The best flatbed scanners in the UK 2023

Computer peripheral intended to dematerialize a paper document, the scanner is undoubtedly one of the essential equipments of the modern work spaces. Often associated with the printer, it is used to digitize documents such as contracts, plans or books. Here's how to choose the best flatbed scanner for your needs.

Canon LiDE 220 1

Editor's Choice

Canon LiDE 220

Best flatbed scanner in 2021

The Canon LIDE 220 allows you to enjoy high resolution scans up to 4800 x 4800 dpi, with a CIS sensor. In terms of quality/price ratio, you won't find better elsewhere.

83,20 £ on Amazon

The Canon LiDE 220 is considered one of the most efficient flatbed scanners available on the market today. It is a sleek, ultra-compact and highly efficient device. Unlike the 9000F MKII, which may be better suited for more experienced people, the LiDE 220 is suitable for both professionals and amateurs, whether you are a professional photographer or just want to scan some of your favorite images.

With a maximum optical resolution of 4800 x 4800 dpi and 48-bit color depth, the clarity of the images scanned with the LiDE 220 are breathtaking. Plus, the device allows you to scan an A4 document in 10 seconds, making it one of the fastest scanners available today.

Canon LiDE 300 2

Best Cheap

Canon LiDE 300

Best entry-level flatbed scanner

For occasional document and photo scanning needs, the Canon LiDE 300 flatbed scanner provides all the necessary features as an easy-to-use entry-level model.

55,99 £ on Boulanger

Talking about the quality right away. The Canon LiDE 300 offers very good image quality. In most cases, a resolution of 2400 × 2400 DPI is a bit of a stretch, but this increased quality helps prevent pixelation if and when you need to crop and enlarge an image. It does not, however, have an automatic document feeder.

Like any personal scanner, it should be small, compact, and should be easy to store. This model is also easy to use. The Canon Lide 300 has only four buttons and one USB 2.0 port. No mobile functionality, which is disappointing, but you can set up the device to have your scans go directly to your favorite cloud service.

Plustek OS1180 3

Best High End

Plustek OS1180

Best high-end flatbed scanner

If you regularly scan A3 documents, this scanner will delight you. Economical and functional, it scans a color page in 9 seconds. Moreover, it does not take up any space on a desk.

292 £ on Amazon

The Plustek OS1180 is specifically designed for large format documents. Its resolution reaches 1,200 dpi, which allows for high levels of detail. In addition, this model can also scan books, photos and receipts.

Equipped with a USB port, this scanner ensures fast transfers, which limits the time spent scanning. As far as scanning speed is concerned, an A3 document scanned in color requires 9 sec. The direct keys make the use more convenient. These include scanning directly to a folder, sending the scan by email or editing PDF files. The OCR is also of high quality.

Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus 4


Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus

Excellent flatbed scanner

The Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus is an easy-to-use flatbed scanner for everyday scanning and sharing. With a sleek and compact design, the OpticSlim 2610 Plus uses less desktop and storage space than other scanners.

70,04 £ on Amazon

The Plustek Opticslim 2610 is a lightweight, slimline flatbed scanner that does not require additional power to operate. The USB cable will serve as both data transfer and power supply. The OpticSlim 2610 Plus has specially designed hinges with a cover that can accommodate books or large documents. This model has 5 buttons, including one that allows you to scan directly to computers, PDFs or edit them with a word processing program.

Capable of offering 1200 dpi optical resolution and 48-bit color depth, the OpticSlim 2610 Plus will produce crisp, vibrant images. This model also features optical character recognition technology. Standard TWAIN and WIA drivers combined with TIF, JPG, PDF and Microsoft Office file formats ensure compatibility with thousands of scanning and imaging programs.

Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F 5

Very Good

Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F

Very good flatbed scanner

For scanning small formats such as passports, IDs and driver's licenses, the small Fujitsu-Siemens fi-65F scanner is a very good choice.

252 £ on Amazon

Previously, scanners were powerful, but were intended more for professional use. Their dimensions leave no room for doubt. But we also thought about those who only use a scanner for small documents. And for this, the Fujitsu-Siemens fi-65F is an excellent choice.

Easy to install, this device is also easy to start up. To start scanning, simply press the small gray button. The compactness and light weight of the Fujitsu-Siemens fi-65F is a real advantage. And it is very convenient for scanning passports, IDs, prescriptions, driver's licenses, loyalty cards, medical cards and other photographs. However, the maximum document size is limited to 105 x 148 mm, or A6.

Epson Perfection V600 6

Flatbed Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V600

Best flatbed scanner for photo

The Epson Perfection V600 is a good alternative for those looking for a high-end photo scanner that can handle film negatives and slides.

330 £ on Cdiscount

Of course, the V600 can't quite match the quality of high-end photo scanners, but it does offer a high resolution of 6400 x 9600 dpi, which is close to the upper limit of photo scanners of any type. It also offers almost all the features you would expect from a scanner. In the end, we think all but the most demanding photographers will be satisfied with the Epson Perfection V600.

The Epson Perfection V600 offers an image enhancement feature that focuses on removing wrinkles and dust. Some color enhancement modes can also revive some of the vibrancy of older photos. The V600 has no document feeder and is quite slow.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best flatbed scanner

Any specific needs?

Best flatbed scanner in 2021

Best entry-level flatbed scanner

Best high-end flatbed scanner

Excellent flatbed scanner

Very good flatbed scanner

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best flatbed scanners

The best Inexpensive High-end Excellent Very good For photo
Canon LiDE 220 7
Canon LiDE 300 8
Plustek OS1180 9
Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus 10
Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F 11
Epson Perfection V600 12
Canon LiDE 220
Canon LiDE 300
Plustek OS1180
Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus
Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F
Epson Perfection V600
The Canon LIDE 220 allows you to enjoy high resolution scans up to 4800 x 4800 dpi, with a CIS sensor. In terms of quality/price ratio, you won't find better elsewhere.
For occasional document and photo scanning needs, the Canon LiDE 300 flatbed scanner provides all the necessary features as an easy-to-use entry-level model.
If you regularly scan A3 documents, this scanner will delight you. Economical and functional, it scans a color page in 9 seconds. Moreover, it does not take up any space on a desk.
The Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus is an easy-to-use flatbed scanner for everyday scanning and sharing. With a sleek and compact design, the OpticSlim 2610 Plus uses less desktop and storage space than other scanners.
For scanning small formats such as passports, IDs and driver's licenses, the small Fujitsu-Siemens fi-65F scanner is a very good choice.
The Epson Perfection V600 is a good alternative for those looking for a high-end photo scanner that can handle film negatives and slides.
4800 × 4800 dpi (A4)
2400 × 2400 dpi (A4)
1200 x 1200 dpi (A3)
1200 x 1200 dpi (A4)
600 x 600 dpi (A6)
6400 x 9600 dpi
Color or black and white
Black and white
Black and white
Color depth
48 bits
48 bits
24 bit
24 bits
48 bits
CIS sensor
Scan speed (A4 at 300 dpi monochrome)
10 seconds
10 seconds
8 seconds
12 seconds

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Buying guide - flatbed scanner

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How to choose your flatbed scanner

#1 - The connection mode

The connection between the scanner and the computer is made via various kinds of interfaces. These greatly determine the transfer speed of the scanned images from the scanner to the computer. So, depending on the model, it can be a SCSI port, a USB port or a FireWire interface. Scanners with a SCSI interface require a specific card to be installed on the PC and are more intended for professional use.

Models with a USB port, on the other hand, are more suitable for the general public, with a fairly simple installation that requires no card to be installed. The USB 2.0 interface is particularly widespread on the market and offers better performance than the SCSI port, as does FireWire, which in theory is as fast as USB 2.0. However, in reality it guarantees a better scanning speed and is better suited for scanning large, high-resolution images.

Other wireless connection modes also exist, such as WiFi or the memory card reader system, but the quality provided is less famous. Whatever the mode of connection of the scanner, it is absolutely necessary to make sure of its compatibility with your computer, to avoid buying an adapter.

#2 - The sensor

Charged to convert the light reflected by the scanned document into RGB information (Red-Green-Blue) thanks to a multitude of pixels, the sensor determines in a great part the precision and the fidelity of the operation of scan. The apparatuses which one finds on the market have either sensors CCD (Charge-Coupled Devices) or sensors CMOS. The former are more recommended for photo scanning because of the excellent image quality they produce thanks to their neon lamp technology. CMOS sensors use LED lighting and offer images that are less precise and less sharp than those of CCD sensors. They mostly accompany CIS (Contact Image Sensor) scanners, the most compact and least bulky available.

#3 - Optical resolution

Measured in dpi (dots per inch) or in ppp (dots per inch), the optical resolution of a scanner corresponds to the number of pixels that the device is able to detect on a piece of document. Therefore, the higher this number is, the greater your chances of getting sharp, high quality scans. Most of the proposed scanners have a resolution of 600 x 1 200 dpi, which is very acceptable and makes it possible to carry out a good number of digitizing work. Indeed, a large number of pixels is not always necessary to have good scans.

The interest is especially felt when you want to print the images obtained. In this case, you should pay special attention to the resolution offered by your scanner: a resolution of 600 x 1 200 dpi is more suitable for 4A printing, while for 3A printing it is advisable to have a higher resolution of 1 200 x 2 400 dpi. For negatives, it can go up to 4 800 dpi depending on the final print size desired.

#4 - The sampling rate

The sampling rate of a scanner refers to the color palette it has. Thus, with a model of 24 bits one will have 16 million colors, while a 48 bits can have up to 281 475 billion colors. The majority of the scanners have 48 bits and thus, offer a rather good resolution of the colors. What it is necessary on the other hand to check at this level, it is the uniformity of the depth of sampling at the entry and the exit of the scanner for a better rendering of image.

#5 - Scanning speed

As explained above, the speed of transfer of the scanned images from the scanner to the computer depends on the mode of connection used. This speed, very important to ensure good productivity, is indicated in different ways, depending on the scanner models. For some, it will be the number of seconds needed to scan a page, expressed in seconds per page (s/page), while for others this figure is calculated in number of pages scanned per minute (ppm). This is a very important criterion that can make the difference between 2 scanners offering the same functionalities.

#6 - The accompanying software

To guarantee the legibility of the scanned images, all scanners are normally equipped with a software package, each component of which has well defined functionalities. There is usually a retouching software to rectify the images, a software to restore old torn or damaged photos, and which allows to remove dust and dirt, as well as a character recognition software or OCR, which allows to obtain instead of an image, a usable text document, with the possibility to make a keyword search. Most of the time, these programs are supplied in incomplete versions. Always ask about the integrated version and the possibility of buying or downloading a more complete version for free.

#7 - Output formats

Scanners most often produce files in fixed image format, so .jpeg or .tiff. But depending on your uses, you may need directly usable output formats like PDF or .doc. If the scanner can do the conversion itself, that would be the best.

#8 - The design

Equipment usually arranged on a desk, the weight and size of the scanner are very important to avoid clutter. It's a device that can fit perfectly into the decor of your workspace, as long as it has the right dimensions. Brother, for example, offers very compact scanners weighing less than 600 g and therefore taking up very little space. Equipment generally placed on a desk, the weight and size of the scanner are very important to avoid clutter. It is a device that can perfectly fit into the decor of your workspace, provided that it has the right dimensions. The Brother brand, for example, offers very compact scanners weighing less than 600 g and therefore taking up very little space.

How does a flatbed scanner work?

Equipped with a motorized light slot, the flatbed scanner aims to scan the document put under a transparent glass of the device. Indeed, in order to reproduce the documents, it needs the reflected light. It uses, more precisely, a fluorescent lamp with cold or hot cathode, xenon gas discharge lamp or LED as light source.

There is an internal unit that turns on and off this light source to reflect on the scanned document. Then, thanks to a system of lenses and mirrors, the document reflects the light and it converges towards a series of sensors. Using a Contact Image Sensor (CIS ) design that handles USB power, a flatbed scanner's array receives reflected light from scanned documents.

It converts the color and brightness into electrical signals. An analog-to-digital converter converts these electrical signals into digital data. The flatbed scanner uses a stepper motor and drive belt for precise movement of a scanning head. It consists of an inverter, a lamp, a light-sensitive matrix and the optical unit, facing a document being scanned.

The motor turns a spindle clockwise and counterclockwise so that the scanning head can reproduce the documents. This is done in stages. Finally, the rotation of this spindle is sent to the belt drive, which moves the scanning head back and forth underneath the glass where the document in question is placed.

The different types of flatbed scanners

The flatbed scanner

The flatbed scanner is the most classic scanning tool. Easy to use and most of the time affordable, it often has a back with a light and allows to scan paper documents, but also slides in some cases. There are different models on the market, some of which can be used for basic scanning tasks, while the more powerful ones are intended for graphic arts and other professional uses. This is the case of the vertical models which are widely used by book and publishing professionals to scan bound books.

Advantages :

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable price
  • Can be used to scan slides


  • Can produce blurred images

When to choose a flatbed scanner

The flatbed scanner can scan paper documents, but some models have a special module that gives the ability to scan opaque documents such as negative or positive silver film.

The slide scanner

Equipped with

a light box, this type of scanner is exclusively reserved for the digitization of slides and negatives, most often in 35 mm and APS formats. The light goes directly through the negatives or slides, allowing to obtain a high chromatic quality and a rather good image resolution. For the digitization of old prints, some models have advanced image processing functions, capable of repairing imperfections and removing dust that sticks to them.


  • Guarantees good image quality
  • Able to reproduce colors faithfully
  • Image processing functions integrated in some models
  • Some models have an SD card backup function


  • Only for slides and negatives
  • High price

When to choose a slide scanner

The slide scanner is the most powerful equipment for scanning photos and slides with impeccable image quality. With built-in processing modules, some models can automatically correct scratches on the negatives, but also remove dust particles, resulting in the best possible output.

Scroll scanner


used in offices, the scroll scanner works in the same way as a fax machine. The document to be scanned scrolls by itself without sensor or mirror. There are models capable of scanning up to 160 pages/min in duplex, while others are specially designed for large documents (maps, plans, etc.).


  • Simplified scanning
  • Fast document processing
  • Suitable for different document formats


  • High price

When to Choose a Scroll Scanner

Scroll scanners are widely used for scanning large format business documents. The most powerful models can scan a large number of documents in record time.

The hand-held scanner


and portable, the handheld scanner is an accessory that can be carried and used anywhere. You just have to move it manually on the document to capture the selected parts. Its use implies a great precaution to have an accurate rendering.


  • Can be used anywhere
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle


  • Requires a lot of skill
  • Not suitable for scanning large quantities of documents

When to choose a handheld scanner

The hand scanner is a device more intended to scan small passages of books or documents. Its manual operation predestines it more for personal than professional use.

The drum scanner


drum scanner is an equipment of professional quality intended for the print shops and museums. It is able to provide an excellent resolution and a perfect colorimetric quality. However, it is not suitable for all types of documents, as these must be able to wrap around the cylinder and not exceed 1 mm in thickness.


  • Very good image rendering

Disadvantages :

  • High price
  • Cannot scan all types of documents
  • More for professional use

When to choose a drum scanner

The scanner with drum is generally used in the professional environments. However, due to its high cost, it is increasingly replaced by high-end flatbed scanners.

The barcode scanner

Very commonly

used in warehouses, supermarkets and stores, this category of scanner only reads barcodes. Also called ahandheld orscanner, the barcode scanner can use a laser beam or a CCD sensor to render coded information. Depending on the model, the user can either scan the barcode or attach the scanner to it.


  • Allows you to quickly collect barcode information
  • Easy to use
  • Saves a lot of time


  • Must be adapted to the type of coding

When to choose a barcode scanner

The barcode scanner allows warehouse workers and cashiers to quickly collect information stored on barcodes. In particular, it helps to easily inventory large quantities of products.

Flatbed or scroll scanner?

Flatbed scanner

This is the most commonly used type of scanner. It works with a motorized light slit that scans the paper line by line through a transparent glass. Easy to handle, you simply place a document inside the device, close the cover and turn it on. One of the biggest advantages of the flatbed scanner is the scanning quality. It can also scan both sides of the paper without the need to turn it.

However, the flatbed scanner is very bulky because of its size. Indeed, this type of scanner takes up more space than other scanners. In addition, it is quite complicated to find the flatbed scanner that really suits you. Indeed, all its models are not identical by their different designs according to the marks and even within a mark.

Scroll scanner

Using the same operating principle as a fax machine, the scroll scanner is suitable for scanning documents, not photos. It offers several beneficial features, especially in terms of scanning speed. Indeed, some can scan 90 pages/min. In addition, you can combine its use with convenient software that helps you manage scanning jobs easily.

The other feature to consider when it comes to a scroll scanner is that it can scan complex media without any problem. On the other hand, setting up the operation is not everyone's cup of tea. The software that controls it does not work properly.


A flatbed scanner is best for occasional or mostly photo scanning. On the other hand, if you want to scan several files in a few minutes, a scrolling scanner is the most suitable.

Why buy a flatbed scanner?

For its versatility

The flatbed scanner is a versatile piece of equipment, suitable for different types of scanning jobs. The models equipped with a luminous back and an adapter can indeed treat as well paper documents as slides, negatives and films of various formats.

For simplicity

The flatbed scanner is the most common model on the market, due to its generally affordable price, but also because of its ease of use. The manipulations are not complicated, because it is enough to put the document to be scanned on the transparent glass and to let the scanner do it.

For the speed

The flatbed scanner offers rather high performances. Depending on the model and the chosen resolution, you can benefit from a very fast scanning speed of up to 25 pages/min.

For the quality of the scan

To guarantee a good quality of digitalization, in particular for films and slides, the scanners are generally equipped with a rather high optical resolution which can exceed 6 400 X 9 600 dpi on certain models. This makes it possible to print the images obtained without losing the quality of the colors.

For the price

The scanners are among the most accessible on the market. Prices vary according to the models and the integrated functionalities, going from less than 100 €, for the low-end models, to more than 1 000 € for the high-end models for professional use.

The best brands of flatbed scanners

In our opinion, the best brands of flatbed scanners in 2022 are :


Seiko Epson Corporation, or simply Epson, is a Japanese electronics company and one of the world's largest manufacturers of computer printers and information and imaging related equipment. The brand is of very good quality and is highly appreciated by global consumers. Moreover, its products are robust and have durability.

Canon Inc. is a Japanese multinational company based in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Canon is an excellent brand. It is mostly known in the world of photography. But no matter which ranges carry the canon brand, the quality and care of the cameras are all the same. This is to preserve the image of quality that the brand offers and that on the international scene.

As one of the world's largest producers of energy and resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a pioneer in infrastructure and energy solutions, automation and software for industry and is a leader in medical diagnostics. The Siemens brand is good quality.

Founded in 1986, Plustek Inc. has grown to become the global imaging solutions provider that designs, manufactures and markets a full range of document scanners and intelligent process automation technologies to help shape the way organizations grow their businesses. This brand has potential and is constantly being innovated.

This brand has existed since 1935 in Tokyo. The brand is best known for its car lines, Fujitsu has become the third largest IT service provider in the world. This reputation is acquired thanks to a flawless efficiency.

What is the price for a flatbed scanner

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

80 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 200 £
more than 200 £
Price range diagram


The text.

Scanning text documents is a relatively smooth process that does not take long. The lowest DPI needed for scanned text to display and print properly is 300 DPI. If the text needs to be reprinted, a DPI setting of 600 or more is ideal. When saving text documents, it is best to save the files as .PDF (portable document format). If you want to edit the text, use your scanner's optical character recognition (OCR) feature.

The grey scale.


documents and images are those that do not contain color, but use gradients (shades) of black to produce the image. Grayscale images must be scanned at a resolution of 600 DPI or higher in a .PNG format. Grayscale documents should be saved as a .PDF file at a DPI of 300 to 600. If the files are intended for the web, saving them as .GIF will reduce the file size.

Linear art.

Linear art is a form of imagery used in print and computer-based media to highlight documents. Linear art consists of lines and curves, without the use of color or shading (gradients). Before the advent of photography and halftones, linear art was the preferred format for newspapers. Types of linear art include cartoons, comics, ideographs or glyphs. When scanning linear art (line art), it is best to scan at 900 DPI for print and 300 DPI for the web. Files should be saved in .PNG format.

The color.

Color images and documents are the most common scanned objects. However, color photographs should be scanned at 600 DPI; scanning at 1200 DPI ensures archival-quality photographs are perfect. Scanning above 1200 DPI is overkill and not necessary. When scanning for the web, color photos should be scanned at 300 DPI. Color photos should be saved as .PNG files. Color documents should be scanned at 300 DPI and saved as PDF.

The half-tone.

Half-tone images are made up of small dots that form an image. They are the result of the reprographic technique that was used before the invention of modern printing. Halftone images must be scanned at a DPI of 1200 or higher so that the scanner can properly capture the halftones. Since it is composed of dots, it is important that the system processes the halftones correctly. They must be saved in a .PNG file.


What is the real role of the flatbed scanner?

As it is a computer device, its main role is to scan photos or documents. The flatbed scanner is also a shallow rectangular box with a glass top and a light source inside. This type of scanner is essential for processing several pages at a time (provided it performs well).

What types of documents are suitable for flatbed scanners?

Flatbed scanners are ideal for scanning loose papers, all flat artwork and some types of books. They can also be used to capture images of some 3D objects and paintings with textured surfaces, but they can produce shadows and other kinds of scanning artifacts.

How can I improve the quality of my scans with a flatbed scanner?

There are 6 ways to improve your scanningresults
- Check your results. This is an obvious step, but it is important to check the quality of the scanned documents.
- Increase your default resolution.
- Enable white page detection.
- Enable color scanning.
- Don't forget to activate duplex scanning.
- Index your document well during scanning. This will make it easier to find.

Is it better to photograph old photos or scan them with a flatbed scanner?

Scanning with a scanner is easier, faster and generally better than copying photos with a camera. The only exception is when there is a surface texture (e.g. a silk surface) on the photo, which requires additional lighting for best results.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
Canon LiDE 220 13
Canon LiDE 220
Canon LiDE 300 14
Canon LiDE 300
Plustek OS1180 15
Plustek OS1180
Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus 16
Plustek OpticSlim 2610 Plus
Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F 17
Fujitsu Siemens fi-65F


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