Published: 22 Jun 2022

What are the different types of Scanners and their Uses?

When it comes to scanners, you need the most convenient and cost-effective scanner for your business. This can be hard to do if you don't know the answer to how many types of scanning there are.

Scanners are one of the most commonly used electronic devices, and that’s because they’re so versatile!

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word large format scanner is an old-fashioned device with buttons and a glass plate you slide your paper into to make copies or save documents on your computer.

While these scanners do still exist, there are now many different types of scanners, including some that are handheld or even portable!

Get to know your scanners by learning about the different types of scanners and their uses today.

Using large format types of scanner to scan the global map.
There are many different types of scanners on the market.

What Is the Scanner?

A scanner is a which type of device? And how does a scanner work? It is a device that scans any media, whether a paper document, film, or audio. A scanner’s job is to capture and turn images into computer files. There are two types of scanners, manual and automatic.

Manual scanners can only scan one side of an image at a time because they have no optical light source on their own.

Automatic scanners have laser and CCD light sources that scan both sides at once, making them faster than manual ones but usually more expensive.

What Is Scanner Used For?

Technically, the term scanner is a little misleading, as a scanner does so much more than scan. It can scan slides and film and create digital files of paper documents.

It can perform tasks in the office that would typically require a computer, or laptop (scanning old mail or receipts) or things you may not have realized were possible with a scanner (scanning receipts for later expense tracking).

You’ll find it saves time by eliminating the need to manually type things into your computer; instead of typing in an email address from a business card, you scan it. Some people even use scanners to digitize family albums or create backup copies of important papers.

Types Of Scanner

With the different types of scanners in the computer sector today, it’s easy to get confused about what you need and why you want each one. Here are four of the most popular scanner options available today.

Flatbed Scanners

What is a flatbed scanner? A flatbed scanner, or a contact image sensor technology (CIS) scanner, is a popular option for a small office or an independent worker.

Flatbed scanners are ideal for digitizing photos and storing them on your computer, but they are generally designed to read paper documents only. You can purchase a separate transparency adapter if you plan to scan in slides or negatives.

Sheet-Fed Scanners

Unlike flatbed scanners, sheet-fed scanners use a glass or clear plastic bed that you place your documents on.

These tend to be smaller and much cheaper than their larger counterparts. And similar to other types of scanners with picture frames.

The sheet-fed scanner typically connects directly to a computer via USB or FireWire, or they can work with a dedicated photo management program through in-built drivers.

Large-Format Scanners

A large format scanner is a multi-function device that captures small and large objects. These are primarily used for creating digital images from negatives, 35mm slides, large format negatives, and small or large objects. This is unlike other different types of scanners with images.

One of these scanners might be able to handle most of your scanning needs on its own—but make sure you’re getting one with sufficient resolution for your needs.

Special-Purpose Scanners

Many specialty scanners on today’s market perform specific tasks or have certain features. For example, you can use barcode scanners to track inventory, but there are also ones that can be used in hotels and hospitals to keep track of patient records.

There are also handheld models for conducting field surveys, and both gas station pumps and even airport kiosks can accept data from these devices.

Wide format types of scanner with an interactive screen.
It’s important to choose the product that fits your specific needs.

Recommendations For Choosing a Scanner

When choosing a scanner, you want to look for a reliable and easy machine. You should also keep in mind how you will be using your scanner. If you only scan documents occasionally, it may be best to choose a simple, one-trick device.

On the other hand, if you regularly plan to scan stacks of books and photos, consider investing in something with more features and capabilities.

It’s also important to think about what happens after your scan is complete; how do you intend to store your document? Will you need a printer, or do you need an electronic copy? These questions can help determine which features would be most beneficial for your situation.

Got Any Questions? Contact Metro Repro

At their core, all scanners are pretty similar. They’re portable—some more than others—and they all make digital versions of hard copies. But there are a few other differences between types of scanners, too.

Before you start shopping around for a scanner, it’s worth reading up on your options; knowing exactly what you need is key when it comes time to purchase.

And keep in mind that prices may vary dramatically depending on which features and connection you opt for—you may want some speed or precision that comes at an additional cost. For more information, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!