10 Best Portable Scanners for Mac in 2021
People are working from home now more than ever. Home offices are becoming the new thing. That's why everyone needs office equipment at home, and anywhere else they might be working from.
Portable scanners allow you to work from anywhere you want, it doesn't need to be plugged into a wall and will take up far less space than a regular one.
And if you're looking for the best portable scanners for Mac, you've landed on the right article.
We've rounded up a list of the top portable scanners for Mac so that you can equip your home office with one. In this article, you'll find out the benefits of a portable scanner, portable scanners for Mac reviews, and the factors you need to keep in mind before buying.
Benefits of a Portable Scanner
Although a portable scanner and a regular scanner basically does the same job, portable scanners do have some added benefits that you'll enjoy.
Most, if not all, portable scanners are battery-powered, which means you won't have to deal with cables or worry about an electrical outlet.
Whether you want to scan a paper that's larger than the average paper or you want to scan a small photograph, with a portable scanner, you have to worry about the size of the document anymore.
Portable scanners are smaller than the regular ones, which means they take less time to boot up. You can scan a number of documents at the same time.
10 Best Portable Scanners for Mac
In this section of portable scanners for Mac reviews, you'll find out the features and specifications of the best portable scanners in detail.
1. Epson WorkForce ES-50 Portable Sheet-Fed Document Scanner for PC and Mac
This is one of the fastest and lightest portable scanners you'll find on the market right now. When you're on the go, you need a machine that can perform faster without compromising on quality. It can scan a page in as little time as 5.5 seconds.
Don't be fooled by its small and portable size. It can scan extra-long pages, IDs, receipts, and pretty much any type of document you might need for the office or for home. You can easily scan any document up to 8.5"×72".
The Epson ScanSmart Software that's used in this scanner will allow you to save, scan, and review important data. Another great feature is the Automatic Feeding Mode, which can be used to scan multiple pages into one file.
Epson has included the Nuance OCR in their scanner. What this will do is it'll allow you to create PDF files that are searchable. Not to mention, you'll also be able to create Word and Excel files that can be edited.
Although we're looking at portable scanners for Mac, it doesn't hurt if they're compatible with Windows as well. This particular scanner can be used in Mac and Windows PC, a very useful feature for a portable scanner. The TWAIN driver that's included with the scanner is also compatible with any software for imaging.
Last but definitely not least is its power supply. It's USB powered, which means all you have to do is connect it to your computer, no need for any battery or power supply.
2. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Portable Color Duplex Document Scanner
The next one in our portable scanners for Mac reviews is the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i. Fujitsu is a well-known name in the technical world. The scanner yet another of its products with unbeatable performance and unmatched quality. This is the perfect scanner if you want something compact and light.
With this scanner, you can scan up to 12 pages, front and back, in one minute. And when scanning coloring pages, you can expect an optical resolution of 600 dots per minute. The OCR technology used in the scanner allows you to scan documents that can be edited in Word or Excel.
For PDF files, you can create ones that are searchable. Perfect for both home and office use, you can scan a wide range of document types like receipts, business cards, reports, even drawings of your children.
What's really cool about this scanner is the intelligent software that can detect relevant information to store accordingly. For example, it'll be able to recognize certain words in your receipts to add up your expenses.
If you want to scan and directly upload your documents on Cloud, Dropbox, Evernote, or any other online storage accounts, you can now do that with this scanner.
Included with the scanner, you'll be getting an AC cable and an adapter and a USB bus power cable and a USB cable. Its compact size makes it easy to store, use, and put away. The ADF tray that's also included will also make life a lot easier as you won't have to wait with a handful of documents.
3. Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS 620
If your work requires you to digitize 5-10 pages a few times a day, then you can rely on the Brother DS 630 scanner. It'll give you decent performance for light office work every day.
This scanner has an acceptable scan speed for short documents, an easy-to-operate filing system, and comes with an attractive price tag. With a size of slightly smaller than 11.5 inches and weighing less than 1 pound, it is the perfect on-the-move scanner.
You just slide it in one corner of your backpack, and you won't know it's there. It'll let you scan all kinds of documents, including business cards, photographs, ID cards, receipts, invoices, and anything you might need to store digitally.
With a scan speed of 8 ppm, it'll scan any color of black pages at up to 1200 dpi for interpolated scanning and 600 dpi for optical scanning.
And you are able to scan your documents straight to any local or shared folder, to the printer, FTP, or email. This reduces any extra time and effort for scanning separately and transferring the documents where you want them.
The integrated filing management is further enhanced by the inclusion of SANE and TWAIN drivers. If you're wondering whether it'll work on Windows or Linux, then there's no need to worry because Brother DS 620 is compatible with all three operating systems.
Home offices don't allow for a lot of space, and you need something that can fit in the smallest spaces. This compact and lightweight scanner used for low-volume BN work is the perfect portable scanner for any light-duty scanning jobs.
4. Brother DS-720D Mobile Color Page Scanner
The next one on our list is the highly sought after Brother DS 720D. It has some additional features than its previous version. You can easily carry this scanner wherever you go because of how extremely lightweight it is.
If you want to set it up somewhere in your home or office, it'll only need a small corner to fit its less than 12 inches body. One very useful feature that it has that its previous version doesn't have is that it's capable of scanning both sides of a document at the same time.
Whether it's photographs, receipts, business cards, or laminated ID cards, you can scan any sort of document at a speed of 8 ppm. If you're using the duplex feature in the scanner, then you'll get a decent 5 ppm. This scanner can handle any documents up to 8.5" wide × 32" long. Thus, if you already own a printer for screen printing, you can rest assured your scanned design will get printed with utmost accuracy.
You'll be getting a wide range of software with it for easy document management. There's a Nuance PaperPort SE 12 for Windows and Presto! PageManager 9 for Mac. Along with this, other software packages like BizCard 6 and BR Receipts allow you to keep track of contacts and expenses without any extra effort.
This DS-720D scanner will scan documents and photographs in high quality, quickly and efficiently, and then digitizes them the way you want. Anything you can be uploaded directly to shared folders, email, printer, or FTP. The fact that it's USB powered without the need for any power source or battery adds to its portability.
5. Brother Wireless Document Scanner, ADS-1700W
We promise this is the last and best product of Brother that we'll include. The AFS-1700W is a wireless portable scanner that allows you to scan multiple documents in a fast and efficient manner.
Its automatic document feeder can scan a bundle of duplex color or black and white documents at a capacity of 20 pages at once. The speed you'll be getting is 25 ppm for simplex and 50 imps for duplex, which is the best you'll get among the other Brother products reviewed here.
And its compact size will fit any space you have on your desk, which makes it perfect for small office spaces and an excellent choice or home offices. There's a color touchscreen display measuring 2.8 inches. It allows you to control and regulate the documents and scanning options with simple touches.
Another cool thing about this scanner is the Auto Start Scan. If you just put the document on the feeder, it'll automatically start scanning to a profile that has been predefined.
With this scanner, you can be assured of top quality resolution with 600 dpi. The automatic image rotation feature will reduce one more step for you as you won't have to set the layout manually. It'll decide and set the document in portrait or landscape mode.
The software included is able to quickly transfer scanned documents to various destinations like FTP, email, and USB driver. You can also upload to shared folders, cloud apps, and mobile devices. Since it's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, you and your coworkers can all share this scanner. And if you already have the dsl modem router combo installed in your office, the job becomes effortless.
6. Scanmarker Air Pen Scanner
When discussing portable scanners, it doesn't get any more portable than this Scanmarker Air Pen Scanner. It is virtually a pen that you can use on the text that you want to scan. You'll use it just like you use a highlighter pen.
This is the perfect tool for students, teachers, and professionals who need to remember or note down important information from books, articles, or any other type of document. It is 20 times faster than an average typing speed, and the letters and numbers appear immediately on the computer screen. Thus, printing labels from your label makers will become as easy as pie.
You can connect the Scanmarker Air Pen through a USB cable or via Bluetooth. The UBS just needs to be connected to your computer or any other mobile devices that are supported. And Bluetooth is available in most, if not all, mobile phones and computers, which is why we love that it can be connected via Bluetooth. We tested the quality with our anti-glare TV, and the output was more than satisfactory.
The functionality of the pen scanner cannot get any simpler. All you have to do is just glide the pen along with the text you want to scan. It can scan fonts up to 22 pt so you can even scan two lines at once.
However, if the font of your text is larger than standard text size, then try to center the line you want to scan and keep the pen steady.
It's able to translate and scan in numerous languages, including French, Armenian, Korean, Latin, Russian, Zulu, Afrikaans, and many more. As you slide the pen across the text, you'll see the translation appear on the screen instantly.
7. Fujitsu PA03688-B005 ScanSnap iX100 Wireless Mobile Scanner
The next one on our list of the best portable scanners for Mac is the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100. This is the ideal scanner if you want quick and fast, light-duty scanning.
It is designed for scanning documents to your laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet on the go with a manual feed feature. This is an upgrade from a previous version offering much better software collection.
Although it's a manual feed, single-sheet scanner designed to scan one or two pages, it is well worth the price if you're looking for a scanner for light everyday office work. It can scan a full-color page in 5.2 seconds, which will save you time while you attend to other tasks. Also, you can use it in combination with the best printer for watercolor paper to express your artistic instincts.
And the scanner runs on battery, so there's no need to worry about a power outlet or the tangle of cables under your desk. This rechargeable battery will allow you to scan a total of 260 pages on a full charge. Good enough to last you a couple of days if you're on the road.
Along with the battery, it has a USB port to transfer data to devices and WiFi connectivity, which allows you to operate the scanner over the internet.
Moreover, the maximum page size that this scanner can handle is 8.5"×34". This should cover almost all types of documents that you'll need to scan at an office or home. Its small size of 10.7 inches in length is perfect for setting it up at any available space on your desk.
Softwares included in the scanners allow you to upload your documents on Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and other shared applications. With the other utilities included, like ScapSnap Receipt, CardMinder, Scan Snap Organizer, you'll be able to accomplish a wide array of tasks with the help of this scanner.
8. Epson Workforce ES-55R Mobile Receipt and Document Scanner
Our next pick is specially designed for those involved with account keeping and finance maintenance. It is the Epson Workforce Receipt Scanner featuring premium Accounting Editon Software for better data management. If you get this scanner, you won't need extra accounting software for your firm.
This efficient scanner can digitize and organize data related to expenses from invoices, receipts, and other documents. Thus, it's work seamlessly with your shipping label printer.
And this smart software will be included free of charge. You won't need to pay an annual subscription fee for it. It will extract and categorize important data from receipts, and with the easy integration system, you can manage your records in places like QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Quicken.
Scanned documents can be stored in various destinations like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Cloud. The Nuance OCR allows you to create searchable PDF files, and Word and Excel files that can be edited.
Epson allows pages as long as 72 inches to be scanned on a single feed. This one is a single feed and single-sided scanner, but because of the automatic feeding mode, it accepts a new sheet automatically and scans documents at 10 ppm speed.
It's USB-powered and weighs less than 10 oz, which makes it the perfect scanner to carry around whenever you go. Or if you want to set it up in your office, it'll need only a sliver of your desk to fit snugly.
9. ClearClick Photo & Document Scanner
This ClearClick Scanner is another excellent device for digitizing your photos and documents. You don't need to connect it to a computer or a laptop for it to work because you can store the scanned documents or photos on a MicroSD card.
The ClearClick scanner can scan photos and documents up to 1200 dpi, and with the automatic document feeder, you can expect it to scan photos automatically up to 47 inches in length and 8.5 inches in width.
It has a pretty good scan speed of 12 images per minute, which is better than most of its competitors. If the paper is not straight when going in the software in it will be able to straighten it.
Although you don't need a computer to run it, you can connect the scanner to the computer when you want and download the documents and photos from it. The OCR allows you to create PDF files that are searchable and Word and Excel files that can be edited.
Moreover, it runs on batteries, so no need for power outlets or cables to worry about. You just need three AA batteries, and you're good to go. Except for the batteries, you'll get everything you need to operate it. Even when paired with cheap printers, the result seems to be satisfactory.
Also, this scanner offers you an easy and quick way to scan top quality images within a few seconds. Its high dpi and simple storage system make it our pick for the best portable photo scanner for Mac.
10. Vupoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner
The last one on our list might just be the coolest portable scanner out there. It's a two-in-one scanner with amazing features. The name Magic Wand is appropriate for it because you can literally wave it over the paper you want to scan and voilà. We had lots of fun with it while working in combination with our best envelope printer.
Whether it's a document, picture, receipt, book, whatever you want to scan, just roll the scanner over it, and you'll get high quality digitized materials in JPEG or PDF format. Once scanned, you can then transfer the files to your computer via a USB cable to view them.
It's a two in one scanner because if you want, you can attach it to the auto-feed dock to scan your documents and images automatically. When you're using it as a wand, you'll get a decent 1050 dpi scan resolution and, when docked, expect 1200 dpi images.
It boasts a whopping 125" long scan capability with an 8.5" width. Vupoint claims you can achieve this in just under 3 seconds. This will allow you to scan oversized documents or receipts.
An external memory card of up to 32 GB can be used to store all your files. Although you'll have to buy this memory card separately as it doesn't come with the scanner.
This portable scanner uses a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged and will last for 400 scans and more. The great thing about this scanner is if you want, you can detach the heavier part and use only the light wand for scanning.
Things to Consider before Buying
Now that you know what the best portable scanners are, you need to make a decision for yourself. But before you can do that, make sure you keep the following things in mind.
The speed of scanning is measured in images per minute (ipm) or pages per minute (ppm). It's important to know the speed of scanning because it tells you how fast you can finish the task at hand. You don't want to be stuck scanning at while other work at hand stays undone.
If your work is mainly based on scanning a huge amount of paperwork, then look for a scanner with a high scan speed. So, for a product to be considered as the best portable scanners for Mac, it has to have a great scanning speed.
Portable scanners are usually powered by the computer via a USB cable, rechargeable battery, or an AC adapter. If your work involves moving from place to place with the portable scanner, then you need to consider getting one that's UBS powered or has a rechargeable battery.
The batteries should also be of good quality so that a single charge will last a couple of days, at least.
Document Size and Type
As you've seen in our review section, different brands and models of portable scanners can handle different sizes of documents. There are some scanners that can only scan paper of standard thickness.
If you need to scan oversized documents or various paper types like business cards or laminated ID cards, then make sure you look for a scanner that allows all types of paper and can handle larger document sizes. Going for a smaller scanner is not a bad option if you don't need to scan large documents. Any compact printer will do the job nicely in that setup as well.
Although you might be the only one using the scanner with your computer, you might have to charge it somewhere else. If your own computer is having problems and you need to connect it to a different one, you have to make sure it's compatible with both Mac and Windows.
The software included with the scanner determines how efficiently you can digitize and organize your documents. There are various software offering ways to simplify your tasks like extracting and organizing information from receipts and business cards.
And there are portable scanners that can read aloud and translate documents from different languages. So depending on the kind of work you expect from the scanner, you need to see whether it can support that software or not.
Duplex or Simplex
Duplex scanning increases efficiency and reduces the time required for scanning, while simplex may be too time-consuming for heavy loads of work.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the most commonly asked queries regarding the best portable scanners:
1. How long will a portable scanner take to scan a document?
It depends on the brand and model you choose. Most portable scanners can scan a single page within 5 to 10 seconds.
2. How can I transfer my files from the scanner to the computer?
Different types of scanners do this is in different ways. Depending on the scanner you own, you can transfer your files either with a USB cable, via Bluetooth or over the WiFi. First, you scan the document or photo, then connect your computer with the scanner using the connectivity options that are available to you.
3. How long can I use a portable scanner with a single charge?
If you have a good battery like a lithium-ion one, then you can expect it to last you a couple of days with a decent number of scans per day.
4. Can I scan documents that can be edited?
Yes! You'll need the correct software for that, but most portable scanners nowadays include this as their software. If you have a Nuance OCR, then you can create editable Word and Excel files.
5. What else can I scan other than documents in portable scanners?
You can scan photographs, business cards, receipts, invoices, books, even laminated ID cards depending on the model of the scanner.
A portable scanner is an excellent office tool as it saves time, space, and increases efficiency. They're also a great addition in your home for scanning all those old pictures tucked inside the wardrobe.
Read through our buying guide and pick one from our list of best portable scanners for Mac, and we're sure you won't be disappointed.