35gsm and 270gsm. That will cover most materials so you can use the device as a Business Card Scanner or for ID Cards, plastic cards and receipts.

But the Epson does come with intelligent scan correction features bundled into it’s scan app. Using the automatic image rotation algorithm, it will automatically rotate your images so that they are facing the right side up. It can also automatically detect if the image needs to be scanned in grayscale or color. The deskew feature will straighten the pages even if they are just a little bit skewed and the punch hole removal algorithm will fill the little punch holes with the color of the paper so that you can’t tell the document was perforated. The included software can also sync your documents with Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and other platforms.

This is the lightest scanner in this price category at just 0.59 lbs. I don’t know how Epson pulled this one off, but it’s an amazing technological achievement to have so much power in such a light device.

OCR is included as standard in the software that is shipped with the scanner, so you will be able to convert your JPEG, TIFF and Bitmap files to Word documents and searchable PDFs so you can easily find words in the text that is contained in the documents . There is no Automatic Document Feeder tray built into this portable scanner, so you will have to feed each paper manually. It’s very hard to find photo and document scanners for that money with a feeder tray. The Epson WorkForce ES-50 portable sheetfed document scanner (yes, that is it’s entire name) is a solid choice for under 100$.

The only Epson you are going to buy under 100 USD is a compact mobile document scanner or a flatbed scanner, more specifically an Epson Perfection V39 or V19. The Epson Perfection V550 costs more than 100 dollars. There is no compact desktop scanner available for this budget either.

Canon imageFORMULA P-215

ProductImages / MinuteFormatConnectivityMax. document sizeADF TrayWeightPrice

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
The Canon P-215 is one of the best budget scanners under 100$ in this article. With a fast 30 images per minute speed, it’s the fastest one in this price category. As far as format is concerned, it’s maximum size is A4, but you can also feed longer documents into it up to 34 inches. That’s about 4 A4 papers long.

The optical sensor built into it is a dual CIS sensor that has a scanning resolution of up to 600 dots per inch so it can do photo scanning too. Dual sensor means that you can scan double-sided images without having to feed them 2 times, which makes it great for office documents. Just put it in there and the portable scanner will do the rest. This is the only color duplex document scanner in this list.

You can connect the P-215 to your Windows PC or Mac through it’s integrated USB 3.0 port and USB cable (Canon provides TWAIN drivers for both operating systems on their website) and it also has something that the other scanners here don’t: An Automatic Document Feeder ADF tray. Yes, you can just put all your papers in the tray, push the magic button and wait for the sheetfed scanner to finish the scanning job.

But all of these features come with a slight cost: the weight is not the greatest. It weighs almost 2.2 lbs. That’s quite heavy since the average scanner that we reviewed in this price category weighs about 1.2 lbs. But it is still portable. When the weight exceeds 3 lbs it starts to become a problem.

In terms of intelligent scan correction features, this portable document scanner can automatically rotate your digital images, straighten them if they are a bit skewed and can tell between color documents and black & white ones. The P-215 also comes with a background cleaning feature that makes the scan look much cleaner.

The P-215 received an upgrade in the form of the canon imageformula p-215ii but while the P-215 is found in most shops under 100 USD, the latter version is not.

VuPoint InstaScan Pro

ProductImages / MinuteFormatConnectivityMax. document sizeADF TrayWeightPrice

VuPoint InstaScan Pro

VuPoint InstaScan Pro
8 IPMA4Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, USB 1.0/1.18.5 in. x 130 in. (215 x 3302 mm)No1.2 lb. (0.54 kg)Click for more info
The VuPoint InstaScan Pro is the last portable sheetfed document scanner that we’ll be covering here. It’s not the best scanner under 100 dollars but it does have some key advantages. VuPoint is that company that makes the Magic Wand portable scanner. With a speed of just 8 images per minute, it’s quite a slow one. You can’t use it in both modes, either as a wand or as a sheet fed scanner because this model only has one scanning mode. If you want both modes, go for the ST-470 which in wand mode works even for scanning books. In terms of format, it’s on par with the others but it has an advantage: the resolution. It’s Contact Image Sensor is capable of scanning photos at a pixel density of 1200dpi. Not that you will need this everyday but it’s something nice to have. The extra details will be visible on computer monitors when you zoom in.

Also, a great plus for this budget document scanner is that it comes with Wi-fi connectivity, so this is a wireless portable (not so high-speed) color photo and document scanner. None of the other portable scanners here have Wi-fi, so this will weigh a bit in your buying decision. Wi-fi is better than USB any way you look at it. This image scanner can connect to your computer VuPoint claims it can scan documents as long as 130 inches, but we don’t have a document that long to put their claim to the test, so for now we will just believe them.

In terms of scanned image enhancement features, it’s a mixed bunch with this mobile scanner. It comes with automatic color detection but it does not include automatic image rotation. So it can distinguish between RGB color and black & white documents and automatically adjust the scan mode, but not rotate them so that they are always facing up. No punch hole removal and no ADF tray. The ADF tray is however a premium thing to have for this budget.

Optical character recognition is of course included with this mobile desktop document scanner. In terms of weight, it’s right in the middle of the range, not light not heavy, weighing at 1.2 lbs.

The VuPoint is one of the only alternatives to the big brand names under this budget. The Doxie Go Se cost much more and the Iriscan Book 5 with its ReadIris optical character recognition OCR software is barely over the budget.


What is the best budget scanner under 100$

So to put it short, if you want good reliability and user experience, then the best scanner under 100 USD for you would be the Brother DS-620. If you want powerful document scanning specs and features, go for the Canon. These are really cheap scanners but don’t mistake cheap for bad and all of them can be connected to a Mac and PC.

At this price range, it’s a shame the budget doesn’t fit a Fujitsu ScanSnap IX100 or a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i as they have proven themselves to be reliable scanners, but we are looking for best scanner for 100 dollars not more. The Visioneer Roadwarrior 4d was not included either because at the time of writing it costs above 100$. If you need a mobile flatbed scanner, the Doxie Flip would be the best choice but the price is above 170$ so way over budget.

Neither were the Kodak Alaris models, HP Scanjet Pro or Fujitsu ScanSnap models like the Fujitsu scansnap ix1500. Just as a note, if you are not on a budget, we would definitely recommend the Brother Imagecenter ADS-2800w wireless high-speed desktop document scanner, Canon ImageFormula R40 office document scanner and the Brother ADS-2700W wireless high-speed scanner as solid options.

You can find most of these products on amazon or you can also buy on best buy.

In this article, we only covered mobile color scanners that have a sheet feeder, not flatbeds like the Canon CanoScan Lide models or Epson Perfection V850 Pro and Epson Perfection V600 color (Other notable models include Epson FastFoto FF-680w, HP Officejet models and the Canon CanoScan Lide220 and canon canoscan 9000f mkii). Some of those can also scan film negatives, so if you want to digitize some of those, you need a flatbed. We will be covering those in a different article dedicated to flatbed scanners.

Since budget is important here, it is a good idea to check the price on Amazon, BH Photo Video, Office Depot or Walmart before as some stores may sell them over the targeted budget.

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