Whether you travel for work, have a small office space, or are looking to make the most of the room you have at home, portable scanners can be a great way to scan important documents without being burdensome.

In this ultimate review and guide, we'll explore the top 6 portable document scanners and how to choose the right one for your needs.

We'll also introduce Shoeboxed's Magic Envelope service (and why you might want to opt for it, instead).

Let's get started!

What is a portable scanner?

A portable scanner is a compact, lightweight version of the traditional desktop document scanner.

Portable scanners are perfect for traveling for business or small offices with limited space, and they can be used for scanning various-sized papers, including the following:

  • Receipts.

  • Contracts.

  • Reports.

  • Invoices.

And other important business documents.

Scanners are essential to most businesses and are useful during tax season, where you can digitize and upload expenses and other related information to your tax software.

Portable scanners can also benefit businesses by turning hard copies into digital files for efficient document storage and management.

What are the best portable scanners in 2024?

Here's a list of our favorite portable scanner picks for remote workers, traveling employees, and home offices this year:

1. Doxie Go SE - Best battery-powered scanner

Doxie Go SE scanner

Doxie Go SE Scanner, Amazon.

The Doxie GO SE Portable Document Scanner is our pick for the best battery-powered mobile scanner.

Because it's battery-powered, this portable document scanner requires no wires or computer to operate. As long as the Doxie has a full battery, you just power it on and start scanning!

One happy user said this little powerhouse was "...Able to scan 837 pictures on the 600 dpi setting before the battery died."

We loved that the Doxie Scanner had an SD card to store scanned documents. You can upload documents, images, and receipts to your computer using the USB cable or opt for the version with WiFi compatibility for wireless connectivity.

The scan quality of the Doxie is impeccable and delivers clear copies of photos or documents in full color at up to 600 dpi.

Our biggest complaint is that documents can sometimes come out skewed. We had to be careful lining the papers up precisely to not cut off parts of the document.


  • 12.2" D x 2.25" W x 1.75" H

  • 1.2 pounds


  • No computer needed, as memory is included.

  • Rechargeable battery.

  • Takes less than 10 seconds per page to scan.

  • Very lightweight and portable.

  • Sends scans to Dropbox, OneNote, Evernote, iCloud Drive, and more.

  • Uses OCR technology to create searchable PDFs.

  • Friendly and helpful customer service.


  • Not the best option for scanning multi-page documents.

  • If you don't place the document precisely, the scan comes out crooked.

  • Only scans in JPEG.


  • Battery Sheetfed - $199

  • Battery Sheetfed + WiFi - $239

2. Brother DS-640 - Best for multiple “Scan-to” destinations

Brother DS-640 Portable Scanner

Brother DS-640 Portable Scanner, Amazon.

Next on our list, the Brother DS-640 is a compact, USB-powered portable scanner weighing just over 1 pound.

Like the other mobile scanners on our list, this is a great option to take with you on the go, as long as you have your laptop nearby. No other cables are necessary. Just plug the USB cable into your computer and start scanning documents.

The Brother DS-640 can scan paper documents up to 72 inches long, along with smaller documents such as business cards or plastic ID cards.

What we liked best about this mobile scanner is its ability to scan to multiple destinations, including email, cloud services, images, files, and OCR. The scanning speed was quick, and we were able to scan documents in black and white or full color.

The main downside to the Brother DS-640 is that we couldn't scan double-sided pages at one time. To scan double-sided documents, we had to flip the page and feed it through again.


  • 2.2" D x 11.9" W x 1.4" H

  • 1.5 pounds


  • Scans color and black and white documents at a speed of up to 16ppm.

  • Operates with a laptop/desktop and USB cable.

  • Lightweight, compact, and highly portable.

  • Scan documents of most sizes (up to 72 inches in length).

  • Scan documents to multiple destinations.


  • Must manually scan double-sided documents.

  • Connectivity issues.

  • Problems scanning receipts.


  • $119.98

3. Epson WorkForce ES-50 - Lightest weight

Epson scanner

Epson WorkForce Portable Scanner, Amazon.

If you're looking for a feed scanner to stow away in your laptop bag on business trips, you won't find a lighter option than this one.

Despite its compact size and featherlight weight, the Epson WorkForce is truly a workhorse when it comes to on-the-go document and photo scanners of its size.

The Epson produces quality single-page scans with dimensions up to 8.5 x 72 inches in less than 6 seconds, including ID cards and business receipts. It's also compatible with both Windows and Mac.

On the downside, when it came time to scan photos, black-and-white photos proved to be a challenge for the Epson WorkForce, and the quality was lower than color images.

The software was also finicky and would sometimes lose connectivity or be unable to find the scanner.


  • 1.8" D x 10.7" W x 1.3" H

  • 0.59 pounds


  • The smallest, lightest portable scanner on our list.

  • Impressive scan speed and quality for the size and cost.

  • Scan documents up to 8.5 x 72 inches.

  • USB-powered (doesn't require an additional power source).

  • OCR technology creates searchable PDFs and editable Word and Excel files.


  • Image quality was lower on glossy, black-and-white images.

  • Software may need to be uninstalled and reinstalled several times to connect to the scanner.


  • $121.40

4. Canon Document Scanner - Best for duplex scanning

Cannon document scanner

Canon Portable Document Scanner, Amazon.

For those who often scan two-sided documents, the Canon Document Scanner is the portable scanner for you.

Unlike the previous portable scanners on our list, the Canon is sheet-fed, which means that it can scan a double-sided document in one pass without manual intervention.

The Canon Document Scanner comes with a 20-sheet automatic feeder and can scan up to 12 pages per minute. So, it's not only portable, but it's also a time-saver for when you're working on the go or need to scan stacks of documents.

This portable document scanner is USB-powered, so it requires a laptop or computer to operate. That said, it's still lightweight and easy to bring along wherever you go.

On the downside, if you have a newer Apple computer, you'll likely need an adapter to get the scanner to work. 

The scanner connectivity is also choppy, and when it comes to scanning photos, the quality can be quite poor compared to documents.


  • 3.75" D x 11.2" W x 1.57" H

  • 2.2 pounds


  • Color, black-and-white, or grayscale scans.

  • 20-sheet automatic feeder.

  • Scan double-sided documents.

  • Compact and easy to carry.

  • Windows and MAC compatible.

  • Preview scans and edit, straighten, and trim your files.


  • Inconsistent connectivity.

  • Will need an adapter for newer Apple computers.

  • Scanner light results in low-quality scans of photos. Best for document scanning.


  • $174

5. MUNBYN Portable Scanner - Best scanner wand

MUNBYN Portable Scanner, Amazon.

MUNBYN Portable Scanner, Amazon.

Out of all the handheld scanners we tried, the MUNBYN Portable Scanner was our favorite.

The MUNBYN Portable Handheld Scanner is unlike any of the other options on our list because, instead of feeding papers through the scanner, you wave the scanner over the document.

Flat scanning is a great option for saving digital copies of book pages, magazines, or other documents that can't be easily fed into a scanner. It's also highly portable and only requires two AA batteries to operate.

The MUNBYN has a range of 300 to 900 dpi. We found that 600 dpi was best for document scanning, and 900 dpi scanning was more suitable for photos.

Images are stored on an SD card in the scanner, and transferring scanned documents was a breeze. All we had to do was connect the USB cable to a computer or an adapter cable to our smartphone.

(NOTE: You can't scan directly to your computer or phone.)


  • 0.84" D x 10" W x 0.7" H

  • 0.32 pounds


  • Highly portable, compact scanner.

  • Easily digitize documents that would otherwise be difficult to scan.

  • Requires no wires or computer to operate (AA batteries and saves to an SD card).

  • Transfer scanned documents to your computer or mobile devices with the USB cable.


  • Not the best scanning quality.

  • Complaints of batteries dying after 20 scans.

  • Connectivity issues.


  • $64.99

6. OfficeJet 250 Portable Printer - Best all-in-one scanner

OfficeJet 250 Portable Scanner and Printer, Amazon.

OfficeJet 250 Portable Scanner and Printer, Amazon.

If you need a portable scanner that will do it all, look no further than the OfficeJet 250.

This is an ideal option for a home office or small cubicle space where you need functionality without the bulk of a traditional scanner.

That said, it's still compact and lightweight enough to take with you on business trips if you need its features.

The OfficeJet lets you scan, copy, and print documents from one device. This scanner is a hands-free option that comes with a 10-page automatic document feeder so you can scan multi-page documents in a single go.

This scanner is the highest-tech option on our list and comes with a built-in touch screen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and Alexa pairing.

It's also wireless and battery-powered, so the OfficeJet can work wherever you are. When it dies, this portable scanner's AC power option makes it easy to fully recharge in less than 2 hours.


  • 14.96" D x 7.8" W x 3.6" H

  • 6.5 pounds


  • Fast scanning, copying, and printing.

  • Works wirelessly via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Amazon's Alexa.

  • Automatic document feeder.

  • Wireless and battery-powered.

  • Fully charges in less than 2 hours.

  • Great for documents, photos, business cards, and more.


  • Connectivity issues when paired with MAC.

  • Printing uses up a lot of ink.

  • The touch screen may be too small for some users to navigate effectively.


  • $399.99

BONUS: Shoeboxed - Best for outsourcing

The Magic Envelope - Shoeboxed

Outsource document scanning and management with the Magic Envelope!

Shoeboxed is a receipt and document-scanning app and service that turns paperwork into digital data.

Shoeboxed's Magic Envelope service lets users outsource their document management so they never have to scan and file documents again!

How does Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope service work?

1. Mail your documents

When you sign up for a plan that includes the Magic Envelope, Shoeboxed will mail you a pre-paid envelope each month for you to send your receipts and documents in.

Whenever you travel for work, just take the envelope with you and stuff any work documents you gather along the way inside.

If you have stacks of documents that need scanning, you can even mail a box! Just tape the Magic Envelope to the box lid and Shoeboxed will cover the postage.

Stop doing manual data entry 🛑

Outsource receipt scanning to Shoeboxed’s scanning service and free up your time for good. Try free for 30 days! ✨

Get Started Today

2. Turn documents into digital data

Once your documents arrive at the scanning facility, they’re prepped for scanning and scanned.

The documents are then human-verified for accuracy and categorized into your Shoeboxed account under a tax category or the documents tab.

You can even request that documents be categorized under custom categories by leaving a note.

NOTE: Shoeboxed cannot process documents wider than a normal sheet of paper or longer than 3 feet.

3. Get notified

Shoeboxed will send you an email notification when your documents are uploaded and accessible from your account.

You can access your documents anytime, anywhere on the Shoeboxed mobile app or the web dashboard.

4. Receive or shred hard copies

Once your documents are digitized and in your account, Shoeboxed will either mail the hard copies back to you, or you can choose to have them shredded and recycled.

If you choose to shred your documents, Shoeboxed will store them for up to 30 days in case you change your mind.

Other Shoeboxed features

Shoeboxed - Simplify daily bookkeeping tasks

Shoeboxed is trusted by over 1 million businesses to digitize receipts and documents.

In addition to the Magic Envelope, Shoeboxed offers the following features:

1. Shoeboxed app and web dashboard

The Shoeboxed app lets you take photos of business receipts with your phone and upload them directly to your account.

Shoeboxed's web dashboard can be used to upload receipts, warranties, contracts, invoices, or scanned documents from your computer files.

2. Unlimited free sub-users

Shoeboxed supports an unlimited number of free sub-users per Shoeboxed account, so colleagues, employees, and tax professionals can have unhindered access to documents.

3. Gmail Sync

Shoeboxed also offers Gmail sync to automatically pull business receipts from your inbox. Every expense is organized under 1 of 15 tax categories.

4. Expense reports

Export yearly expenses into a detailed, customizable expense report with images of receipts attached.

5. Advanced search and filters

Call up business receipts and documents in seconds with Shoeboxed's search bar or filter documents based on vendors, date, price, currency, categories, payment type, and more.


  • Outsource receipt and document scanning to professionals.

  • Snap photos of receipts and upload them to your account right from your phone.

  • Automatically pull business receipts from your Gmail.

  • Create custom categories for receipts and documents.

  • Easily search for or filter documents.

  • Documents are uploaded to your account and accessible within 24 hours.

  • Free up office space by choosing to shred hard copies.


  • Plans purchased through the mobile app do not include the Magic Envelope service. Plans that include the Magic Envelope must be purchased online.


  • Start up - $18/month.

  • Professional - $36/month.

  • Business - $54/month.

Break free from paper clutter ✨

Use Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope to ship off your receipts and get them back as scanned data in a private, secure cloud-based account. 📁 Try free for 30 days!

Get Started Today

How to choose the right portable scanner for you

Below are questions to ask yourself when choosing a portable scanner:

1. What type of portable scanner do I need?

While you might think all portable scanners are roughly the same, there are 3 main kinds of scanners to consider.

So, what are the different types of portable scanners?

a. Manual-fed scanners

With manual-fed scanners, you must feed in the pages by hand. These scanners will only scan one page—and one side of the page—at a time. If you have a two-sided document, you'll have to scan each side individually.

When it comes to manual-fed scanners, we like the Doxie Go SE.

b. Sheet-fed scanners

Sheet-fed scanners have an ADF (automatic document feeder) that will allow you to insert multiple pages at once in the document feed. Documents will feed through the scanner one at a time, having both sides captured for double-sided papers.

Our favorite sheet-fed scanner is the Canon Document Scanner.

c. Wand scanners

If you have documents that can't be separated, such as stapled papers or a booklet, a regular scanner won't cut it. Instead of the page being fed through the scanner, a wand scanner lets you scan over the page.

We recommend the MUNBYN Portable Wand Scanner.

2. What size scanner do I want?

The scanners on our list range from less than 1 pound in weight up to 6 pounds.

Ask yourself why you need a portable scanner:

  • Is it for traveling for work?

  • A home office?

  • Remote work in a cafe?

If you'll be bringing your document and photo scanner along on business trips or to the cafe, you'll probably want as little fuss as possible.

A lighter, more compact option, like the Epson WorkForce ES-50, might be ideal in this situation.

On the other hand, if you just want to free up space in your office, a heavier portable scanner with additional capabilities may suffice (like the OfficeJet 250 Portable Printer).

Speaking of additional capabilities...

3. Capabilities

While most scanners offer the same basic functionality of scanning documents, business cards, and photos, some have unique capabilities that may factor into your decision, such as:

  • The ability to copy or print documents.

  • Two-sided or duplex scanning capabilities.

  • Automatic document feeder.

  • Wi-Fi connectivity.

  • The ability to scan extra-long documents.

Decide how important these functions are to your daily work or scanning needs and go from there.

4. Can I use a scanner without a computer?

Some portable scanners come with built-in storage or memory cards, like the Doxie Go SE. These scanners let you scan and save documents to a memory card USB drive—no computer necessary.

Consider if you'll be lugging your laptop or computer around with you while traveling for work.

If you won't have access to a computer, but you know you'll still need to scan documents, you'll want to opt for a scanner that doesn't require a computer.

Do business cards like a boss ✨

Use Shoeboxed’s app to organize business cards, receipts, and more. Try free for 30 days!

Get Started Today

Frequently asked questions

What is the best scanner without computer?

The best scanner that doesn’t require a computer is the Doxie Go SE. It’s highly portable, convenient, and reliable. You can also outsource your document scanning with Shoeboxed's Magic Envelope service.

Are portable scanners worth it?

Portable scanners are compact and lightweight, making them great for working on the go. Whether you're traveling for business, working remotely, or looking to free up space in your office, a portable scanner can turn all of your business documents into digital data without unnecessary bulk.

Final thoughts

Out of all of the top options on the market, we think the Doxie Go SE is the best portable scanner for 2024. It's compact, reliable, produces high-quality scans, and overall just a really great option.

That said, you can ditch scanning altogether with the Magic Envelope. Shoeboxed makes it simple to digitize and organize your business cards, documents, images, receipts, and more.

Just mail your documents to the scanning facility and watch as digital copies magically appear in your account!

Try Shoeboxed for free today.

Hannah DeMoss is a staff writer for Shoeboxed covering organization and digitization tips for small business owners. Her favorite organization hack is labeling everything in her kitchen cabinets, and she can’t live without her mini label maker machine.

About Shoeboxed!

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning service with receipt management software that supports multiple methods for receipt capture: send, scan, upload, forward, and more!

You can stuff your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes (prepaid postage within the US). Use our receipt tracker + receipt scanner app (iPhone, iPad and Android) to snap a picture while on the go. Auto-import receipts from Gmail. Or forward a receipt to your designated Shoeboxed email address.

Turn your receipts into data and deductibles with our expense reports that include IRS-accepted receipt images.

Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports and more—with Shoeboxed.

Try Shoeboxed today!