The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (2023)

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With the pandemic starting to recede in the rear-view mirror, businesspeople are traveling again. Meanwhile, the category of portable scanners has been growing by leaps and bounds—not only to support all kinds of work on the road, but also in hybrid home offices. (Mobile scanners also make great gifts for the students, home-office workers, or road warriors in your life.)

Whether you need to convert paper documents to editable text, create and maintain contact databases, or assemble an expense report with digitized receipts, our list of the top portable scanners we’ve tested surely contains a match. You'll find mobile scanners in several different flavors, with widely varying features and capabilities. (Some are more portable than others.)

We've pulled together our favorite tested picks for a broad range of applications. They include a few specialty scanners for tasks like collecting business cards at trade shows or digitizing book pages in libraries. We’ve broken them out below in detail. Following that, look for our buying guide with general advice on picking a portable scanner, and a spec breakout of our top models.

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Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (1)

Brother DSmobile DS-940DW

Best Manual-Feed Wireless Portable Document Scanner

4.5 Outstanding

Why We Picked It

As portable scanners go, the DS-940DW is fast and accurate. It comes with wireless connectivity, a complete software bundle, and a built-in battery. The battery and the ability to scan to microSD flash memory cards allow for cable- and computer-free operation. In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, you also get USB 3.0 for connecting to a single computer at the office or in a hotel room. It's slim, light, compact and feature-rich, making it ideal for low-volume document scanning at home or on the road.

Who It's For

Unless you require multipage scanning, this little portable does everything you'd expect from a manual-feed document scanner. It should easily serve users at trade shows, job fairs, soccer and Little League tryouts, you name it—anywhere that data harvesting doesn't require scanning more than a few pages at a time.


  • Small and light.
  • Fast scanning and processing.
  • Accurate OCR.
  • Solid software bundle.
  • Easy to use.
  • Autonomous scanning to microSD card.
  • Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 connectivity.


  • No automatic document feeder.
  • MicroSD card not included.


$189.98 Amazon $189.98 Walmart $189.99 Best Buy

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Brother DSmobile DS-940DW Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (2)

Epson RapidReceipt RR-70W

Best On-the-Road Receipt/Accounting Scanner

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The RR-70W ships with Epson's ScanSmart Accounting Edition, an add-on to the company's ScanSmart scanning utility and document management software. This portable is highly accurate, dependable, light, and compact. It's also wireless and comes with a built-in battery, letting you use it without cabling or connecting to a computing device. If you need something more powerful for scanning stacks of financial documents—say, a full-fledged sheetfed document scanner with an automatic document feeder (ADF)—the Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W is worth checking out; otherwise, the RR-70W is ideal for sporadic, small scan jobs.

Who It's For

If you're buying or selling on the road and need to scan one- or two-page sales receipts, invoices, and other papers, the RR-70W's Receipt Manager plug-in handles the job deftly, making this scanner a good choice for just about anyone gathering small amounts of data on the fly or in cramped surroundings.


  • Relatively fast
  • Accurate OCR
  • Strong software bundle, including ScanSmart Accounting Edition
  • Built-in battery
  • Compact and light


  • No memory card support
  • Lacks ADF


$179.99 Amazon $199.99 Best Buy $259.99 Epson

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Epson RapidReceipt RR-70W Review

Why We Picked It

We choose the Epson ES-300 year after year because it offers almost every feature and capability of a full-blown sheetfed document scanner at a reasonable price. In fact—as we've said before—feature for feature it's as capable as an entry-level sheetfed desktop scanner, if not quite as fast. The ES-300 comes with a 20-sheet automatic document feeder, multiple connectivity options, scanning to USB memory devices without a PC, Epson's excellent ScanSmart software, and much more.

Who It's For

The ES-300W is powerful enough to serve as a light-duty scanner in several scenarios, including as an office scanner for home or hybrid offices, front desks at doctors' offices, auto parts stores, or dental offices, to name a few good fits. Its ability to scan stacks of business cards or thick plastic ID cards and credit cards is an added bonus for specialized scanning tasks.


  • Highly portable.
  • Fast scanning and saving to PDF.
  • Comes with document and business card management software.
  • Battery and integrated Wi-Fi.


  • Finicky when scanning documents with frayed edges.


$283.99 Amazon

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Epson WorkForce ES-300W Wireless Portable Duplex Document Scanner Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (4)

IRIScan Book 5 Wi-Fi

Best Handheld Wand Scanner for Books and Magazines

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

Wand scanners are relatively rare (and some of the few available haven't responded to our requests for review). But that doesn't mean the Book 5 earned its place here by default. IRIScan (a Canon subsidiary) makes great scanners. This little device comes with ReadIRIS, a highly capable scanner interface and OCR software, as well as the IRIScan Book App for scanning to iOS or Android handheld devices.

Who It's For

The Book 5 is a good value for students, researchers, and anybody else who needs to scan book or periodical pages. Since it scans directly to microSD cards, this wand scanner should lighten the load of anybody who needs to digitize material that can't be fed through a sheetfed scanner.


  • No computer required
  • Fast, accurate OCR
  • Comes with USB cable, 4GB MiniSD card, and vinyl drawstring carrying case
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Capable of scanning directly to a computer


  • Short battery life


$227.74 Amazon

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IRIScan Book 5 Wi-Fi Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (5)

Epson WorkForce ES-300WR Wireless Document Scanner—Accounting Edition

Best Portable Scanner for Financial Data

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The ES-300WR is our Best Portable Scanner for finance types with the addition of Epson's ScanSmart Accounting Addition plug-in, a.k.a. Receipt Manager. This software lets you scan not only receipts but invoices, statements, and other financial data. It comes with all the power and functionality of ScanSmart itself, a capable scanner interface with competent document and business-card archiving features.

Who It's For

This Epson serves two important functions: first, scanning and archiving financial data, and second, digitizing and managing documents. Accountants and tax professionals who travel to client locations will get good service from this portable, as will entrepreneurs who gather documents and keep track of their own expenses.


  • Fast.
  • Highly accurate OCR.
  • Powerful software bundle.
  • Long-lasting battery.


  • ScanSmart Accounting Edition software only compatible with QuickBooks and Excel CSV.
  • No memory card support.


$299.99 Amazon

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Epson WorkForce ES-300WR Wireless Document Scanner—Accounting Edition Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (6)

Raven Compact Document Scanner

Best AC-Powered Everyday Document Scanner

3.5 Good

Why We Picked It

We're fans of Raven's desktop document scanners. The company's Compact Document Scanner earns a place on front desks and in office workgroups thanks to its fast and accurate scanning, as well as its 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF). Plus, you get access to the comprehensive Raven Desktop software, with document management features as well as financial paper-pushing and business-card archiving.

Who It's For

The Raven Compact's main drawback is its lack of a battery for use on the road, but if you restrict your scanning to offices and hotel rooms, it'll get the job done with panache. It's available with and without Wi-Fi (we tested the USB-only version) and even bundled with a nylon carrying case, a rubber stamp, and a box of cleaning wipes.


  • Relatively fast scanning and processing
  • Accurate OCR
  • Comprehensive Raven Desktop software with basic document management
  • Business card archiving
  • Financial document scanning


  • Base model lacks Wi-Fi
  • No flash memory support
  • No battery


$194.85 Walmart $198.85 Amazon

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Raven Compact Document Scanner Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (7)

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1300

Best AC-Powered Compact Scanner with ADF

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

Like most Fujitsu scanners, the ScanSnap iX1300 is well-built and easy-to-use, and it comes with the company's topnotch scanning utility plus document, business-card, and financial data management software. Moreover, the iX1300 utilizes Fujitsu's innovative, space-saving U-Turn Scan and Return Scan paper paths, where the flip of a switch has paper exiting the scanner in a near-upright position, saving several inches of desk space. And like most of today's portable scanners, the Fujitsu is relatively fast and highly accurate.

Who It's For

The iX1300 is a highly capable portable scanner for hotel rooms, remote offices, your small or hybrid office, or any other location that has access to AC power but is low on space for a dedicated desktop scanner.


  • Fast for a portable scanner
  • Accurate OCR
  • Supports both wireless and USB 3.2 connections
  • Robust ScanSnap software bundle
  • Innovative U-turn Scan and Return Scan save desk space


  • No battery for untethered operation


$269.99 Amazon

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Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1300 Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (8)

ClearClick QuickConvert 2.0

Best Portable Photo/Negative Scanner

3.5 Good

Why We Picked It

While you'll find several portable "photo scanners" on the market, some are sheetfed and a few are flatbed models. The QuickConvert is one of a kind, and also one of the least expensive photo negative scanners available. Despite its low price, it scans both photos and negatives well, with accurate colors and good detail. It does its job quickly and precisely.

Who It's For

Got a stack of photos and/or negatives to digitize, but not a lot of cash to spend? Both individuals and families wanting to update an aging photo collection will get good service from this handy scanner.


  • Small, light, and portable
  • Good scan quality and software bundle
  • Rechargeable, replaceable battery
  • Scans to SD memory cards
  • Supports Wi-Fi


  • No ADF
  • Limited page sizes


$224.95 Amazon

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ClearClick QuickConvert 2.0 Review

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (9)

Canon imageFormula R10

Best USB-Powered Business Card/ID Scanner

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

If you don't need wireless, network, or mobile device support, Canon's imageFormula R10 is an inexpensive and efficient solution. In addition to the ability to scan business and ID cards, its 20-sheet ADF lets you scan multipage one-and two-sided documents. Canon's CaptureOnTouch software provides a strong scanner interface as well as document management, business-card and financial-data archiving, and more. It's not fancy, but it's a first-class scanner for basic needs.

Who It's For

Don't care about scanning with your smartphone and don't mind connecting a scanner to your laptop via a USB cable instead of Wi-Fi? The Canon R10 is ideal for travelers or home-based office users who need to digitize a variety of data.


  • Excellent CaptureOnTouch app
  • Accurate OCR
  • Relatively low purchase price
  • Light and compact


  • A little sluggish
  • Lacks mobile device support
  • Lacks wireless connectivity
  • No battery


$181.43 Amazon

Learn More

Canon imageFormula R10 Review

Buying Guide: The Best Portable Scanners for 2023

Most portable scanners don't need to be plugged into an AC outlet to function. A few have batteries, and others get their juice via a USB tether to a desktop PC or laptop. Truly wireless scanners transmit data to your computer, phone, or tablet over Wi-Fi, and some support memory cards that allow you to scan without a computing device of some sort present.

Many factors to consider come into play when choosing a portable scanner. Frequent business travelers will need to balance wanting the smallest and lightest scanner with the need for particular features such as two-sided scanning, high resolution, and high scanning speed. If you're scanning documents, you'll need good optical character recognition (OCR) to turn printed pages into editable text; if you scan at high volume, you'll want to consider the scanner's duty cycle, which is the recommended number of pages it can scan per day, week, or month. On the other hand, if you mostly scan invoices, sales receipts, applications, and other short documents, a more costly portable with a 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF) may be overkill.

Let's take a closer look at what features make specific types of portable scanners best suited for particular tasks.

Manual-Feed vs. Sheetfed Portable Scanners

Portable scanners come in two basic types: manual-feed and sheetfed. Manual-feed portables accept only one sheet, be it one- or two-sided, at a time. Sheetfed scanners come with ADFs for scanning multipage documents.

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (10)

Portable scanners come in two basic flavors: manual-feed models (left) accept only one sheet at a time, while sheetfeds (right) accept multipage scan jobs, usually up to 20 sheets.

If you'll do lots of scan jobs consisting of more than three pages, you should opt for a sheet-fed model. Most of these, including the Editors' Choice award-winning Epson WorkForce ES-300W, the Brother ADS-1250W, and the Epson WorkForce ES-300WR Accounting Edition, come with ADFs that hold up to 20 pages. A few have lower capacity.

A substantial majority of portable scanners, such as PCMag favorites the Epson DS-80W and Brother DSmobile DS-940DW, are manual-feed or single-sheetfed machines. Manual-feed scanners cost less than their sheetfed counterparts, sometimes a lot less. If you don't need an ADF, there's no reason to shell out for one.

Simplex vs. Duplex vs. Wand Scanning: What’s the Difference?

Nearly as important as whether a portable scanner accepts one or multiple pages is whether it has two sensors, one for each side of a two-sided page. Two sensors allow the device to capture both sides simultaneously (duplex scanning), as opposed to scanning one side, flipping the page over manually, and feeding it back into the scanner to capture the other side (simplex, or manual-duplex). Most portable sheetfed scanners are duplex, though some of the lower-end portables scan only one side at a time.

When scanning one- or two-page documents on a manual-feed scanner, capturing one side at a time isn't so bad, but the more two-sided pages you scan, the more time-consuming and tedious simplex scanning becomes. An ADF will save you a bit of trouble for longer two-sided documents.

If you want to scan a page from a book or something else that can't be fed into a conventional scanner, you'll want a wand scanner such as the IRIScan Book 5, which you hold in one hand and pass over the object you're scanning.

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (11)

With a wand scanner, you move the device over the source document, instead of the machine pulling the source over its sensors.

Portable Connectivity and Compatibility

Portable scanners transfer data to computers and other devices by either USB or Wi-Fi. Of the two, USB is much more restrictive. It works only with a Windows PC or Mac (sometimes only Windows) and won't play well with your tablet or smartphone. Wi-Fi-ready scanners may add the option to communicate wirelessly with Android and iOS apps, as well as desktops and laptops.

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (12)

The ultimate in portability is the ability to scan to an SD card or USB thumb drive, which eliminates the need for a laptop or mobile device.

A few portable scanners support autonomous scanning via SD cards or USB thumb drives. While you're on the road, your scans are saved to the memory device, and you can transfer them to your computer, the cloud, or a network drive when you return to your home or office. This is ideal for situations where you have limited desk space and there's no room for both your scanner and your computer.

Your Portable Scanner's Power Source

Most of today’s portable scanners can be powered over USB, connected to a computer. Those that have internal batteries (or can be upgraded to use them) will generally be able to charge from a USB connection. However, many scan and charge more quickly when using AC power. Epson's ES-300W, for instance, takes only a couple of hours to charge from its power adapter, four hours over a USB 3.0 connection, and as long as 20 hours to charge over a USB 2.0 connection. If you're primarily using the scanner away from wall outlets, make sure it supports USB 3.0, which will transmit data more quickly as well.

Some portable scanners have built-in batteries, and many others can run on batteries that are purchased separately. If you'll be relying on a battery to power you through lots of scanning, check its scan rating. Some batteries are good for only about 100 scans per charge; others can handle up to 1,000.

How Quickly Should Your Portable Scanner Scan?

A portable scanner's speed is heavily dependent on what you're scanning, how it's fed through the machine, and what kind of output you want. If the scanner is manual-duplex, you need to feed each page; ADFs take care of that for you and speed up the process. Post-scanning processing, such as converting an image of a document to editable and searchable text, will take more time than storing a quick, unprocessed scan of a business card or image.

Low-resolution scanning is relatively fast, but the increase in speed comes with a decrease in quality. Typically, 300 dots per inch (dpi) is adequate for most text pages; anything lower can cause OCR accuracy to degrade. Most portable scanners support resolutions of at least 300dpi, and some are capable of much higher.

Some of today’s portables are quite fast, even as quick as some larger desktop document models. The Epson ES-300W, for instance, scanned and saved our two-sided 20-page text document as a searchable PDF at 42.9 images per minute (or ipm, with each page side counting as one image), which is impressive. Most of the manual-feed portables we've tested, though, performed at about half the speed of sheetfed models, primarily because the ADFs tend to be more efficient at feeding pages to the scanner, one after the other in rapid succession, than I am.

Bundled Software and OCR Accuracy

Without software, a portable scanner is just a fancy doorstop. The software does the heavy lifting: accepting the raw image data from the scanner, recognizing and deciphering each individual picture of a character and converting it, paginating the blocks of now-editable text, and saving it to a format compatible with its intended application.

Financial data, for instance, might go to Excel or an accounting program such as QuickBooks. Text saved as searchable PDFs or documents may be edited in Microsoft Word, sent via email, saved to a cloud site, or printed. Contact information gleaned from business cards might be turned into leads in IRIS's Cardiris or Presto BizCard. Whatever you're scanning, you need to make sure your scanner's software will know what to do with it. For the most part, the top scanner makers’ products are competitive and come with apps that address most applications. But this is one area where you should be as sure as you can be before pulling the trigger.

Each portable scanner manufacturer includes its own bundle of scanner drivers, scanner interface apps, and other productivity and convenience software, such as OCR, document management, and data archiving programs. Most scanners support ISIS and/or TWAIN drivers that let you scan directly into applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft PowerPoint.

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Nowadays, most scanning and OCR apps are well-developed and mature, combining popular features with highly accurate text recognition and conversion. OCR accuracy is important for saving time—if fixing OCR errors takes longer than retyping the document would, why bother with a scanner?—but I haven't come across many recent scanners, portable or otherwise, that have difficulty producing error-free searchable text down to 6 points or so. That's plenty small enough to be more than suitable for most business applications. As long as you're scanning a clean copy without stains, tears, wrinkles, or smudges, any business-oriented scanner should OCR it without difficulty.

Credit Card, ID Card, and Business Card Scanning and Archiving

If you've ever tried scanning 2-by-3-inch cards, you'll know it's hard to get these small and often thick objects to pass through your scanner without skewing (paper business cards) or getting stuck (thick plastic or laminated cards). Many makers of portable scanners have addressed this by creating a slot designed to help move cards through the paper path.

The Best Portable Scanners for 2023 (16)

This Brother ADS-1250W comes ready to accommodate business cards and other small documents.

If you plan to scan small or thick cards, save yourself some hassle and make sure you get a scanner that's designed to handle them. Our pick for this purpose is the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i, whose 10-sheet ADF can handle a stack of business cards.

What Do Scanner Volume Limits and Ratings Mean?

The device's daily duty cycle is the manufacturer’s recommended daily limit, or the number of scans you can do each day without causing undue wear and tear on the machine. This is usually a relatively large number. For a scanner with a 1,000-page daily duty cycle, you would have to load its 20-page ADF more than 50 times in a day to exceed the volume limit. That’s a lot of scanning.

I've heard it suggested that you need to stay under the volume limit to keep from voiding the scanner's warranty. However, I haven't found that information in any warranty yet, and that's not for lack of trying. Also, I've never heard of a warranty being voided for far exceeding the duty cycle. If you occasionally go above and beyond, I wouldn't be too concerned about repercussions. It's more likely that the ADF, the scan speed, or other aspects of the scanner will keep you from ever going all that far above and beyond the rating.

How Important Is a Portable Scanner’s Size and Weight?

If you're throwing your portable scanner in your backpack or carry-on bag, you'll want to pay attention to its size and girth. Once you've packed a four-pound laptop and its power supply and any other gear you need to take with you, such as a portable printer, adding a four-pound scanner can seriously weigh you down. To save your back, look for the lightest and smallest model with your feature requirements.

The average cord-powered manual-feed portable scanner weighs about a pound and measures around 2 inches wide and high and 10 to 12 inches long. Epson's DS-70, which the company claims is the smallest and lightest portable scanner available, measures 1.3 by 10.7 by 1.8 inches (HWD) and weighs just over half a pound. The features that add the most heft and volume are batteries and ADFs, so if you don't need those, spare yourself the effort of hauling them around.

If you really do need both a printer and a scanner, the least burdensome option might be the HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One, which measures 3.6 by 15 by 7.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.5 pounds. If you're setting up a full-featured office on the road, an AIO unit will save you from juggling separate devices with a higher combined weight and footprint.

So, Which Portable Scanner Should I Buy?

Today's range of portable scanners is really impressive, and the selections we've gathered here, including several that have earned our Editors' Choice designation, should include something for anyone who needs to scan on the go. Take time to weigh the factors that matter most to you, and you'll find a portable scanner that hits the sweet spot.


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