Top 4 compact portable scanners

Photo: Ryan Mesina Portable scanners make it easy to convert your piles of paper into manageable data.

Paper. You have piles of it. Now a range of compact devices — think less than a foot long and a couple inches wide — can take you from hoarder to minimalist with the press of a button.

Are you in the market for a portable scanner?

Here’s a scanner for every type of paper pusher.

Doxie Go

What it does: Stores scanned images in its built-in memory or, with an optional $30 wireless card, sends them straight to another device or app.

Why it’s great: The simple interface on this 14-ounce battery-powered scanner makes it easy to e-mail photos and documents on the go. You can also opt to send scans directly to, say, photo apps iPhoto or Flickr, or to the company’s free cloud service for sharing.

Price: $190

No more gadgets!


What it does: Packs a scanner into an iPhone app, at a pocket-change price.

Why it’s great: It works by taking three photos of a document, then combining them for maximum readability. After shooting the image, you can crop and adjust it to your liking, then e-mail the scan or send it to a cloud-based service like Dropbox or Google Docs. Too bad there’s no Android version.

Price: $1.99

Do you travel a lot?


What it does: Converts a jumble of receipts and business cards into neat, easily edited digital records.

Related: 7 best gadgets and gizmos coming this fall

Why it’s great: Road warriors locked in an endless battle with their expense accounts will appreciate being able to dump scanned information into spreadsheets, contacts, and a variety of tax-preparation and accounting programs. The 11-ounce scanner can also transform any paper document into a searchable PDF.

Price: $140

Using it for work?

Canon P-215

What it does: With a built-in 20-page document feeder, the Canon can tackle bigger jobs, including double-sided scans.

Why it’s great: This two-pounder may be the heftiest, but it’s also the most advanced of the bunch. Using the scanner’s software program, you can create custom settings that could, for example, automatically save your scan as a Word file, then send it to a specific folder on your PC.

Price: $310

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