Top 6 Portable Scanners for Easy Scans on the Go

Man using a large copier scanner.

No one wants to drag around a large office copier or a desktop printer and scanner to scan files while traveling. Portable scanners are small enough to fit into a laptop bag and give you high-quality scans without any complex setup. Of course, they’re also ideal for saving space on your desktop, too.

1. Best Overall: Canon imageFormula R10

Price: $194

A single USB cable is all you need to start scanning documents, receipts, cards, and more with the Canon imageFormula R10. There’s absolutely nothing to install, and the printer updates automatically when connected.

Canon ImageFormula R10 printer in scanning a document

Thanks to the built-in Canon CaptureOnTouch Lite software, you can easily edit and manage your scans. Plus, nothing’s stored on the printer itself, making scanning more secure. You can even scan up to 10 dual-sided pages per minute.

Simply connect the USB cable to your laptop or computer to get started. It’s compatible with both Windows and macOS. At just over two pounds, it’s lightweight enough to take with you anywhere you need to go.

A woman carrying one of the best portable scanners, the Canon Imageformula R10


  • No AC cable needed for power
  • Works with both black and white and color scans
  • Perfect for both personal and business use


  • Doesn’t work well with photographs and photo paper

2. Best Wireless Option: Brother DS-940DW

Price: $230

The Brother DS-940DW is one of the top portable completely wireless scanners. I’m not usually a fan of Brother, as their products are often complicated to start using, but this scanner is surprisingly easy to use and lets you scan over 300 pages between battery charges.

The Brother DS-940DW portable scanner

I appreciate that no computer is needed. Insert a microSD card to save scans for later. Or, use Brother’s iPrint&Scan app to upload scans wirelessly to your mobile device.

If you need to edit your scans, you’ll need a computer. Free software is provided to optimize scans, remove background bleed-through, and much more. To get the best scans possible, follow the document type guide on the front of the scanner.

The Brother DS-940DW scanner scanning a document


  • Weighs just 1.5 pounds
  • Use wirelessly or with a USB cable
  • Scan without a mobile device or computer
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android


  • Software installation required to edit scans

3. Best Wireless Autofeed: Epson WorkForce ES-300W

Price: $300

If you have many pages to scan, one of the best portable scanners is easily the Epson WorkForce ES-300W. This handy wireless scanner auto-feeds up to 20 pages. It even scans up to 25 pages per minute or 50 images per minute and supports dual-sided scans.

Epson WorkForce ES-300w

Naturally, it’s nice to have a wireless scanner. But, if the battery’s running low, power it up with USB or the AC adapter. Even better? Save scans wirelessly to mobile devices and computers, or create searchable PDFs, Word, and Excel files with the included software.

It’s a little heavier than some other options on this list, at just under three pounds, but it’s still incredibly compact and perfect for batch scanning.

Scanning on one of the best autofeed scanners, the Epson WorkForce ES-300W


  • Scans to mobile devices, Windows, and macOS
  • No cables necessary to scan over the network
  • Handles up to 500 pages daily


  • Can be difficult to connect to the network at first
  • Scan to cloud feature requires a computer to use

4. Best Wand Scanner: MUNBYN Portable Scanner

Price: $72

It doesn’t get much more portable and lightweight than the MUNBYN Portable Scanner. Weighing just over half a pound, this wand scanner works great with photos, documents, and book/magazine pages in 900 dpi resolution.

Using the MUNBYN Portable scanner wand

Scan everything wirelessly, up to 16 GB with the provided SD card. Then, connect to your computer with the provided USB cable to transfer your scans. There’s no driver or software needed.

Using any wand scanner takes some practice to get the scans right, so be prepared for a slight learning curve. Once you get the right angle and a steady hand, you’ll love the ease of use.

Transferring files to PC using the MUNBYN portable scanner


  • Completely wireless
  • OCR software and scanning instructions are included
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux


5. Best Portable Photo Scanner: Plustek Photo Scanner ePhoto Z300

Price: $219

The Plustek Photo Scanner ePhoto Z300 is designed with fast photo scanning in mind. It also supports documents, but photos are where it really shines. Easily scan photos in seconds.

Plustek Photo Scanner scanning a photo

The auto-detect feature is my personal favorite feature. You don’t have to worry about changing settings with photos and documents of varying sizes. The scanner automatically detects the size, crops out blank borders, and even adjusts skewed images.

It’s not a wireless scanner, but the included software helps you immediately edit and organize all scanned files on your Windows or macOS device. There’s even an auto-share feature in the software to upload to social media. Of course, you can also use your favorite photo-editing software, or even online photo editors.

Using one of the best portable scanners for photos the Plustek Photo Scanner


  • Scan hundreds of photos in an hour
  • Works with documents up to A4 size
  • Can help restore color to older photos


  • Bulkier and weighs over three pounds
  • Must be connected to a computer to work

6. Best Built-in Storage: Doxie Go SE

Price: $209

True wireless portable scanners need to have a lot of built-in storage, and the Doxie Go SE fully delivers. Scan up to 4,000 pages before needing to transfer to your computer. Plus, expand the storage with an SD card (up to 32 GB cards only).

Doxie Go SE portable scanner

The rechargeable battery allows for up to 400 scans per charge. That gives you ample time to create a vast library of OCR and searchable PDFs. The included software even auto-crops and de-skews for better scans every time.

This model does require you to connect via USB to a computer to transfer files. But, if you choose the Wi-Fi model ($239), you can transfer files wirelessly to Windows, macOS, and iOS devices. No matter which model you use, you’ll need to use the software to upload to cloud services.

Using the Doxie Go SE portable scanner for receipts


  • Weighs just over a pound
  • Large file capacity
  • Software allows uploading directly to cloud services


  • No document feeder

Years ago, large desktop printer/scanner combos were your only option. But now, you can scan on the go with portable scanners that weigh a few pounds or less. If you’re just looking to make quick mobile scans, try the best document scanner apps for iOS and Android. And, if you can’t get Windows to recognize your portable scanner, try these fixes.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder - Staff Writer

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.