There are a lot of features to consider before buying a book scanner. In this article we compared the leading scanners for digitizing books. We looked at speed, quality, OCR, price, efficiency, portability and much more.
With 14 MP camera, page turning detection, and easy to use software, Czur’s Aura book scanner is my personal favorite scanner from the list below.
What should you consider before buying a book scanner?
Top 5 book scanners comparison table
Our first choice, OCR Supports 180+ Languages
Page-turning detection and continuous scanning
17MP book scanner with nine LED lights
ONINAA Portable Scanner
Handheld scanner, only weighs 300g
Overhead book scanner with smart Text-to-Speech feature
16 Best Book Scanners For Digitizing Books to PDFs
A smart yet simple to use overhead book scanner
- Overhead scanner
- 14 Megapixels
- Book curve flattening technology
- Available with battery for complete portability
- Auto background color optimization
- Up to A3-sized scanning capability
- OCR Supports 180+ Languages
- Read the full user manual
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Czur is a well-known brand for making book scanners. They provide 1-year warranty over their products alongside with free shipping to 220 countries worldwide on all orders over $50.
With three precise laser lines, you can rely on the scanning accuracy and image clarity from Czur’s Aura series. Being able to exactly replicate each page of a curved book without having to bend it is an amazing feature that will help you keep the physical book intact.
You can also scan up to A3 size for single sheets which may prove handy for drawings, newspapers, magazines, or small notes. The scanning speed is also just under two seconds per page which is relatively quick. At that speed you may be able to scan a 500 pages book in just under 20 minutes.
Less image noise and auto background color optimization mean scanning you can trust with four color temperature settings.
The software in use is Czur’s book scanning software which can be easily downloaded from Czur’s website.
Users liked how the scanner could be used as a desk lamp and how it folded up when you were not scanning. However, some users commented that the software proved difficult to use.
The page-turning detection will save you a lot of time
- Overhead scanner
- Page-turning detection
- Continuous scanning with a fixed time interval to scan more pages as you go
- Point retouch function to make adjustments on your scanned pages without having to rescan them
- Read full overview here
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The ScanSnap SV600 by Fujitsu is a book scanner worth looking into for each many features. The most noticeable one would be the page-turning detection function. The meaning of it is that once you have pressed the scan button, the page-turning detection will automatically continue scanning any page you turn, which can save a lot of precious time.
Other features include the blend of advanced LED illumination and CCD optics, that will allow you to eliminate unevenness in your scans. And later any issues can be eradicated using the image correction software if you need to straighten or crop any images.
This overhead scanner is also suitable for scanning old books or delicate documents that you should handle with care.
Users liked how easy the scanner was to operate and how clear the scans were. Though some have noted that larger books can present a distorted image.
This intelligently designed book scanner comes with a flattening curve technology which makes the digitization so much easier. The iOCHOW S3 Book Scanner & Document Camera also includes an automatic correction to fill in the edge of the scanned file with power-enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) and can convert JPG images for different formats.
This book scanner is also compact with a portable design so you can carry it with you pretty much everywhere.
The software is available for download through the company’s website but please note that it only supports Windows and not compatible with Mac OS.
Reviewers liked the price point of the book scanner and how well it did for page flattening. One user did experience the software freezing quite often.
Fits in every backpack
- Handheld scanner
- Only weighs 300g so you should barely notice it
- Svelte design to drop in your pocket or bag
- Three image resolution including 300dpi, 600dpi, and 900dpi for different image quality
- Compatible with Mac OS 10.4 and above as well as Windows XP/7/Vista
- Scanning software not included
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An extremely compact design that still produces high-resolution scanning can be found with the ONINAA Portable Scanner iSCAN 900. This book scanner can be used without a scanning software or you can get a book scanning software separately. It comes with two AA batteries so you can get started straight away.
Few book scanners are this easy-to-use, simply press a couple of buttons then scan away. The indicative lights prove useful to know you have quickly scanned an image properly.
Once you are done, plugin the USB cable to your Windows or Mac computer. You will then better have a document arrangement software to arrange all of the files but it’s not mandatory. This is a good book scanner for those on the move including business people, students, and travelers.
Users loved how fast the scanning was and how useful it proved for memos. One user did comment that it took four to five attempts to get the scan the way they wanted. Others mentioned issues connecting it to OCR.
Smart Text-to-Speech feature
- Auto-cropping technology
- Smart Text-to-Speech feature
- 20.1MP CMOS sensor for sharp images
- Smart tilt correction to ensure your scanned images look straight
- Record and share teaching videos and real-itime presentations
- Read the full user manual
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Most of the products on our list are simply documents scanners and that’s it. The VIISAN Multi-Language Book & Document Scanner goes even further to capture video too which may prove ideal for teachers and those who need visual aids for their presentations.
Just as a book and document scanner, the 20.1MP high-resolution CMOS sensor captures so much detail and a smart tilt correction makes sure your scans appear straight.
The image processing is top quality with punch hole removal which is great for notes, color enhancement, and background purification for worthwhile images.
Users enjoyed the functionality in this book scanner and the way it all came together. However, one user did note that the scanner failed to convert to an EPUB file.
The JOYUSING 14MP HD Book & Document Scanner is only compatible with Windows and not with any Mac products. Yet if that’s fine with you than the auto-flattening technology and fingerprint removal makes it a good value for money.
This scanner can scan documents up to A3 size and has a portable design that can be folded easily right away.
Background purifying, smart paging, and multicolor modes will produce a high quality scan of your document.
The 100 x digital zoom will allow you to focus on small details if needed.
Users have mentioned the excellent design and fast scanning. However, the fact that the book and document scanner is only compatible with Windows was seen as a drawback.
The versatility along side the price tag makes the NetumScan Book & Document Scanner well worth considering.
This device includes OCR Text Recognition for several languages, it has built-in LED light for perfect lighting and you can record live videos in real-time for convenient sharing. Moreover it is a portable and easy to use scanner.
Users do enjoy how effective the scanner is for researchers who want to quickly scan a valuable document. One user has noted how the software cannot be minimized which can be frustrating.
By combining image flattening capabilities with automatic edge detection, image correction, and automatic cropping you can ensure excellent results with your book scanning. The IRIScan Desk 5 Color A4 Document & Book Scanner goes even further with hand movement detecting and programmable timing to make sure it scans what you want, when you want it to.
Impressive functionality also includes video recording in real-time and image recording from your webcam which may prove handy for e-learning courses.
This is an ideal book and document scanner for Windows users and it is fully powered by USB connectivity.
Users have mentioned how easy the scanner was to pack away. One reviewer did suggest that it took too much time to scan as you had to center each document.
The iCODIS X9 Book Scanner can capture documents and books in extremely high definition, 21MP to be exact. That clear imaging benefits from an excellent design and a range of features.
From intelligent continuous shooting, automatic image segmentation, and the filling in of defective images. A sturdy base also gives the scanner a reassuringly formidable construction.
With OCR technology, you can also recognize over 100 languages accurately which would be ideal for educational purposes.
Users naturally really liked how sharp the images were once captured. However, one user really struggled with a yearbook.
The VIISAN A2 Large Format Overhead Book & Document Scanner brings intuitive technology to your scanning. From page-turning detection to image processing features that allow you to take snapshots.
With 23MP image capturing combined with black and white text optimization, document corner repair, and double-page merging, there really is a lot you can achieve with this one piece of equipment.
The document scanner even doubles up as a barcode reader which you can then output to an Excel file.
Users have commented on how useful they found the scanner for lab books. One disappointed user did comment that some pages did appear curved.
For any teacher or office worker that wants to quickly and easily display documents then the DINGYI Portable USB Smart Book Scanner is worth investing in. Especially with advanced OCR technology that can convert images to editable text and spreadsheet formats.
The scanner supports both English and Chinese language making it more versatile than a lot of other scanners.
There is a lot of functionality that comes in such a small package when you work with the iCODIS Overhead Scanner. From the intelligent continuous scanning to automatic image segmentation, the scanner even corrects and fills in defective images for you.
There is real-time shooting with a rate of <1.5s and you can smartly generate PDF files. Most impressively, the scanner can recognize over 100 different languages.
Users really liked the software and adjustable light brightness. Though one user was disappointed that that scanner does not have MAC compatibility
For high frame rates with high resolution, use the IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition 8MP USB Document Camera for great streaming. This is up to 30fps at full HD with 15fps at a resolution of 3264 x 2448 which is impressive.
The image sensor can excel for reducing noise reduction while reproducing color in dimly lit surroundings.
No more squinting in darkened conference rooms so you can let your presentation truly shine.
Reviewers have noted how effective the auto-focus and auto-brightness are. However, one user did suggest that the product was overpriced.
Lightweight and portable scanners tend to be simply functional yet the BAOSHARE Book Scanner is highly versatile. Use it to combine multiple PDF files for one single file to save you having to trawl through several at a time.
You could also create your own e-book or music score quickly and easily. Not to mention the intelligent picture shooting and streaming capabilities.
Users were pleased with how the mat helped them to scan a document of their choosing. However, one user did comment how it failed to prove useful when scanning old magazines.
You may be surprised at just how quick the S1 Portable Scanner from iOCHOW is. A single page can be scanned in only 1.5 seconds and with intelligent continuous shooting, you can just let it scan. That should make light work of scanning any large book.
With automatic image segmentation and real-time shooting, this is an ideal scanner for online teaching too.
Proving just how intelligent this piece of equipment can be, you can also scan barcodes as well as QR codes.
Users praised how quick the scanner was which made the task so much easier when the image quality was so good which saved them a lot of time. One user did note that the scanner had to be attached to a computer or laptop.
The INSWAN INS-1 has an auto-focusing lens that helps to sharpen the image of your subject while the brightness is adjustable. You could even connect a microscope to present close-ups onto a large screen. The document camera also doubles up as a webcam so you can effectively engage while presenting or with the classroom.
Plug and play functionality also means this is a really easy-to-use document camera.
You should also benefit from how portable and compact it is.
Users were quick to praise the document camera for how useful it was in the classroom. However, one user mentioned that they had to move an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper to fit it in.
What Types Of Book Scanners Are There?
There are a few types of book scanners you should be considering. Each type has different functions that make him suitable for different needs.
Flat Bed Book Scanners
Flatbed book scanners look like the typical scanners most of us have at home or at the office. Scanning a book with a flatbed book scanner is a bit of a struggle compared to other book scanners because there are more manual actions to take.
Overhead Book Scanner
An overhead book scanner has an overhanging camera on top and a flat surface to place the book on at the bottom. These book scanners are the most popular because they are easy to operate and they deliver great quality.
A-shaped book scanners
A-shaped book scanners are shaped like a rectangle pointing up and you lay the book open, facing down on top of them. They are comfortable to use and they don’t hold much space. But they are not ideal for scanning big quantities.
Handheld book scanner [Portable]
Handheld book scanners are like a “scanning stick” and you use them by moving them with your hand over the page. These book scanners are great for individuals who need a portable device you can place in your bag.
Automatic book scanners
Automatic book scanners are 100% hands free – all you have to do is place the book and the machine does all of the rest. These scanners are big and expensive and are not suitable for private use.
To know more about each type you may want to read our article about the different types of book scanners.
What Are The Features To Look Out For In A Book Scanner?
The coverage area determines that you cover every detail of every page. This can be as sizeable as A3 size, though few standard books are ever that big. For the pages of a standard textbook, 13.7 x 18.9 inches in the coverage area will be sufficient.
Operating System Compatibility
The computer you wish to use your book scanner with has to be compatible. That is typically the case with Windows OS yet you may need to check for Chromebook or Mac OS. Even more so with Android and iOS though you could get a scanner that works with several operating systems.
Being able to scan a book quickly can make the task so much easier. An optimum scanning speed can be one page in less than two second though this is determined by the scanner’s sensor. The average scanning speed is between one and two seconds for each page.
Camera quality measured by the number of megapixel (MP – million pixels). The higher the megapixel number, the more details your camera can capture into file. So higher MP number means better scanning camera.
In book scanners the range is between 15-25MP and the quality of the camera effects the price of the scanner. For scanning regular books, with mainly black on white letters, a 15 MP camera should work fine.
As with a lot of digital devices, you can usually find a USB port with a book scanner. For even more connectivity, a wireless connection can also help so you do not have to deal with a length of cable.
A scanning software that is fast, easy to use and arranges the page automatically is something you must consider as it can save you a great deal of time (and anger). The big book scanning brands put a lot of time and effort into making their software easy and fun to use.
It’s also important to make sure that the software works with your computer as some software only have a Windows version.
Page turning detection
One feature that will make your life much easier is page turning detection. It means that the scanner knows when you turned the page of the book and then it automatically scans without you having to click the ‘Scan’ button. Some scanners even know to wait for you to move your fingers o they can automatically hide them.
A similar feature is the automatic interval scanning. That means the scanner is scanning every few seconds. It can also save a great deal of time but it is not as efficient as the page turning detection feature.
Click the following link to learn more about how book scanners work.
What Are Automatic Book Scanners And Where Can You Buy Them?
Automatic book scanners include technology that turns each page of a book so you do not have to. This automatic page-turning can be done by page suction and proves to be highly efficient. This is ideal for unattended scanning as you can simply leave it to do the scanning for you then return to it when the task has been completed.
These pieces of equipment do come with a high cost and are not widely available. Both the ScanRobot® 2.0 MDS automatic book scanner from Treventus and SMA RoboScan V2 only look to be currently available directly from their manufacturers. These are ideal for universities and businesses to create digital copies of books from a large library and are physically imposing so not best placed in a home.
Is Scanning Books Legal?
You may find it effortless to convert your library of books into digital copies one by one. As long as you do not distribute your copies, you should remain on the right side of the law. This is largely down to copyright law which applies when you buy the book.
According to copyright laws for book scanning if you keep the scanned copy to yourself, only make one, and you should be fine.
What Is The Best Way To Scan Old Books?
There is a technique known as non-destructive book scanning for those who want to create a digital copy of an old valuable book without damaging it in the process.
For those old books, you may need to spend some time preparing the book first. That means removing any inserts, cleaning any visible dirt, and ensuring that no dust gets into the scanner.
You will also need to be careful with the binding so as not to overstretch it as you delicately scan each page. This may be a lengthy process and flattening curve technology is essential to ensure that each page looks as flat as it should so you do not have to apply any pressure to the book.
If the book is very fragile than it’s worth considering hiring a professional to do the scanning for you.
What Is a Good Scanning Speed?
A good scanning speed by a book scanner is under 3 seconds per page.
Book scanning speed depends on a few factors; How fast the scanner scans and digest a page into the software, how fast is the person turning the pages and what speed enhancing features the scanner has like page turning detection or interval auto scanning.
Of course it also depends on how large the book you want to scan is. The number of page can have a large impact on how long it takes to completely scan it. Even a fraction of a second per page can soon add up if there are hundreds of pages to scan.
If you need to scan a lot of books fast, you should look for a book scanner with continuous high-speed scanning so you do not waste time waiting for one page to scan in order to press the button again to start a new page.
A lot of book scanners are intuitive enough to know when you are turning the page and correct the scanned image to remove any visible hands or fingers. A good scanning speed to look out for is between one and two seconds per page. Some boast that they can scan a page in less than 1.5 seconds yet without continuous image scanning and page-turning detection that amount of time can soon add up.
What Is A Good Scanning Camera Quality?
The best book scanning camera quality comes from the camera resolution and that can vary wildly. For an adequate image quality of your scanned book, you need a camera resolution of over 8MP. However, if you want to get an excellent, crisp image quality then you can go further than even 22MP.
Are There Book Scanners With Automatic Page Turners?
A lot of book scanners have page-turning detection features such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600.
Book scanners that include automatic page-turning capabilities are called automatic book scanners and usually commercially used. For example the ScanRobot® 2.0 MDS automatic book scanner from Treventus.
Which Book Scanner Has The Best OCR?
The IRIScan Desk 5 Color A4 Document & Book Scanner has patented OCR software to recognize over 130 languages. While a lot of book scanners will work well with English, this one is ideal for helping scan a range of books from all over the world.
Which Book Scanner Is Best For Libraries?
If the purpose of the scanners is to be of service for students and visitors than one or more overhead scanners with state of the art features will be more than enough. Make sure These scanners have a scanning size that goes up to A2 with quick automation to ensure that the task of scanning many books is completed relatively quickly. A semi-automatic scanner should be versatile enough.
If the library plans to have a digitization project and digitize the entire collection, and they have the budget, space and personal to handle it then a fully automatic scanner will get the job done most efficiently.
Which Book Scanner Is Best For Comic Books?
For scanning comic books it’s best to use a flatbed or overhead book scanner with good resolution and wide color range so it will capture all of that details.
If the comic book is very rear and valuable you should be extra careful and use an overhead book scanner with curve flattening technology so touch as little as possible.
What Other Methods To Digitize Books Are There?
There are a few other methods to scan books without buying your own book scanner.
First of all, you can use a professional book scanning service. With these services all you have to do is to post the book across, pay the fee and let the professional do the scanning. You will get back a digital copy of your book as a PDF or any other format you might choose. This is a great option if you only plan to digitize one or two books or if it’s an old, fragile books that requires professional care.
Lastly you can try visiting the public libraries in your area and find out if they have book scanners. Nowadays many libraries have book scanners as they are digitizing their own collections. Most of the time you will be able to use the library’s book scanners free of charge.
Click on the following link to learn more about the different methods to scan books.