The Best Portable Document Scanner for 2023

These portable document scanners will make your life so much easier. Why not check out our list and get yourself one?

Technology has changed the way work is done today. More importantly, it has changed how we store or send important documents. With the freedom to work from home or wherever we feel most productive, comes the need for portable equipment. This makes devices such as portable document scanners invaluable.

Purchasing a handheld scanner allows you to quickly digitize documents, eliminating the need to manage stacks of paper documents. In our guide, we have compiled a list of some of the best options you should consider adding to your work arsenal. Take the leap and watch your productivity soar.

How We Picked

  • Speed

    The best portable document scanners produce superior results in a minimal amount of time. Those that yield 300 dpi scans or higher are ideal as they take less than 10 seconds for each document.

  • Usability

    You don't want to fumble around trying to figure out how to use the document scanner. Go for one that has straightforward instructions and is easy to use.

  • Wi-Fi Connectivity Abilities

    Wireless portable scanners give the best value for money. Since they connect to other devices or cloud services via Wi-Fi, they do not require cumbersome USB connections.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    It’s important to get value for your money. As such, look for a portable document scanner that is affordable, produces an output of the highest caliber, is simple to operate, and fits your budget.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Brother DS-940DW

Brother DS-940DW

All you need in a portable document scanner.

It's hard to find a portable scanner that does all the heavy lifting. However, this one from Brother is one of the few. It's fast, scans a wide variety of documents, has Wi-Fi connectivity, and does duplex scanning. You can count on this scanner to handle all your work needs effortlessly.

Buy Now

This portable scanner meets all your needs seamlessly.

Our Runner-Up

Epson WorkForce ES-50

Epson WorkForce ES-50

It has excellent compatibility with Windows and Mac.

If you frequently use both Mac and Windows, this scanner from Epson is perfect for you. It also connects to your computer by USB, so you don't need any batteries or an external power supply. Its impressive speed and ability to handle different kinds of documents make this scanner a valuable device to have. Consider this model for easy, on-the-go scanning.

Buy Now for $99.99

This is a fantastic scanner that supports both Windows and Mac.

Most Cost-Effective

Brother DS-640

Brother DS-640

Fantastic quality at a fair price.

Are you looking to buy a portable scanner without breaking the bank? The Brother DS-640 gets the job done. It's compact, fast, and lightweight. In addition, it can handle a wide variety of documents, from receipts and business cards to photos and A4 paper. This is a fantastic scanner for someone on a budget.

Buy Now

A fairly priced yet impressive portable scanner.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Brother DS-940DW

Brother DS-940DW

All you need in a portable document scanner.

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Epson WorkForce ES-50

Epson WorkForce ES-50

It has excellent compatibility with Windows and Mac.

$99.99

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Brother DS-640

Brother DS-640

Fantastic quality at a fair price.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

If you do most of your work outside the office and are looking for an efficient and lightweight portable document scanner, you will find this guide useful. The information in this article is also beneficial if you want to switch to remote working but are worried about keeping up a high level of productivity.

Difference between a flatbed scanner and a handheld
A flatbed scanner has a flat surface where the printed image or document is scanned and stored, while a handheld scanner scans documents as you pass the device over them by hand. Also, flatbed scanners are more expensive since they create images of higher quality.

Can’t I just use an app on my phone?
Phone apps work for scanning, but they still rely on the phone’s camera. They are therefore prone to problems such as inconsistent lighting on the document due to glare and hot spots from the flash and struggling with different focus levels, lighting, and irregular edges when scanning a folded page. Also, you must manually stretch the app’s bounding box to cover the entire document when the auto mode is not quite right. A portable document scanner eliminates all these headaches.

Why You Should Trust Us

We scoured through numerous options available on the market, looking at their features and customer reviews. You can rest easy knowing that our selections are some of the best-performing portable document scanners you can find.

How We Picked

A portable document scanner that’s easy to use and maintain contributes to an enjoyable work experience. These document scanners come in different sizes to meet various needs. If you move your work set up around a lot, you’ll need a portable scanner that’s small and light enough to carry around. Depending on your work output, you might want to choose either a handheld or a flatbed scanner. The design of the scanner is also something to consider if portability is a key issue for you. In our guide, we have provided different options to help you make the best choice.

If you need to scan mini documents frequently, then you need a portable scanner with a high speed to increase the efficiency of your work. Also, having a scanner with wifi connectivity is advantageous as this eliminates the need for USB cables, which tend to create a messy setup.

For maximum efficiency, it’s better to buy an OCR scanner because it converts documents into editable formats such as Word, Excel, and PDF instead of the conventional image format. You’re also better off with a duplex scanner that can automatically scan a sheet of paper on both sides rather than having to scan each side manually.

The best scanner is one that combines all or most of these features at an affordable price to give you the best value for money. Our research considered all these functionalities to bring you the best options for your scanning needs.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Brother DS-940DW

Our Top Pick

Brother DS-940DW

Brother DS-940DW

All you need in a portable document scanner.

It's hard to find a portable scanner that does all the heavy lifting. However, this one from Brother is one of the few. It's fast, scans a wide variety of documents, has Wi-Fi connectivity, and does duplex scanning. You can count on this scanner to handle all your work needs effortlessly.

Buy Now

Who It's For

This device is for anyone looking for an all-around high-performance scanner. It handles a wide variety of tasks excellently and comes at a great price.

Why It's Great

At 15 pages per minute, the Brother DS-940DW's speed is impressive. Its duplex scanning feature saves you time since you don't have to feed a double-sided document through it twice. From receipts and business cards to photos and A4 paper scans, this device handles a wide variety of documents with high-quality output.

Potential Flaws

Most customers love this scanner. However, others say that it is a nightmare to install and set up for various uses since you don't use one piece of software for everything. Also, at 1.5 pounds, this scanner is relatively heavy, making it unsuitable for those who move around a lot.

Other Features

Once you become familiar with the Brother DS-940DW, this scanner is fairly easy to use. It comes with pre-installed scanning software and a mobile app, saving you the hassle of installation. You can connect this scanner to other devices as well as upload your scans to the cloud thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity feature. It's no surprise then that this scanner receives 62% of five-star ratings on Amazon.

Product Specifications

Connectivity: Wireless, USB
Size: 12.6 x 2.5 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 1.50 lbs
Max scanning speed: 15ppm

Our Runner-Up - Epson WorkForce ES-50

Our Runner-Up

Epson WorkForce ES-50

Epson WorkForce ES-50

It has excellent compatibility with Windows and Mac.

If you frequently use both Mac and Windows, this scanner from Epson is perfect for you. It also connects to your computer by USB, so you don't need any batteries or an external power supply. Its impressive speed and ability to handle different kinds of documents make this scanner a valuable device to have. Consider this model for easy, on-the-go scanning.

Buy Now for $99.99

Who It's For

If you frequently work with both Windows and Mac, then you'll love this scanner. It handles high volumes of scans with excellent results and it's also lightweight making it portable enough to carry anywhere.

Why It's Great

The Epson WorkForce ES-50 is a fantastic lightweight scanner for scanning on the move. It's great for scanning receipts, packing slips, business cards, credit cards, and various kinds of documents. No need to worry about batteries running out of charge since this scanner is USB powered — you simply plug it into your laptop and go.

Potential Flaws

There is no included OCR from Epson for this scanner. Instead, the company refers you to an OCR software that some customers claim doesn't work. The scanner also lacks wireless connectivity and doesn't do double-sided scanning, so keep that in mind. If these reasons make this scanner not a good fit for you, then consider the other options on our list.

Other Features

Customers have lots of raving reviews for this scanner. They find it pretty easy to use, fast (5.5 seconds per page), and handy for creating PDF and image files. It handles high volumes of scans well, and the quality is excellent. To help you manage your scans and get the best results, the scanner comes with Epson's SmartScan software already installed.

Product Specifications

Connectivity: USB
Size: 1.8 x 10.7 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 9.4 lbs
Max scanning speed: 10ppm

Most Cost-Effective - Brother DS-640

Most Cost-Effective

Brother DS-640

Brother DS-640

Fantastic quality at a fair price.

Are you looking to buy a portable scanner without breaking the bank? The Brother DS-640 gets the job done. It's compact, fast, and lightweight. In addition, it can handle a wide variety of documents, from receipts and business cards to photos and A4 paper. This is a fantastic scanner for someone on a budget.

Buy Now

Who It's For

If you've been looking for a fantastic yet reasonably-priced portable document scanner, this model is for you. It will fulfill all your scanning needs without putting a dent in your purse.

Why It's Great

The Brother DS-640 handles most media: anything from receipts, plastic ID cards, and business cards up to photos and A4 paper with no compromise on quality. It's compact and fairly lightweight at only 1.85 pounds, making it perfect for taking with you wherever you go. You can improve scans for the best image quality using the image optimization feature.

Potential Flaws

This printer doesn't have Wi-Fi connectivity, which makes it a challenge to connect to other devices. It also only does single-sided scanning. If these are dealbreakers for you, consider the other selections on our list.

Other Features

The instructions are straightforward, making for an easy setup process. Its 16 pages per minute scanning speed is impressive, as is the OCR capability that turns your hard-copy documents into editable Microsoft Word files. In addition, this scanner is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. All these features come at a reasonable price, hence the high ratings by customers on Amazon.

Product Specifications

Connectivity: USB
Size: 11.8 x 4.1 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 1.85 lbs
Max scanning speed: 15ppm

Almost Made The Cut - Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi

Almost Made The Cut

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi

Look no further that for an easy-to-use, self-contained scanner

This scanner from Doxie Go is a winner for its streamlined simplicity of use. It runs on a rechargeable battery and has a 16GB SD card that stores up to 8,000 pages. This means you'll only download scans to your computer when needed. A handy device for working on the go.

Buy Now for $219.00

Who It's For

If you've been looking for a portable scanner that you don't need to plug in before using, you will find this one from Doxie ideal. It's self-contained and perfect for scanning on the go.

Why It's Great

The Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi is an amazing self-contained scanner. You can operate it even without turning on the PC/laptop. It runs on a rechargeable battery and comes with a 16GB SD card that holds up to 8,000 pages, meaning you don't have to download scans to your computer until you need them. This scanner is easy to use and the image quality is excellent.

Potential Flaws

The Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi is noticeably sluggish in comparison to other brands, taking eight seconds per page. Some customers also find it slow at importing images from the internal SD card. For these reasons, we had to drop this scanner from our top picks.

Product Specifications

Connectivity: Wireless, USB
Size: 12.25 x 2.25 x 1.75 inches
Weight: 1.94 lbs
Max scanning speed: 7ppm

Care and Maintenance

Keeping your scanner clean
Your portable scanner will naturally accumulate dust and grime as you use it. Don’t wait too long before cleaning it — try to do it once a week, or every 800 to 1,000 scans. To clean your portable scanner you can use several different solvents such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hairspray, or alcohol wipes.

In case your portable scanner jams multiple times a day or produces lines in the scans, it’s time for a deep clean. This could mean that there is dust far inside the scanner, the feed mechanism is bent, or the springs are worn out. Take your scanner to a repair shop so they can access those parts and do a deep cleaning.

Where and how to carry around
To protect your portable document scanner while in transit, use a carrying case or bag. These will protect your scanner against dust, debris, moisture, and other contaminants that can cause it to malfunction. Ensure the thread is heavy-duty so that the seams do not fray or come apart.

Keep your portable document scanner in its carry case or bag when not in use. Ensure it’s on a stable surface that won’t be bumped around to prevent damage to the internal mechanism.

Battery care
We recommend having several batteries to switch around so that you don’t wear out one too quickly. When the battery isn’t in the scanner, store it in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight or heat to prevent damage.

Cord care
Keep the cord safely stored away in the carry case when not in use. This is especially needed if you have young kids or pets who may chew on the cord while playing.