These 5 Portable Scanners have the best OCR. | Updated 2020

I’m always surprised about the amount of features that portable scanners offer. Having been used to desktop scanners and working with them, I’m always fascinated by how much technology companies like Epson, Fujitsu and brother manage to squeeze into them. OCR is one of the most important aspects

Even though most of them have OCR, not all OCR software is the same. At our scanning center we used OCR software from Abbyy, from Adobe, from nuance and from readers. The results were shockingly different. That’s why we compiled this list of portable scanners with the best OCR that you can get.
These 5 Portable Scanners have the best OCR. | Updated 2020
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Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i

Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i
24 IPMA4USB 2.0, USB 1.18.5 in. x 34 in. (215 x 863 mm)Yes3.08 lb. (1.4 kg)Click for more info

Fujitsu Scansnap IX100

Fujitsu Scansnap IX100
22 IPMA4USB 2.0, USB 1.1, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz)8.5 in. x 34 in. (215 x 863 mm)No0.88 lb. (0.4 kg)Click for more info

Vupoint ST 470

Vupoint ST 470
6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 125 in. (215 x 3175 mm)No2.8 lb. (1.27 kg)Click for more info

Xerox Duplex Combo

Xerox Duplex Combo
50 IPMA4Hi-speed USB 2.0 (3.0 compatible)8.5 in. x 118 in. (215 x 2997 mm)Yes5.94 lb. (2.7 kg)Click for more info

Epson ES-300W

Epson ES-300W
50 IPMA4SuperSpeed USB 3.01, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz)8.5 in. x 44 in. (215 x 1117 mm)Yes2.9 lb. (1.31 kg)Click for more info


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

Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i

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Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i

Fujitsu Scansnap S1300i
24 IPMA4USB 2.0, USB 1.18.5 in. x 34 in. (215 x 863 mm)Yes3.08 lb. (1.4 kg)Click for more info
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i is our first and favorite scanner with OCR. It’s an A4 portable scanner that offers 600dpi resolution, a USB 2.0 port and all the image enhancement features that you can think of, except for background removal. It’s also a duplex scanner so it will scan both sides of a page without the user having to manually turn it. It also has an automatic document feeder.

It’s our favorite because it has proven itself in time to be reliable and easy to use. People who bought it and used it showed themselves to be pleased with the scanner.

It has the ABBYY FineReader Optical character recognition OCR technology included. I personally like their OCR solution the most because it provides really good character recognition accuracy. We use it in our digitization center running on servers non-stop and we usually get about 99.5%+ accuracy with books that were printed after 1990. It can convert the scanned images to so many file formats like searchable PDF, Word Documents in which you can edit text inside them, Excel documents, ePub (It’s an eBook format like the Mobi for Kindle), TXT and RTF. In our digitization center the scanners scan directly to our OCR Server that runs the ABBYY software 24 hours a day and it has always been our main OCR scanning solution.

It has a host of image pre-processing features that improve the image even more before starting to recognize the characters. It does good with distinguishing the layout of the document as well. If it’s not a complex layout it will reproduce it pixel by pixel. It can also extract and distinguish the images from the text which can be useful if you want to extract just the photos from your documents. For things like data extraction from accounts payable, putting metadata in scanned paper documents for your document management software the ABBYY OCR engine works great.

The included document scanning software bundle consists of: ScanSnap Home, ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap. All these make the ScanSnap one of the best OCR scanner.

Fujitsu Scansnap IX100

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Fujitsu Scansnap IX100

Fujitsu Scansnap IX100
22 IPMA4USB 2.0, USB 1.1, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz)8.5 in. x 34 in. (215 x 863 mm)No0.88 lb. (0.4 kg)Click for more info
The Fujitsu IX100 also uses the same ABBYY software as the ScanSnap S1300i making it too, one of the best OCR scanners. It’s almost as fast as the S1300i, no big difference there, but the important thing is that this is also a wireless scanner. The bad part is it does not have an automatic feeder tray. Also, this portable scanner is not duplex, so you will need to put double-sided documents manually two times through the scanner. The maximum page size that you can scan with this device is A4 and the CIS imaging sensor that is built into it can scan at a high resolution of up to 600 dpi. With the long document mode you can scan papers of up to 34 inches in length.

It doesn’t have TWAIN or ISIS because the nore of the ScanSnap models have that. You can put a wide range of paper types inside it and it will work up to 209gsm, so business cards and plastic cards should work just fine.

Of course it has the ABBYY OCR software included, that’s why it’s on this list. It converts scanned images searchable PDF documents and editable documents which you can modify through Word Processing software like DOCX, XLSX, TXT and RTF. I think it might be the lightest scanner on this list at just 0.88 lbs in weight. The IX100 has more or less the same image enhancement features as the S1300i, but without automatic image cropping.

Vupoint ST 470

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Vupoint ST 470

Vupoint ST 470
6 IPMA4Hi-Speed USB 2.08.5 in. x 125 in. (215 x 3175 mm)No2.8 lb. (1.27 kg)Click for more info
The VuPoint is the slowest scanner on this list and by far but one of the best OCR scanners. 6 pages per minute, that’s it. But it is a portable scanner with integrated OCR and it has an advantage over the others: It uses a CIS sensor that can output images at an optical resolution of 1200dpi. That resolution will be able to capture even the smallest details.

However, testing different resolutions in our OCR lab has showed that while accuracy does improve from 300dpi to 600dpi, it does not go any further from then on. Doesn’t matter how good the resolution is, what matters is that the glyphs are well defined. Old mechanical printers have a habit of printing vaguely defined letters and thus will be hard to detect, even though the resolution is perfect. So the resolution is nice to have, but in reality it won’t make much difference, if at all. Still, 1200 dpi is useful for photos and very small text.

This scanner does not have the automatic image deskew feature, but it does have color mode detection and automatic image cropping. Of course, the included software is none other than ABBYY FineReader and the truth is you will not need any other OCR software for data capture from documents and images. Except for the Adobe Acrobat Pro which is a really good piece of software as well. It can only convert scanned documents to PDF but it has a great PDF compressor algorithm.

Xerox Duplex Combo

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Xerox Duplex Combo

Xerox Duplex Combo
50 IPMA4Hi-speed USB 2.0 (3.0 compatible)8.5 in. x 118 in. (215 x 2997 mm)Yes5.94 lb. (2.7 kg)Click for more info
The Xerox Duplex Combo is a really fast scanner with OCR. It can scan 25 sheets per minute. It connects to your Windows PC or Mac using a Hi-speed USB 2.0 port (3.0 compatible) and it has TWAIN and ISIS drivers along with WIA and ICA interfaces. The sensor mounted in the Xerox Duplex is a CIS sensor. Generally CCD sensors are considered better in terms of image quality, but CIS sensors in recent years have become so much better that the difference is not noticeable in real world usage. Xerox provides TWAIN and ISIS drivers for both Mac and PC.

It lacks some key image enhancement features that we do find on other scanners, for example Automatic color detection, which I believe is a must have in 2020. It doesn’t have background removal and punch hole removal either nor does it have automatic image rotation but it is still one of the best OCR scanners.

Epson ES-300W

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Epson ES-300W

Epson ES-300W
50 IPMA4SuperSpeed USB 3.01, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz)8.5 in. x 44 in. (215 x 1117 mm)Yes2.9 lb. (1.31 kg)Click for more info
The Epson ES-300W is the last scanner with OCR included that we will be reviewing here. I’s a fast portable scanner with a scan speed of 25 pages per minute, a CIS imaging sensor that produces 600dpi images and very well equipped with wireless connectivity and also SuperSpeed USB 3.0. It can scan A4 documents that are up to 44 inches long, it has an ADF tray in which you can stack documents for them to be scanned automatically. This portable scanner also has a duplex scanning feature, so you don’t have to scan your documents 2 times to obtain both sides.

Because this is an Epson scanner, it has all the scan correction features integrated: The scanner can automatically rotate your images if they were fed wrong into the feeder, they will be cropped automatically so you don’t have any blank space around the scanned document and it will be straightened even by 1 degree if necessary saving you a bit of time in photo editing.

The software package is big: EPSON Scan, NewSoft Presto! BizCard, EPSON Document Capture Pro, ABBYY FineReader OCR, EPSON Document Capture. The scanning software is the same processing software that Epson puts in its professional desktop duplex document scanners. That means it is capable of removing blank pages from the document, automatically clean the background and also sync your digitized documents with cloud storage like Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox. Epson has drivers for these scanners for Macs and PCs on their website.

The ABBYY FineReader is present there as well with its OCR optical character recognition software. The reason we prefer the ABBYY in favor of the Iris ReadIris Pro and OmniPage Ultimate is mainly because the text recognition accuracy in digital files is higher when you convert the images to text. The version that you get with this OCR scanner can create searchable PDF files in which you can find keywords by a simple text input. There is also the OCR Programming software that we enjoy using, the Tesseract API. It can do PDF conversion but it is mainly orientated towards creating custom data extraction apps.


Which is the best portable OCR scanner?

As long as they come with ABBYY technology and not ReadIris or Nuance, you are getting the most out of these OCR scanners. The other technologies are not bad, they still work well, just not as good as the ABBYY, that’s why we chose to work with it every day in our digitization center. If we had to choose it would be the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i. Some OCR scanners that were not included in this article and are still good choices are: epson ds-80w. If you are looking for a solid desktop scanner with OCR character recognition software then we recommend the Brother ads-2700w, Canon Imageformula R40, fujitsu scansnap ix1500, hp scanjet pro 3000 s3 sheetfeed scanner, visioneer patriot h60. In case a photo scanner is more what you were looking for then our pick is the Epson fastfoto, Epson Perfection V600 or Canon CanoScan Lide 400.
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