The 5 Best OCR Scanners in 2020

Almost all of the document scanners on the market can be considered OCR scanners because each one of them has some kind of OCR technology, be it that it comes with a license for an OCR software or the OCR feature is integrated into the document scanning software

We found the scanners that we think have the best OCR option and the best value for money and compared them on specifications, how fast they are, how good is the OCR software package that you get and how reliable they proved to be in time. Here are our 5 Best OCR scanners:
The 5 Best OCR Scanners in 2020
ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice
Our choice

Epson DS-575W

Epson DS-575W
A48.27 in x 11.69 inSuperSpeed USB 3.0, Wireless and Ethernet (optional)357050 sheets4,000 sheetsClick for more info

Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500

Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500
A48.27 in x 11.69 inUSB 3.1, WiFi306050 sheets400 sheetsClick for more info

Epson ES-500W

Epson ES-500W
A48.27 in x 11.69 inSuperSpeed USB 3.0 and WiFi357050 sheets4,000 sheetsClick for more info

Canon DR-M140

Canon DR-M140
A48.27 in x 11.69 inUSB 2.0408050 sheets6,000 sheetsClick for more info

Brother ADS-3000N

Brother ADS-3000N
A48.27 in x 11.69 inGigabit Ethernet and SuperSpeed USB 3.05010050 sheets5,000 sheetsClick for more info


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

Epson DS-575W

ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice

Epson DS-575W

Epson DS-575W
A48.27 in x 11.69 inSuperSpeed USB 3.0, Wireless and Ethernet (optional)357050 sheets4,000 sheetsClick for more info
The Epson Ds-575 is one of our favorite OCR scanners. The software package that it comes with, includes the ABBYY FineReader Sprint.

This document scanner uses a CCD sensor (Charge-Coupled Device) to create digital images at an optical resolution of 600 dpi. For OCR, 600 dpi is more than enough for maximum character recognition accuracy. We tested this to find out if you really need more than 600 dpi and we found out there is a breaking point somewhere around the 400 dpi image resolution after which there is no more gain in character confidence and text recognition accuracy from high-quality images. Obviously here, we are talking about characters that were printed with a standard font size. Classifieds for example tend to have smaller characters and the 600 dpi resolution will definitely make the difference there but in general, not as much.

The software can output the scanned images in Bitmap, JPEG, TIFF and PNG. After you run them through the scanner’s OCR software, you can convert them to searchable PDFs, editable Word documents, Microsoft Excel XLS, RTF, TXT and HTML file format. We use this software especially for data capture but also to digitize books together with Adobe Acrobat and other OCR engines. The Acrobat app converts scanned documents to PDF only and its main advantage is the intelligent PDF compressor feature. If we want to create PDF documents that are used for document archiving we use the ABBYY server OCR though.

This image scanner is also quite fast, it can scan 35 pages per minute and it will hold up to 50 documents in its ADF tray. Epson recommends you scan up to 4000 sheets per day with this device which should cover most of your office needs. The scanner can handle any document up to A4 size and it has great connectivity: A SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and a Wireless connection. And if those two are not enough, you can also buy an optional ethernet connection.

Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500

ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice

Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500

Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500
A48.27 in x 11.69 inUSB 3.1, WiFi306050 sheets400 sheetsClick for more info
The Fujitsu ScanSnap IX1500 has the ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap OCR optical character recognition software in the software bundle. Even though it is not the full version of the OCR programming solution from ABBYY and it is a more simple software, it still works great. The app can convert images to text just fine and you can output your paper documents to multiple file formats like Word Doc in which you can edit text using Microsoft’s word processing apps or Excel XLS spreadsheets.

The scanner has a scan speed of 30 PPM, a 600 DPI optical resolution and most importantly a touch screen to operate it.

What is great about this duplex document scanner is that it scans directly to the cloud without a computer being needed. Once it has scanned your documents, all the documents and images are uploaded directly to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote or OneDrive. When scanning, the device can automatically crop, deskew, correct the edges, remove the background and do several other similar features to remove the need for photo editing. This is a scanner for Macs and PCs and drivers are available for both on the product’s official website.

What is also an advantage is that when you buy the scanner you can access the entire ecosystem of ScanSnap apps with features for document management or any other application you can think of.

If you need a portable scanner that has the ABBYY package from Fujitsu, we recommend the Fujitsu Scansnap s1300i.

Epson ES-500W

ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice

Epson ES-500W

Epson ES-500W
A48.27 in x 11.69 inSuperSpeed USB 3.0 and WiFi357050 sheets4,000 sheetsClick for more info
The Epson ES-500W is a different type of OCR scanner. Instead of the ABBYY OCR Software it offers the Nuance OmniPage software (not the Omnipage Ultimate) now known as the Kofax OmniPage since it was bought by Kofax. To put it short, this Optical Character Recognition technology is not as good as the ABBYY but not by a lot. For 80% of documents and digital files, it won’t make any difference. The subtle differences are in layout detection and character recognition accuracy. As long as the letters are from the latin alphabet and printed on a digital printer, both will create almost identical searchable PDFs with a 99% text recognition accuracy. None can do any kind of handwriting recognition.

The pixel density from this document scanner’s CCD sensor is the same at 600 dots per inch without the use of any interpolation and the scan speed is the same. CCD means that the RGB colors in photos will be slightly more vivid and accurate. These 2 scanners are very much alike. Both have an automatic document feeder with a capacity of 50 sheets and the same connectivity through USB cable and Wireless network connection. With the ES-500W you can’t buy an optional ethernet port. The grayscale color depth is 8-bits and for color it is 24-bits.

The software that comes with this OCR scanner is composed of: Epson Scan 2, Epson ScanSmart Software, Nuance OmniPage Optical Character Recognition (OCR), NewSoft Presto! BizCard.

Epson also makes a great photo scanner, the Epson FastFoto is a solid choice.

Canon DR-M140

ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice

Canon DR-M140

Canon DR-M140
A48.27 in x 11.69 inUSB 2.0408050 sheets6,000 sheetsClick for more info
The Canon DR-M140 is an OCR scanner that uses a different approach. Instead of bundling an OCR software license in the package with the scanner, they built the OCR technology into the CaptureOnTouch 3 app. This has pros and cons.

Most of the time the pattern recognition technology incorporated into the document scanner’s app has a lower accuracy in glyph recognition. But the advantage is that everything is more streamlined, you don’t have to run the scanned documents through any other app. What is good is that the app also has zonal OCR so you can process forms and standardized documents quite easily.

The scanner’s software is compatible with both operating systems, be it Windows 10 or Mac OS X.

This OCR scanner is faster than the Epson models with a speed of 40 pages per minute thanks to its feeding system that lasts for 200,000 documents and CIS sensor (Contact image sensor) with the same number of pixels per inch. The only thing that lets this document scanner down is that it only has USB 2.0 connectivity, so you can only connect it to one computer, it can’t be shared.

The CaptureOnTouch app can sync your scanner with all the popular cloud storage accounts like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or Evernote. Canon also provides ISIS and Twain drivers for this particular OCR scanner.

Canon also makes another model for office documents and PDF conversion, the Canon imageformula R40, but that uses the ReadIris PDF software, not the Iris ReadIris Pro. If you need a flatbed version, the Canon Canoscan Lide 400 is the best option, which integrates the OCR in its scanning app so it is a full OCR text scanner, but be aware that it can only export to PDF files.

Brother ADS-3000N

ProductFormatScanning areaConnectivitySheets per minuteImages per minuteADF SizeDaily Duty CyclePrice

Brother ADS-3000N

Brother ADS-3000N
A48.27 in x 11.69 inGigabit Ethernet and SuperSpeed USB 3.05010050 sheets5,000 sheetsClick for more info
If you want high-specs and the best software in an OCR scanner, then look no further than the Brother ADS-3000N. This device has the FineReader Pro bundled with it. That means more file formats, more OCR languages supported and better layout detection. It would be great if Brother could let you upgrade the license for free so you can get the latest version of the OCR software that has artificial intelligence features built into it, but as far as we know that is not included.

The scanning time is even lower with a speed of 50 sheets per minute. Brother also included Gigabit connectivity and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 so you can share it across your entire network and if you need to scan at high-speeds, you can plug in the USB cable. The driver list is also very generous: Twain, Sane, Wia, Ica and Isis drivers. The scanner can digitize any paper size up to A4 format.

The Brother scanning app has all the Digital ICE features you would want from a document scanner with OCR to save you from editing in Photoshop. It can recognize barcodes, detect the orientation of the document and adjust it automatically, it has automatic color detection and automatic rotation, edge correction and automatic deskew. It doesn’t have Zonal OCR but that feature is much more advanced and accessible through the included OCR software. It can also detect and remove blank pages.

Brother also makes the Brother ADS-2700W wireless high-speed desktop document scanner, which works very well for OCR scanning and can be part of a more complex OCR solution. The price on Amazon for that scanner is about 200$ lower too.


Which is the best OCR scanner?


As far as features are concerned, the clear winner is the Brother ADS-3000N because it has the best OCR software and the highest specs, but also the highest price of all of them.

We’ve found the best balance in an OCR scanner to be the Epson DS-575W because it has most of what you would need for half the price of the Brother.

A worthy mention is also the HP ScanJet Pro s3 sheetfeed scanner. Another mention which is unworthy, but there you go, it exists is the horrible Pen Scanner which isn’t even a scanner, it’s just a portable OCRish device that only scans texts, not images. It is literally just text input: The scanmarker air pen.
Our Score

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