Scanners: Definition, Types, advantages, and price

Scanners: Definition, Types, Advantages, and Price

Imagine there is an important document like a medical report or a result that requires to be sent on an urgent basis, and the courier would take time. Would you not feel helpless? Back then, before the 90s, years, one would. Even if scanners had been invented by then, there were a lot of limitations.

However, now, as the world is getting more and more digitally inclined, scanning documents has gained prominence and is now an integral part of an office and computer setup. There is now a variety of them flooding the markets in various brands, sizes, and budgets.

What is a scanner?

A scanner is essentially an input contraption invented to take pictures of sources like posters, printed images, documents like magazine pages, notices, or any other material produced on paper. These can be procured to display the relevant information within seconds at another address or display point. The documents that are scanned get converted into a digital format that is further edited or modified on any computer.

Types of Scanners

The one thing that is constant in the technical world is upgrading, and scanners also get upgraded as the technology evolves. They are also available in various sizes, configurations, etc., and can be assembled as per the requirement of the end-user. While some are specifically built for scanning black and white documents only, others can also scan color documents.

  • Feed-in or Sheet-fed Scanners:

These are simple scanners that have the limitation of scanning paper documents only as they have a feeder tray that takes in the paper kept in the tray. Thus, scanning anything in book form is not possible here. However, few advanced models do have the option of scanning several pages in sequence.

  • Flatbed Scanner:

This is very commonly used and available in the markets readily. These have a flat surface for screening with a cover that must be lifted to place the material that has to be scanned. This model is viable for scanning books like magazines, educational content that is bound to be bulky.

  • Handheld scanners:

These are essentially used to scan barcodes, thus useful for business transactions and general use.

Other scanners like the overhead scanner, the big format scanner, slide or negative scanners are also available in the market.

High- and low-resolution scanners:

Simple jobs such as capturing plain images or scanning back and white paper can select a low-resolution printer, but for high-resolution printing, high-resolution scanners are available. Some of the popular brands manufacturing scanners are Brothers, Epson, Microtek, Hewlett-Packard, and others known to produce a wide range of this product.

Parts of a scanner:

Generally, a scanner is a unit comprising two components; the visible one is the hardware while the other invisible component is the scanner software, on which the hardware relies for smooth functioning. When one purchases a scanner, the software is installed along with the hardware.

Whatever inputs are fed to the hardware is received by the software, which then processes the digital details and formats them into material that can be read or viewed. Scanners collaborate with computer software and not just organize data but also import and initiate them.

Role of a scanner:

While some scanners are standalone units, most of them are built as a part of the printing unit. This device must be connected to the computer. Once it is plugged in, it executes its primary function of scanning the given document by capturing the information, either in the picture form or text note. This is then converted into digital data and is displayed on the screen of the computer. It automatically is saved as a document or sent to the relevant application for further editing.

Scanners have the built-in feature to scan the relevant data in the form of text or photos and then send them to the email editor directly. Thus, it is possible to email a hard copy of a document after scanning it.

Copying is another important function that a scanner can execute. It can produce hard copies of the scanned images and send them to the printer.

The help of technologies like OCR enables scanning software to convert a written document into a digital file that a word processor can edit. Not only this, the OCR or optical character recognition empowers the scanner to produce online copies of a tangible document. Such possibilities are available in advanced programs like OmniPage and Acrobat.

What are the advantages of buying a scanner?

Apart from the basic roles like sharing, archiving, and copying, a scanner can serve many purposes when bought. A major advantage is that with a scanner, one can create a proper backup of all the relevant files, thus minimizing or totally removing the need to store hard copies in the form of paper and files that otherwise occupy a lot of space.

Another benefit of buying a scanner is that it indirectly saves a lot of money for the buyer, as the need to rent out space to store information in the form of physical documents physically is dismissed.

It is safer to digitize details and documents any day by scanning them and managing them online, thereby protecting them from any untoward occurrences.

Scanned documents can be carried and accessed anywhere with ease, unlike the hard copies that can be cumbersome to carry around.

Pricing range of the scanner:

When one is on the lookout for purchasing a good scanner, certain factors should be kept in consideration, one of them being the scanner price. While the most basic ones can range from 7000 INR onwards, the pricing can go beyond 60,000 INR, too, depending on its brand and the features that are included in it. The scanner price is directly proportional to the reliability of a brand and its features, so the more the features, the higher the prices go.


Scanners are sophisticated gadgets, and before buying them, one must gauge the features, its utility, and value for money that one can easily do with on trustworthy online websites like Moglix which is an ideal destination for device lovers, wherein one can not only do is thorough research but also purchase it once convinced.

Scanners: FAQs

Q. What are 3 types of scanners?

There are three types of scanners available: drum scanner, flatbed, and handheld scanners. The publishing industry primarily uses drum scanners to print high-quality images, while flatbed scanners are generally used in schools and offices. On the other hand, libraries and shopping malls make use of handheld scanners.

Q. How do I choose a good scanner?

A. While buying a scanner, one must consider the following points:

  • The number of dots per inch (dpi) needed
  • Bit depth requirement
  • Type of the scanner you prefer
  • Price range
  • Scanning area
  • Resolution
  • Software compatibility

Q. What are the advantages of a scanner?

A. Scanners save digital copies of papers, photographs, and files to your computer, which you can share with others easily or save in your system for future use. Moreover, a majority of the settings are modified and fine-tuned automatically, making the machine easy to use.

Q. Which type of device is a scanner?

A. Scanners are input devices that allow users to directly enter data from a source paper into a computer system. It turns the image of the document into a digital format that can be easily fed into a computer.