3 Flatbed Scanners Reviews that you need to read before buying

You are looking to buy a flatbed scanner and they all look the same and 24-bit color depth vs 48-bit color depth doesn’t really say much. Don’t worry, that’s why we are here to help. We review the 3 Best Flatbed Scanners that you can buy based on consumer ratings, what is the image quality, how fast it can scan a photo and how much value does it provide for the money you spend on it.
3 Flatbed Scanners Reviews that you need to read before buying
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

Canon CanoScan Lide 400

Canon CanoScan Lide 400
A44800 dpiUSB Type-C48-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



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 V600 is the first flatbed scanner to review. It has always been our favorite in many categories. This flatbed scanner has a very high pixel density of 6400 dots per inch. This is pure optical resolution, no interpolation or any other software tricks. The scanner is compatible with both major operating systems, Windows PC and Mac and it connects to them through its built-in USB 2.0 port. It also has great color depth of 48-bit when scanning in color and 16-bit in grayscale. It has a CCD sensor that is backed up by a ReadyScan LED light source.

Let’s have a closer look at the software that is shipped with the V600, besides the default Epson scanning application: Epson Easy Photo Fix, Epson Copy Utility, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR. It seems to be a very good all-in-one package. The Epson Easy Photo Fix software provides the necessary Digital ICE technology features like scratch and dust removal and also color restoration but together with that it can also tell what the correct orientation of the photo should be and can automatically adjust it. It also crop the photo to its real size. The ABBYY FineReader does the best job with Optical Character Recognition. It knows how to analyse the layout of a document better than other OCR software we tested. And when we look into text recognition accuracy, it gets even better. In some areas of the world, you will also receive a Photoshop Elements license.

The only problem that we found is that you have to tell it if you want to scan in color or grayscale, something that on ADF scanners is usually an automatic feature. But it is understandable because the scan speed is drastically different. At its fastest, the V600 has a scanning time of 6 seconds at an image resolution of 300 dpi, so if you need a flatbed scanner that will quickly scan office documents, photos and film then this is the right choice.

You can also scan film negatives and slides with this flatbed scanner that we’re reviewing. In the package, you get a set of film holders for 35mm film, slides, medium format and a 6 x 22 cm. The pixels per inch that this flatbed scanner has are enough to obtain high-quality digital images from film.

There is a cheaper version of this scanner, the Epson Perfection v550 color photo scanner. It has more or less the same quality, but it doesn’t come with a Photoshop Elements license and the Digital ICE features can only be applied to film, not to photos and documents too.

There is also a more advanced version, the Epson perfection v850 Pro, a high-quality scanner that is not as reasonably priced but which has a more advanced photo editing software, can scan images together with slides and negatives at a higher quality due to its dual-lens system and can digitize more types and sizes of film negatives and slides. The Epson Expression 12000 XL has many of the V850’s features, but for A3 format.

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 second flatbed scanner in review. When we evaluate it in comparison with the V600, we can see it is a different approach. For one, it is considerably slimmer than the Epson V600 and the design is in our opinion, better. It uses a different sensor, a CIS (Contact Image Sensor). Now what does this mean for you? CCD provides better image quality overall but not by a big margin. The most annoying thing about CIS sensors like the one on the Canon is that you have to really flatten the document on the scanning glass, because if there is a gap bigger than 1mm the picture will come out blurred. This problem appears especially when you scan books.

To help you scan books, Canon has mounted a lid on the scanner that can be raised and lowered. Canon’s attention to practicality doesn’t stop here because they fitted the Lide 400 with a vertical stand so that when you are not using it, it takes a minimal amount of space on your desk. This flatbed scanner is also fitted with a USB Type-C port, which in our opinion is the best USB cable to use in office products at the moment because of the high-speed data transfer. Not only does the scanner not require an AC adapter but the data transfer rate is unmatched at 5Gbps. That’s going to improve the scan speed when you scan at 4800 dpi.

The software included on 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. They chose to with OCR from their proprietary app, not from a third party provider like ABBYY. This makes the software feel more integrated, but the OCR technology is limited in functionality and accuracy. It doesn’t have the same layout analysis and text recognition accuracy.

This flatbed scanner has a scanning time of about 8 seconds per page at 300 dpi, so it is productive for both documents and photos. When you scan in color, you can access a color depth of 48-bit and when you scan in grayscale, 16-bit. It cannot scan film and negative slides however. Obviously you can put film in, but it does not have the holders, the image processing features necessary for film, etc. But the price is considerably lower than the price on the V600.

Canon only makes the CanoScan Lide 300 which has a lower 2400 dpi resolution and CanoScan Lide 400. The famous Canon Canoscan 9000f mkii photo flatbed scanner has been discontinued in the fall of 2018. There is also the option of buying a document scanner with an automatic document feeder and buying an extra flatbed unit or an all-in-one printer, be it a laser printer or inkjet printer from Canon.

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 Epson Perfection V39 is the third and last flatbed scanner in review. When we do a quick overview, we notice that it is more of a competitor to the Canon 400, because it falls into the same price category and has very similar specs. They both have a CIS sensor and both have an optical resolution of 4800 dpi. Both can scan at a paper size of up to A4 format. Both cannot scan film negatives and both are very slim. The V39 uses an older USB 2.0 port.

The software on this color image scanner can sync with Cloud Storage platforms like Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox and OneDrive. It can convert your digital images to JPEG, TIFF, PDF, PNG and Bitmap formats. The software package 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 is the slimmest flatbed scanner that you can buy and the most compact. The only device that is even smaller would be the Doxie Flip which is more part of the portable scanners category than flatbed photo scanners as it is portable and can only scan up to A6.

They are equally matched and it is just a matter of preference in design and scanning software.

 

Which is the best flatbed scanner in this review?

My favorite flatbed scanner will still be the Epson V600 as it offers a complete all-in-one package with film scanning, high resolution and great value for money. IF you are not picky about quality and you can settle for no film scanning you can go for either the V39 or the Canon 400. If you don’t want to limit yourself to a flatbed-only scanner, you can buy one of the HP ScanJet duplex color scanners like the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 flatbed ocr scanner which has fast scanning speeds on the sheetfed scanner system and a better scan quality on the flatbed unit. It is the same with the combo Xerox Documate models. If you are planning to scan many photos, a flatbed scanner might not be as productive as you need it to be, so there the epson fastfoto ff-680w would be the right product. It is not a film scanner, just a dedicated photo scanner with an automatic feeder.

 

Our Score

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