A lot of people would pay good money to make life that little bit easier. Well, when looking for the best OCR scanners, you don’t have to pay over the odds to get that peace of mind.
OCR scanners are perfect for taking your documents to create editable files and readable PDF’s.
Paired up with the right 3rd party software, you can even organize the critical data from your documents, and all you are doing is pressing a button. That is efficiency and convenience on another level entirely.
Here we’ve gone through the good, the bad, and the ugly to bring you a list of OCR scanners that will help you breeze through your work.
Comparison Table for top 10 OCR Scanners
5 Best OCR Scanners reviews
1. Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 | Best portable OCR scanner
This OCR scanner will quickly become one of your favorite bits of office equipment if you can manage to get over its slightly boxy, old-style look.
However, while you may dislike the aesthetics of the scanner, the design does allow for it to take up a minimal amount of space. Fold away the feeder tray, and this will sit compact and neat on a desk when not in use.
If you set up this scanner with OCR for scanning documents, you will find it incredibly easy to use. Some OCR scanners will provide you with software that leaves you navigating menu after menu, but the iX1500 allows you to quickly find your scanned documents by merely searching for keywords.
While the price of this scanner is relatively steep, you are getting quality. 600 dpi resolution and a scan time of about 3 seconds for an 8×11” document is a great start. But as mentioned above, it is the way the software makes your life easier that makes this stand out as a scanner that will keep your workplace as productive as possible.
- Incredibly easy to use touch screen lets you scan hassle-free
- Create your own user profile for efficient scanning
- Scan directly to cloud services via Wi-Fi connection
- Utilize ScanSnap software to better organize your scans
- Automatic image cleanup software ensures the quality of your scans.
2. Epson WorkForce ES-500WR | Best handheld OCR scanner
If you are looking at scanners with OCR capability, then Epson is a great company to use due to the specs of the scanners they provide and their customer service. Look, every device can fall foul of problems, but with Epson, you get incredible help from their team of experts and often find a quick solution.
Epson provides two packages in terms of software: the Epson Scan Smart and the Document Capture Pro. Document Capture Pro is a brilliant software for automating your batch scanning and uploading scans as a searchable PDF file.
For anyone looking to scan years of documents to keep a digital copy, this scanner is a joy to work with. 600 dpi resolution ensures your documents maintain a professional look, and single-pass duplex functionality makes this a smart piece of kit.
Finally, a 4000 scans daily duty cycle means you can get an awful lot of productive work done without any worry that the scanner is pushing its limit.
- Don’t lose track of finances – ScanSmart Receipt Software extracts invoice/receipt data
- Categorize critical data with software that automatically extracts what you need
- Ensure simplified workflow with software that turns scans into editable and searchable PDF’s
- Epson Single-Step Technology – quickly scan both sides of a document with one pass
- Keep everything safely backed up in your choice of cloud storage service
3. Brother DS640 | Best OCR scanner for Mac
This portable OCR scanner is an impressive electronic device.
It works much better than you would expect from a portable scanner. While not a workhorse capable of lots of quick work, its output is of excellent quality.
DSmobileCapture software ensures that the top edge of anything you scan is correctly aligned even if you fail to correctly feed the document into the scanner. This saves you time having to ensure that paper is going into the DS640 with precision.
With 600 dpi optical resolution, you could send the scans from the Brother DS640 to another person, and they would think due to the image quality that you have been using something much more expensive.
Part of this is down to the Automatic Image Corrections software that ensures any problems with the original document or in the scanning process are compensated, so everything looks as professional as possible.
Finally, we urge you to buy this if you have a light scanning workload, as this has a duty cycle of 100 scans per day.
- Portable scanner, compact and lightweight for a life on the go
- Power through micro USB 3.0 cable – no need for a plug socket
- Make editable MS Word documents using OCR software
- Freedom of choice – compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Dedicated SD Slot to easily store your scans and use on mobile devices
4. Epson DS-80W | Best OCR document scanner
Do you have years of documents stored away that you would love to get rid of, but don’t want a colossal scanner to take up your office space?
Sometimes the more expensive scanners with their features and various settings can cause a bit of brain freeze. You don’t face that worry with the portable OCR scanner from Epson.
This tiny piece of equipment is easy to set up and use, simply connecting to your computer after downloading the software will allow you to press a button and scan. You don’t need a Ph.D. in computing to start working.
All that paperwork you have lying around can be quickly backed up and into cloud storage. 600 dpi optical resolution ensures that you get a quality scan.
Even at 300 dpi setting, you get a clear image and clear through your clutter a bit quicker. Speeds at that resolution are 15 pages per minute.
Finally, this scanner is so light you can travel anywhere. 299 grams is not a burden and will be barely noticeable.
- Great portable scanner – one of the lightest and smallest you’ll find
- Wireless compatibility with Android, iOS, Mac, and PC
- Sleek LCD display notifies you of scanner and battery status
- Capture not only documents – receipts, ID cards, and business cards as well
- OCR software creates editable texts or PDF’s that can be searched
5. Epson WorkForce ES-50 | Best budget scanner
This scanner with OCR from Epson is one of the most accessible scanners you are ever going to work with in your life. It is quite simply fabulous. From installation to usage, you can follow the simple to read instructions and be ready to go in a matter of minutes.
Powered by USB, this 600 dpi optical resolution scanner can produce quality, legible scans in a time that is relatively speaking quick for what is a small, lightweight, portable scanner. A letter-sized document will take a tad under 5 seconds.
If you aren’t looking for a big scanner, and don’t intend to use it with a heavy workload, this is undoubtedly a great option. It can be placed on a desk and be barely noticed. Additionally, if you are traveling with it, the weight will barely register in your hands.
The OCR software is an optional download that will undoubtedly bring simplicity to your life. This software is accurate and will integrate well with the apps you use for productivity and data collection.
Overall, this is a lovely little scanner that will work well with you.
- You won’t find a faster single-sheet feed scanner in this class
- Comes with Epson ScanSmart Software that enables an easy scanning process
- MS Word, MS Excel editable and PDFs searchable thanks to Nuance OCR
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems
- Powered by USB for convenience
OCR Scanners Buying Guide
When looking for the best scanners for OCR, there are some significant features that you need to be on the lookout for. Here we provide you an overview of what they are.
Always an essential feature when dealing with any kind of image processing, a scanner that has a 600 dpi optical resolution is still going to be great at scanning documents, photos, and anything else you want to get a digital image of.
Sometimes you see all-in-one printers really cranking up their prices because they have a 2400 dpi scanner as part of their setup.
Trust us that is just an unnecessary extra expense that you don’t need.
2. Scan Speed
Are you looking to quickly declutter the office by scanning a lot of documents so you can get rid of them? Or maybe you are in a busy workplace where a fast scanner is key to productivity. Or perhaps you just want a device available to organize what you have every now and then.
Scan speed is a factor that will most likely determine whether you are paying a lot or not that much, for your scanner.
Scanners with a speed of around 30 pages per minute in color are fantastic for workflow, but if you don’t need that kind of speed, then there are plenty of portable scanners that, while not rapid, produce scans that are of equal quality.
Obviously, you are looking for a scanner that will scan your documents and turn them either into editable MS Word and MS Excel files, or a searchable PDF. That is what this article is about, after all.
But check what other software is being utilized by the scanner. Does it have software to nicely organize all your files, or will you be doing that manually? Is the software compatible with third-party apps? Is your work streamlined or made more difficult?
Equally important is automatic image correction. This feature will ensure that everything you scan comes out looking its best, even if the document is in less than great shape.
Larger scanners should come with an automatic document feeder, while the portable ones may require a manual feed.
However, you will hopefully be buying a scanner that ensures alignment of your documents, even if you can’t manage it yourself!
The best scanner with OCR doesn’t have to be as challenging to find as Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster! We’ve gone some way towards proving that with this article.
Whether you are looking for a larger, workhorse scanner to clear boxes full of documents in a day, or a smaller scanner for lighter personal use, there’s something for everyone on our list.
Don’t forget, you want to check out how the OCR software interacts with your operating system and any third-party apps you are using.
There’s no point buying a scanner to help you organize only to find it is unusable!