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The 10 best flatbed scanners to buy in the UK

Picture of a flatbed scanner

Flatbed scanners are the most popular type of scanner available, being relatively cheap, easy to use, and versatile in its scanning capabilities. However, this popularity means there are a lot of flatbed scanners to choose from, and not all of them are the same quality that you want from such a product. To help you find the best flatbed scanner for your needs, check out the below buying guide for all the info you need.

What are flatbed scanners?

A flatbed scanner is a probably the first thing people imagine when thinking about a scanner. It looks like the top of a photocopier, with a flat glass panel to place the document and a lid to keep it in place while scanning. It could not be easier to use either - just place the document/photo on the glass, close the lid, and then push the button to scan it into a connected device, such as a computer or laptop.

A good flatbed scanner is so popular due to its versatility and high resolution making it suitable for scanning various things like paper, receipts, photos, graphics etc.

Why should you buy a good flatbed scanner?

Affordable and versatile, if you are in the market for a reliable scanner then look no further than the flatbed scanner. It can scan most items you might need, whether it is important financial documents or old photographs, converting them into digital files for easier storage and sharing on various devices.

How to choose the right flatbed scanner in 2024?

Another picture of a flatbed scanner

Here are some things to look out for when you are buying the best flatbed scanners:

  • Scanning Requirements: Think about what you need to scan so that you can choose a flatbed scanner that can accommodate this. For instance, if it is just the occasional paper document then a basic model should be fine, but if you want to scan photos, magazines, books etc., then you may want to choose a model that has higher resolution and is the right size.
  • Size: Flatbed scanners come in various sizes, with most being no larger than A4 paper. This means you wouldn’t be able to scan anything bigger than A4, so if scanning larger documents you need to make sure that the scanner is large enough to fit them. Remember, the larger the scanner the more disk space the uncompressed file takes up.
  • Resolution: Measured in pixels per inch (PPI), the resolution of the scanner determines how detailed an image is that you scan. Most have a minimum of 600 PPI, which is fine for documents and photos, so unless you are scanning film negatives, slides, or small objects like stamps, you won’t need higher PPI.
  • Compatibility: It is always important to check the compatibility of scanners to ensure it work with your operating system. For example, most flatbed scanners will work with Windows operating system but you may need to check the compatibility with Mac operating systems. Some can download software to expand compatibility, although this may cause speed and performance to drop.

What is the best kind of flatbed scanner in the UK?

There are two main types of flatbed scanner available to buy:

  • CIS Flatbed Scanners: Contact image sensor (CIS) scanners feature the latest scanning technology, using image sensors that are placed close to the object being scanned. This results in quicker scan times and less calibrations, although the colour and resolution may be lacking.
  • CCD Flatbed Scanners: Charged coupled device (CCD) scanners use long standard method of placing multiple sensors throughout the machine. These produce an electric charge when the light from the scanner passes over, with the charge then converting the image into its digital form. They offer great colour and resolution but take some time to operate as they need frequently calibrated, while they can often struggle to scan wider documents.

Top 10 list of flatbed scanners in the UK (2024)

The bestseller list compares brands and their flatbed scanners. Which scanner is the best?
Best choice TOP 1
Image of Canon LiDE 300 flatbed scanner
Canon LiDE 300 Colour Flatbed Scanner - Black
  • One button for perfection
  • Impressive quality
  • Rapid results
Offer TOP 2
Image of Epson B11B268401 flatbed scanner
Epson Perfection V39 II Photo and Document Scanner, Black
  • Integrated stand for upright scanning - Save space on your desk or counter top
  • Power and connectivity via Micro USB - No need for mains powered ac adapter or separate…
  • High resolution 4800dpi scanning - Produce high-quality photo and document scans
Image of Epson B11B268201 flatbed scanner
Epson Perfection V39 II Color Photo and Document Flatbed Scanner with…
  • Save space — built-in kickstand for vertical placement and storage
  • Convenient — scan letter-sized documents in as fast as 10 seconds (4)
  • Compact and lightweight — USB powered for portability; 3.1 lb
Image of Canon DR-F120 flatbed scanner
Canon imageFORMULA DR-F120 Document Scanner, Flatbed, ADF, Document…
  • Scan to editable-PDF and connect to your cloud applications
  • Scan with ease using CaptureOnTouch and one-touch job buttons
  • Achieve outstanding quality every time with advanced image processing
Image of Epson B11B267201 flatbed scanner
Epson Perfection V19 II Color Photo and Document Flatbed Scanner with…
  • Scan books and photo albums — high-rise, removable lid.Generate searchable…
  • Restore color to faded photos — with one click, Easy Photo Fix technology makes…
  • One-touch scanning (2) — scan in fewer steps with easy-to-use buttons (2)
Image of Epson Perfection V39 flatbed scanner
Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner with Scan-To-Cloud…
  • USB powered: No AC adapter required
  • Convert scanned documents into editable text: Optical Character Recognition (OCR)…
  • Remove dust from scanned photos : Advanced Digital Dust Correction
Image of Plustek 7.83064E+11 flatbed scanner
Plustek OS1180 Flatbed Scanner for A3 Graphics and Documents - Designed…
  • 48-bit color shade and 16-bit grayscale for scanning drawings, documents, and mo…
  • ABBYY FineReader 12, PageManager and Docation included.
  • The 4 hot keys provide quick access to the preset functions.
Image of VIISAN  flatbed scanner
Viisan VF3240 Flatbed scanner. Max Scanning Area A3. Resolution upto…
  • WIA & TWAIN Compatible. OCR engine supports 120 languages.
  • Various image editing functions: Dust Removal, Descreening, Color Restoration, Unsharp…
  • Fast Scanning in 4 seconds at 200 dpi in color. Automatic Multiple images cropping.…
Image of Epson B11B239401PU flatbed scanner
Epson WorkForce DS-1630 Flatbed Scanner with ADF + Power PDF Software…
  • Model number: B11B239401PU
  • Intelligent colour and image adjustments - Auto crop, skew correction, blank page…
  • Scan a wide range of documents - Including books, bound documents, passports and…
TOP 10
Image of Epson B11B198011 flatbed scanner
Epson Perfection V600 - scanners (12800 x 12800 mm, Flatbed, USB 2.0,…
  • Scan slides, negatives and medium-format panoramic fi lm
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