Best Flatbed Scanner Reviews – Portable, Desktop and Large Flatbed Scanners for Documents and Photos

There are different types of scanners on the market, and the flatbed scanner happens to be one of the most popular types today. These scanners got the name "flatbed" thanks to their large, flat glass-bed design. All you need to do is open the lid, place your photos or documents, and press a button to initiate scanning. If you are looking for the best flatbed scanners, you are at the right place. We have reviewed one scanner from five of the big names in the industry, and if you aren’t satisfied, they’ve got more on offer.

This flatbed scanner review provides a mixture of types, to give you a general overview of the different scanner options. However, if you don’t find exactly what you need here, we have reviews for specific types of scanners. Below the quick comparison chart, you will find links to our reviews for desktop scanners, office scanners for documents and photo scanners, as well as one for all-in-one printers with built in scanners.

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Scan Speed
Scan Area
Our Top Choice
Canon CanoScan Flatbed Photo Scanner
Canon is a household name when it comes to scanners and printers. They’ve got decades of experience when it comes to imaging products for home and commercial use.
9600x9600 max color dpi. Scans documents, images and 35mm film. Super Toric lens. White LEDs. Energy efficient. Fare Level 3 feature for scratch removal. EZ buttons. Gutter Shadow correction.
Some isolated issues with the software.
9600 x 9600 dpi
7 seconds per A4 page
Up to 8.5” x 11.7”
Documents, photos, 35mm film
10.7 x 18.9 x 4.4” / 10.1lbs
Best Value
Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
Flip-Pal is a brand providing innovative and patented solutions to everyday qualms, like what you do when you want to successfully scan photographs from an album.
Compact, highly portable and cord-free. Includes 4GB SD card. EasyStitch software for large photos. StoryScans to record your voice over a photo. Low light intensity. 1.7” LCD screen.
Runs on 4 x AA batteries. Would be better if it had a rechargeable battery.
300 or 600dpi
7 seconds per 4x6” image
4x6”, large photos with EasyStitch
Photos, old photos in albums
10.25 x 6.5 x 1.25” / 1.25lbs
Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner
Epson goes an extra mile in building lasting relationships with its clients. The Epson V850 is aimed at keen armatures and photo enthusiasts who are serious about their scan quality.
Excellent OCR results. High quality scans. Fully automatic mode.
Hard to use software especially for novice users.
6400 dpi
66 ppm
Up to 8.5” x 11.7”
Documents, Slides, films, photos
11.1 x 24.8 x 17.4”/ 20.9 pounds
Plustek OpticBook 3900 Flatbed Scanner
Plustek has been around since 1986, manufacturing high-quality document, flatbed, film and network standalone scanners with a great performance-cost ratio.
Works with Mac OS and Windows. Scans A4 documents in 7 seconds at 300dpi. 1200dpi max resolution. Searchable PDFs. Easy to use software. Eliminates spine shadows.
Works best when powered down and back up before using OCR applications.
7 seconds per A4 page
Up to 8.5” x 11.69”
Documents, books, magazines
17.9 x 10.64 x 3.69” / 7.6lbs
Doxie Flip Cordless Scanner
Doxie is known for making award-winning portable scanners. The Doxie Flip is a wireless, compact scanner that makes it easy for you to go paperless!
Highly portable and compact. Saves directly to cloud and SD. Impeccable scan quality.
Small scanning space.
600 dpi
9 ppm
Up to 4” x 6”
Photos, albums, sketches, objects
10.2 x 6.5 x 1.3”/ 2.2 pounds

Related Reviews
Best Desktop Scanner
Best Photo Scanner
Best Portable Office Scanner
Best All In One Printer

What Is the Best Flatbed Document Scanner? Read Our Flatbed Scanner Reviews!

Flatbed scanners come with different features and budgets to suit a range of users. This means it’s up to you to put what you’ve learned from our guide to good use and decide which is the best for you using this review.

Related: Home Office Products to Make Your Office a Healthy Working Environment
Our Top Choice
The Canon CanoScan Photo Scanner is a unique scanner able to scan documents, photos and 35mm film at a high resolution and high speed. Alternatively, the CanoScan LiDE120 is a more budget-friendly flatbed scanner, which does most of the jobs its expensive counterparts do. It offers you an incredible 4,800dpi optical resolution, allowing you to scan and save to Cloud services.

Canon CanoScan CS9000F Mark II Photo, Film and Negative Flatbed Scanner


Canon is a world-renowned name in the printers and office equipment industry. They’ve been providing consumer, business-to-business and industrial image solutions for decades, so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two. We love Canon scanners simply because they are easy to use and incorporate latest technology.

The Canon CanoScan Photo Scanner is a unique product because it scans not only documents but images and 35mm film too, all in superb quality. With a 9600 x 9600 max color dpi, you can expect superb and professional quality scans.

There’s more to this scanner though:

  • Super Toric lens for sharp and bright images
  • Zero warm up time
  • Efficient white LEDs and low power consumption
  • Fare Level 3 feature allows for scratch and dust removal
  • Auto Scan mode adjusts settings depending on what you’re scanning
  • EZ buttons make scanning super easy
  • Gutter Shadow Correction removes the shadow typically seen when scanning books
  • High Speed USB 2.0 connection
  • Max document size of 8.5” x 11.7”
Best Value
The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner is your perfect companion for scanning old photographs that cannot be taken out of the album. It’s highly portable, so you should probably grab yourself the Flip-Pal Deluxe Carry Case with Pocket too. It’s available in loads of colors to choose from.

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner with 4GB SD Card and USB Adapter


Flip-Pal is a brand that provides patented solutions to everyday problems. Their values include courage, integrity, collaboration, innovation and care and they use these values to provide the best possible products and best possible service to their customers.

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner is a unique product with tons of useful features. Firstly, it was the world’s first flatbed scanner that doesn’t need a PC to operate. It’s completely portable with an installed 4GB SDHC memory card that you can save your scanned documents or photos to.

Let’s check out some more cool features:

  • Scanning surface is approximately 4 x 6-inches
  • EasyStitch software lets you scan large images that are then expertly “stitched” together
  • StoryScans lets you record a soundbite over an image and make it into an MP4 video
  • Scans photos without removing them from albums
  • Low light intensity means it’s suitable for old genealogy records
  • Fits in handbag; 10.25 x 6.5 x 1.25-inches
  • 1.7-inch LCD screen displays scans
  • Wireless upgrade available
  • Scans a 4x6” image at 300dpi in 7 seconds
  • Choose from 300 or 600dpi options
Epson has everyone in mind when making their scanners. The Epson V850 is made to suit professional photographers and hobbyists who want to capture every detail in their scans. This is a high end flat bed scanner for photos, but if you need something less expensive, Epson has options. You could get one of their WorkForce All-in-one-Printers or the Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner.

Epson Perfection V850 Pro Photo Color Flatbed Scanner - Exclusive Dual Lens System


We can all agree that Epson has been a leading brand in the manufacture of printers, projectors, system devices and scanners. They have proven to be top innovators, delivering high performing products and solutions, all of which seem to exceed the expectations of customers.

The Epson Perfection V850 is a top-of-the-line scanner designed to suit professional photographers and of course serious armatures. Although it costs around $999.99, it is arguably one of the best choices out there if you are looking to achieve the best possible quality and do not mind paying for that privilege.

This model is an upgrade of the Epson V800, its less expensive twin. They are both meant for pros and can handle 35mm slides, negatives and positives as large as 8 x 10”. They also offer an incredible 6,400dpi optical resolution, which is more than enough to produce great quality scans. However, the main difference between the two is their optics. Our pick – the Epson V850 – offers what the manufacturers terms as an ‘enhanced version optical system’ as well as extra film holders.

The Epson V850 captures every detail and produces impeccable quality scans. If you are a photo enthusiasts, a semi-pro, or an armature that is serious about their work, then there’s more you can enjoy with this model. Here are more features in store for you.

  • Precision film scanning to capture every detail
  • Professional quality in both black and white and color scans thanks to the 6400dpi and advanced optics
  • LaserSoft SilverFast software that allows you to do a lot more with your photos and films for added control and versatility
  • Features 4.0 Dmax for remarkable shadow detail and tonal range
  • Advanced anti-reflective optical coating and high-reflection mirror that ensure you get minimal optical distortion
  • Dual Lens System, an Epson’s Exclusive that allows the machine to automatically chose from two lenses in order to provide optimal results
  • Scans a batch of slides, medium and large format film and negatives thanks to the two sets of included film holders
  • Digital ICE technology that lets the scanner automatically remove scratches and dust from the prints and film, minimizing costly retouching
  • LED light source to allow for fast scans. The machine does not need any warm up time
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems

If you are a professional photographer or just a keen hobbyist then you can get the Epson V850. But if this model is too expensive for you and you don’t want to sacrifice too much for the quality, then there are other great scanners you can get within the same line without spending a fortune. Some of these models include V800, V750 Pro, V700, V600 and V500. Check them out and see which one suits your budget and wants.

The Plustek OpticBook 3900 Scanner can scan an A4 300dpi document or image in just 7 seconds. It's designed to scan books with ease, but it has a maximum optical resolution of 1200dpi. If you are just looking a flatbed document scanner, take a look at the Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner. It's a large flatbed scanner with a 11.69" x 17" bed making it a good choice for blueprints too.

Plustek OpticBook 3800L Book and Document Scanner - CCD Image Sensor with 1200 dpi Resolution, Book Edge Design Eliminates Spine Shadow and Text Distortion


Since 1986 Plustek has been in the document scanning business and they’re known for having the best performance to cost ratio in the 25-80ppm scanner department. They manufacture a range of high-quality document, flatbed, film and network standalone scanners.

The Plustek OpticBook 3900 Scanner is Mac compatible for OS 10.7 – 10.10, quickly transforming books, bound material and magazines into digital format. It features a special design that eliminates spine shadows, making your scans smooth and professional looking, even before editing. With the ability to create searchable PDFs, you can maintain the original look and font of the document and easily manage and exchange documents.

This flatbed scanner meets ENERGY STAR standards, contributing to an environmentally friendly environment, whether that’s at home or in the office. The software included can be used with Mac or Windows and includes an image organizer, document management tools, thumbnail viewer and accurate OCR software. With a 1200 dpi optical resolution, your documents or images will be clear and focused, and you can scan an A4 page in color or black & white in just 7seconds in 300dpi mode. If you’re looking for a scanner that can accommodate a lot of work, you’ll be pleased to know this one has a 2,500-sheet daily duty cycle.

Performance and functionality is everything, and that’s just what the Doxie Flip is all about. This scanner is very light, weighing only 1.26lbs so that you can carry it home from work and vice versa. It features a flip design so that it can scan more times other than papers. If you are looking for a more portable scanner, not necessary a flat bed type, we suggest that you go with the Doxie Go SE. Impeccable speed and even more lightweight!

Doxie Flip Cordless Flatbed Photo and Notebook Scanner with Removable Lid


Although they have not been in the market for long compared to other brands in our list, Doxie has emerged as one of the industry leaders in the scanner space, producing compact models to suit people looking for scanners they can carry anywhere. Since the introduction of the first product - Doxie, the brand has proven to be efficient and vows to continue delivering innovative products in the future.

The Doxie flip is not only functional but also compact and cute. It’s the kind of scanner you will see and think, ‘yes this is perfect for my home office’ even without going into details about what it does. It is designed in a way you can see through, even when the scan is underway. The interesting thing is that you can remove the attached lid and flip the scanner over the item you want to scan and capture every little detail you want.

There is a quite interesting trend these days: scanner brands are starting to produce models that are capable of scanning more than just bills and papers. Yes, most can handle photos as well, but how about beyblades, or fabric, or even coins? The Doxie flip is well known for scanning anything you throw its way – from movie tickets to coins to jewelry and anything else!

Even though its design and ability to scan just about everything are the center of attention for the Doxie Flip, there’s more to it that will make you go even crazier about it. Here are the features that we are talking about:

  • A cordless scanner, so you can use it anywhere and everywhere even without a computer
  • Powered using batteries
  • Designed for creative ideas, including photos, albums and pocket notebooks so that you can scan your story
  • Comes with software that allows you to organize all your scans and save your copies to cloud or desktop. You can even sync all the scans directly to your iPad or SD card
  • The scanner is lightweight, close to the size of a standard book
  • A unique lid that can be removed so allow you to flip the scanner directly on your item
  • A transparent window allows you to see exactly what is being scanned

Although you can get the Doxie Flip, which is the most new addition in the Doxie line, the brand also offers other amazing scanners to suit different buyers. All are compact and can be carried anywhere. Check out the Doxie, Doxie One and the Doxie Go, and pick one that you fancy.

Best Flatbed Scanner Buying Guide – What to Look for in a Large Flatbed Scanner or Portable Flatbed Scanner for Photos and Documents

They say love makes the world go round, and in the same vein, we’ll say that technology makes the earth spin faster. Time passes with every turn of the earth around its axis, right? So, if technology makes long, arduous tasks faster and more like fun than work (and you know they say that time flies when you’re having fun), it can then be implied, in a figurative sense, that the techier the world gets, the faster our earth spins.

Let’s talk about the flatbed scanner, the reason for this review. The flatbed scanner, or flatbed, is a neat piece of technology that makes it possible to get digital copies of our documents, photos, and favorite books and magazines. It captures them just the way they are and presents them to us in a form that’s easier to store in our computer memory, on USB drives or in the cloud, and retrieve them just as easily and at any time of the day.

A flatbed scanner has a fixed, flat glass platen upon which you place the document, right-side-down, to be scanned. The scan head then moves, beneath the glass, up and down the document, taking incredibly detailed pictures of every inch of the paper. It then uses these pictures to create a digital or softcopy of the document or photo. They have an advantage over the desktop scanners, as they can be used to make digital copies of books and magazines. Flatbeds do not move the paper being scanned, which makes them a great option for fragile documents. They also produce great pictures and images.

The flatbed is quite versatile. It can be paired with a document or sheet feeder, and, just like that, your regular flatbed scanner becomes a sheet-fed scanner. Of course, you can buy some scanners that are already sheet-fed, like the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Instant PDF Scanner. With this, you can convert those piles of paper documents containing records and other important stuff into digital copies, and create some space on your desk organizer for decorative items or plain old air.

You can also get some flatbed scanners that are much larger and can accommodate a lot of use per day. These are ideal for the workplace where multiple people will be using it. The Kodak i3250 Document Scanner is one like this which has a daily duty cycle of 6000 pages! Other scanners, like the HP Scanjet Enterprise Flow 7500 Flatbed Scanner are excellent middle men, for those wanting a functional, fast scanner for the workplace but at a reasonable price. This scanner can scan up to 100 pages at a time with a scan speed of 50ppm and 100ipm.

Video: How to Scan Using a Flatbed Scanner

Learn How to Use a Flatbed Scanner. | Courtesy of wclibrary

Flatbeds have a pretty wide price range; you can find them for as low as $50 and as high as $3,400. The reason for the wide gap between those figures is actually a simple and reasonable one. When a flatbed scanner is designed for high-speed scanning and is equipped with a document feeder with a high sheet-feeding capacity, it’s only natural that it'll sell for much more than a flatbed with a more basic design. The quality of the material and construction also play important roles in determining how much these scanners will cost. That said, we advise that you don’t settle for cheap flatbed scanners, as we’ve found them to be all frills and no thrills.


The difference between a pleasant workday and a not-so-pleasant one could be something as simple as a functional flatbed scanner that delivers. We hope to hook you up with one of those through this review, and we’ve listed some of the features you should check for. See them below:

  • Resolution
  • Scan speed
  • Scan area
  • Connectivity
  • Size and dimensions
Construction and Design

The type or size of the paper you’ll be scanning with a flatbed is an important consideration. Most flatbeds do not have the capacity or sufficient scan area for anything larger than the A4 paper, that is, the standard 8.5-by-11.7-inch letter paper. If you’re scanning mostly written documents and the occasional 4-by-6-inch photos or any paper around that range, such a flatbed scanner should be more than adequate. For scanning 11-by-17-inch tabloid paper, you’ll need a flatbed with a scan area that’s large enough to accommodate it.

A flatbed scanner’s optical resolution – or simply, its resolution – refers to the number of dots of data the scanner is able to capture per inch of paper. It’s expressed as DPI (Dots per Inch). The higher the flatbed’s resolution, the higher the quality of the digital copy. If you’re scanning artwork and graphic designs, you’re going to need a flatbed with a DPI of 600 and above for decent quality pictures, or one with more than 1000DPI for great quality pictures. For those of us who need to scan text-only documents and occasional pictures, a flatbed with 300 to 600DPI will be just fine.

Flatbed scanners are generally bulky and will take up some space on your desk, but they’re worth every square inch of space they demand. They are usually about 10 to 19 inches in length, with widths of about 9 to 11 inches and heights of 1.5 to 5 inches.

Video: How to Clean a Flatbed Scanner

Proper Cleaning of the Parts of a Flatbed Scanner. | Courtesy of The Great Jelly Doughnut
Performance and Ease of Use

The software a flatbed supports is a vital consideration. While there are versatile flatbeds that can work with any of the popular scanner software on the market, there are others that come with the necessary software. They both have their advantages. While the first group of scanners gives you room for choosing the software you want, the other group makes it easy for you to set up without having to look for software that’s compatible with your scanner. Also take note of the software’s features, such as text and photo editing, conversion of documents to PDF, and saving to cloud.

If you’ll be scanning large volumes of documents at a time, consider a flatbed scanner with a sheet feeder. This will save you from having to manually change the paper, and free you for other important tasks. Depending on the volume of documents, you can choose one with a 10-sheet capacity or one with a 250-sheet capacity. A flatbed's scanning speed is measured in ppm (pages per minute). The higher a flatbed’s ppm is, the faster it’ll scan.

The connectivity of a flatbed refers to the interface through which the scanned documents are transferred to your computer. The basic connectivity option is the USB interface. There are connectivity options that include Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

Get the Best Flatbed Scanner of 2023!

We’ve come to the end of this review and it’s our hope that you have not left empty-handed, but have found a great scanner that meets your budget and needs.

Our Top Choice
Canon CanoScan Flatbed Photo Scanner
Best Value
Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner
Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner
Plustek OpticBook 3900 Flatbed Scanner
Doxie Flip Cordless Scanner

Flatbed Scanner FAQs

What is a flatbed scanner?
A flatbed scanner is one that holds a document, book, or other pieces of paper on a flat, glass surface for scanning. As the scanner head moves under the glass, it captures the document's image, converting it into an electronic file. Some flatbed scanners have sheet feeders for use with multiple sheets of paper.
How to choose a flatbed scanner?
Before choosing a flatbed scanner, there are several things to consider – the scanning resolution, color depth, maximum scan size, connectivity, scanning speed, and included software. Scanner resolution can be defined in terms of the optical resolution or interpolated resolution. Optical resolution is how much detail the scanner can see, and interpolated resolution is the details it can produce. Check the scanner's rating in terms of dots per inch (DPI). Typically, a good scanner should have a resolution of 1200DPI or more. The color depth refers to a scanner's ability to produce files with very subtle variations in different hues. Typically, a good scanner should have a 24-bit color depth at the very least. The scan size (which should be A4 and above) determines how big your documents can be. To know whether the scanner is compatible with your computer, check whether it connects via USB or any other cable. If you have many documents to scan (such as in an office), then having a machine with a high scan speed is essential. Finally, it is necessary to check if the included software is useful. For example, some scanners come with software for converting scanned files into word documents.
How to scan negatives with a flatbed scanner?
You can scan a negative with a flatbed scanner by first separating it from the larger strip. Then remove fingerprints and dust from the negative using a microfiber cloth. After placing the negative at the center of the bed, align it correctly with the scanner sides. Place an A4-sized piece of paper above the negative. Remove the scanner lid (where possible) or lift it to illuminate the negative using a lamp. Start the scanning software and click SCAN. When it is through, crop the resultant image and SCAN again. Finally, save the picture as a GIF or JPEG file.