5 Best Portable Scanners for Mac 2021 | Buying Guide

Best portable scanners with Mac are very useful tools if you are always on a run and require pages to be scanned. These scanners provide you with a facility to copy images of any kind of documents such as receipts, photographs, business cards, etc. anywhere and at any time. 

There are multiple types of portable scanners offered by various manufacturers in the market. However, choosing the best one becomes quite troublesome. The finest type of scanners to buy depends solely on the types of documents that you may require to scan, their sizes, as well as the limit of your budget.

There are distinct best portable scanners for Mac. They are used mostly by business travelers who are always on a move and require document scanning frequently. These portable scanners for Mac are great to run through receipts, invoices, contracts, and other official documents. 

A portable scanner can go well with Mac devices because Mac devices are pleasantly the slimmest and highly portable ones. Hence, pairing a portable scanner with such lightweight devices is only right for outdoor document scanning. This enhances the versatility of these scanners. 

Although most scanners support Mac devices, the world is dominated by Windows. So to avoid any mishap, make sure to select the right scanner that supports Mac devices. 

Top 5 Best Portable Scanners for Mac

The following article can help you pick the right portable scanner for your Mac device. A buying guide and some frequently asked questions might also help you to gain a better insight into where to invest your money!

1. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Portable Color Duplex Document Scanner

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i...
  • One touch scanning with Quick Menu options for PC and Mac
  • Scan up to 12 double-sided pages per minute - Holds up to 10...
  • Compact and portable design is USB or AC powered
  • Intelligent automatic image processing including auto color...

If you are in search of a reputable and reliable company to get a portable scanner for Mac devices, Fujitsu can be a great choice for you. This manufacturer has been in the market for years and years now. This brand stands out among its competitors mainly because of its honesty, irreplaceable quality, and remarkable performance. 

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Scanner is one of the best portable scanners compatible with Mac as well as PC. The scanner itself is a piece of cake to use since it enables with a single button and scans instantly all kinds of paperwork. This makes the organizing workflow a breeze. 

Undoubtedly, Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i offers the fastest service any scanner in its league can. All thanks to the amazing combination of its features. Features that assist in its fast service include an auto document feeder that adds up to 10 sheets. This super-fast speed goes up to 600 dpi. Moreover, the duplexing feature enables fast scanning because it can scan two pages in one pass. 

This scanner is integrated with intelligent software that guarantees a brilliant way of organizing and managing your paperwork and workflow. The scanner also features trustworthy OCR software that helps to organize the scans into an editable file. Moreover, the scanner also features an intelligence scan correction. This feature also allows crop, auto color detection, and auto removes blank pages.

  • Duplex scanning
  • OCR included
  • Budget-friendly
  • User-friendly
  • Sleek design
  • Not the lightest device you can find

2. Brother Wireless Document Scanner, ADS-1700W

Brother Wireless Document...
  • EASY-TO-USE AND SAVES TIMES - 2.8” color Touchscreen display...
  • COMPATIBLE WITH THE WAY YOU WORK - ADS1700W supports multiple...

If you are looking for a scanner suitable for all office and business scanning needs, Brother ADS-1700W can be a great choice. This wireless compact desktop scanner is a perfect product that can fit perfectly in absolutely any space due to its nicely compact size. 

Brother ADS-1700W is easy to use and can be controlled by anyone. The scanner features a 2.8” touch screen that makes scanning a lot better and easier. The touch screen allows the users to navigate their scanning needs by using the functional touch screen. 

Most businesses and office owners’ look for time-saving devices that can help them complete the work as soon as possible and save them some extra hours during the day. Brother Solutions understands this issue and ensures to save time by using the 20 sheet auto document feeder. This feature speeds up to 25 pages per minute which is remarkably awesome. 

Moreover, this scanner features versatile connectivity that helps cover all types of devices. The scanner is compatible with Mac as well as PC. It enables scanning to email, mobile devices, cloud locations, USB, and many more.

  • Quick scanning
  • Text recognition
  • Precise OCR
  • Powerful software bundle
  • Supports scanning to USB drives
  • Color touch screen
  • No battery
  • Heavier than other portable scanners

3. Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner OS 1180

Plustek A3 Large Format...
  • ✔WE SCAN SIZES - A3 11.69""x 17" Large Format Scanning
  • ✔NO MORE WAITING - LED Light Source, Save Energy, No Warm Up
  • ✔HASSLE-FREE OPERATION - Pre Set Function One-Touch Button for...
  • ✔POWERFUL SOFTWARE BUNDLE - Enhanced OCR Accuracy with ABBYY...

Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner is an A3 tabloid-sized scanner that provides users to get high-quality scans of pictures, documents, scrapbooks, and much more. The scanner comes with a single button that allows the users to operate the scanner with much ease. 

This scanner is extraordinarily lightweight which makes it highly portable. It fits flawlessly at any place, small or large. The LED light of the scanner is pretty long-lasting and doesn’t change its color normally even when the scanner is turned on. The scanner offers 48-bit color and 16-bit grayscale depth which is remarkable to scan art and historical documents.

Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner offers users to send scans to printers, folders, or emails effortlessly. It also allows users to scan files straight to numerous apps. Although the scanner is pretty great, a downside to it is its disturbing noise which might not be a problem to some people but can be distracting at times hindering office staff’s work. 

This scanner gives output beyond the prospects. The scanner performs large format scanning. It consumes less energy and does not heat up which makes it environmentally friendly and reasonable. All in all, it’s a great portable scanner for Mac devices.

  • Doesn’t need time to start
  • Powerful software
  • Environmental friendly
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Energy efficient
  • User oriented
  • Noisy
  • Pricey

4. Doxie Go SE

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The...
  • 【Go Paperless】Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi delivers smarter portable...
  • 【Easy Wireless Scanning】Doxie's rechargeable battery,...
  • 【Tiny and Battery Powered】Doxie is tiny – the size of a...
  • 【Amazing Software and OCR】Doxie's included Mac and PC apps...

Doxie Go SE is hands down one of the best portable scanners for Mac devices. This scanner can be used with any kind of Mac device, be it iPad, iPod, or iPhone. What’s great about this device is that it does not require any connection to a computer in order to function. 

This scanner is slim and compact which makes it easily portable. It possesses a battery as well as internal storage which is highly convenient and comes in handy all the time. It allows the users to save all their scans. Moreover, the storage is expandable through the SD card slot. 

The scanner itself is pretty user-friendly. You can easily transfer files via the SD card or through Wi-Fi. The scanner also allows users to Auto Sync files with cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive to automatically save files and create a backup. Doxie Go SE scans up to 400 pages per charge. The internal memory can store almost 4000 scans before it requires the syncing option. 

However, the scanner does come with a few downsides. The scanner does not feature an Automatic Document Feeder and does not scan double-sided documents automatically. The absence of the Duplex feature sets this scanner aside for many customers. 

Despite the downsides, Doxie Go SE is a highly portable, robust, and popular scanner, and one of the best portable scanners for Mac.

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Scan to MicroSD Card
  • Rechargeable battery
  • User-friendly
  • Sturdy design
  • Scanning software needs a lot of improvement
  • Pricey

5. Canon ImageFORMULA P-215

Canon ImageFORMULA P-215II...
  • Stay organized: Easily convert your paper documents into digital...
  • Convenient and portable: Use anywhere, from home offices,...
  • Handles many different document types: Receipts, photos, business...
  • Fast and efficient: Scans both sides of a document at the same...

Last but not the least, we have Canon imageFormula P-215 on our list. This sleek portable scanner is compatible with all Apple devices and can certainly be the best portable scanner for Mac. This scanner is also known as ‘Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner’. 

The scanner features an auto document feeder ADF Tray and has Optical Character Recognition (OCR). In terms of its weight and dimensions, the scanner is pretty lightweight for some users and heavy for others. It all depends upon the type of usability of this device. 

Canon image Formula P-215 can scan a maximum document size of 8.5 in. x 39.4 in. (215 x 1000 mm). The scanner features the duplex scanning option and fast scans up to 30 images per minute which are extraordinarily amazing and time-saving. 

The incorporated Contact Image sensor proposes a 600 DPI image resolution. In terms of connectivity, this scanner is equipped with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. It also offers ISIS and TWAIN drivers for Mac and PC and both operating systems. Moreover, the scanning software is also Mac compatible. 

Canon also supports Automatic Color Detection, Background Removal, Automatic Image Cropping and Automatic Deskew. These additional features elevate this product to a whole nother level of supremeness.

  • Can scan ID cards
  • 20-sheet feed tray
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Duplex feature
  • No case supplied
  • Bit heavy for true portability

Best Portable Scanners for Mac Buyer’s Guide

Before buying a portable scanner specifically for your Mac device, look for the following factors:


The choice of the best scanner boils down to the amount of budget you are willing to spend. You can definitely choose a decent scanner while remaining within the budget but we highly recommend not settle for anything less. The quality and performance of the scanner all come down to one main aspect: “budget”.

Documents Size

Considering the document size of the scanner before buying it says a lot about the usability of the machine. Make sure that the scanner is capable of handling all types of paper formats. If the scanner does not support large paper formats, you won’t be able to scan legal documents, newspapers, or magazines.

Frequency Of Moving

A portable scanner can go well with Mac devices because Mac devices are pleasantly the slimmest and highly portable ones. Hence, pairing a portable scanner with such lightweight devices is only right for outdoor document scanning. This enhances the versatility of these scanners. These scanners are made to be carried around while you are on the go.


The importance of the speed of a scanner centers on how common you plan on using it. The speed may not be an issue if a scanner is hardly used once or twice a day, which is typically the case with most home or personal use scanners. Although, things can be totally different for those who are frequently getting images or documents scanned through a scanner.

Reliable and Long Lasting Battery

Related: Best Scanners for Old Photos

A portable scanner is meant to be carried around. This means that at all times we don’t get the opportunity of charging the scanner. So, a portable scanner must come with a reliable and long-lasting battery so that moving around with this device does not require frequent charging. Also, a scanner with a strong and reliable battery can manage a heavy workload.


This feature of the scanner is mostly ignored by a lot of customers. Users don’t pay much attention to this feature when buying a scanner. A bundled software chiefly comprises a driver program, color calibration software, image-editing software, and optical recognition software (OCR).  Most of the scanners do not come with the full package of bundled software as elaborated above.

Color/Bit Depth

The color or bit depth indicates the quantity of data a scanner is capable to record per pixel. The more the bit depth, the greater color gradations that a given scanner can scan and therefore produce a greater quality image. Though the results are high-quality, the file size is also significantly larger since more information is stored per pixel.


When buying a portable scanner specifically for Mac devices, compatibility plays a huge role. The scanner must be compatible with all sorts of Mac devices. Usually, the scanners are compatible with Windows as the world is dominated by Windows.


The resolution of a scanner represents the number of pixels a scanner can capture and is conceivably measured in dots per inch (dpi). Higher-resolution scanners are capable of capturing additional information from a specific image then lower resolution scanners. They deliver higher detail and image quality. High-resolution scanners are also capable of producing excellent images at resolution settings below their standard resolution.

Additional Features

Portable scanners are not just used for scanning. They also provide additional features by handling documents and managing workflow through smart devices. Software such as OCR, PaperPort, OmniPage, or others helps in keeping your work-life highly organized.

How do I connect my scanner to my Mac?

Portable scanners can be connected to Mac by following the given steps.

  1. Choose Apple menu
  2. Go to System Preferences
  3. Click the option ‘Printers & Scanners’
  4. If you don’t find your scanner in the existing list, click on the ‘Add’ button.
  5. A pop-up menu will appear. Choose the option of ‘Add Printer or Scanner’.
  6. Select your scanner and then click ‘Add’.

What should I look for when buying a photo scanner?

Before buying a portable scanner specifically for your Mac device, look for the following aspects.

  • Flatbed or Document Handler
  • Speed
  • One-sided vs Two-sided
  • Print / Copy / Fax
  • Maximum Paper Size
  • Resolution
  • Network Connectivity
  • Software Capabilities

Why won’t my Epson printer scan to my Mac?

If your Epson printer isn’t scanning to your Mac, your computer might not be running and must be in power-saving modes, such as sleep or standby. If this is the case, wake your system and then restart the Epson Scan. Also, check the connection settings and test the connection using Epson Scan Settings. This can be done by opening the applications folder in your Mac OS X. Then click on Epson Software, and then check your settings by clicking in Epson Scan Settings.

How do I download the Epson scanner to my Mac?

Epson scanner can be downloaded on your Mac by following the given steps.

Open the Applications folder on your Mac OS X. Next, open the Epson Software folder and click twice on the Epson Scan Icon. 

Keep in mind, in mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8, you can download and install the Epson scanning software along with scanning with Image Capture.

Should I scan photos as JPEG or PDF?

PDF is a sub-par format to scan documents and especially photographs. It is because you don’t get much control over how the actual image is being compressed. This makes editing the photos much more difficult and hectic for professionals. Generally, PDF files use JPEG compression format itself, without being capable of setting the quality.

Why is my scanner not connecting to my Mac?

The reasons for this might be very obvious sometimes. Firstly be sure that the scanner is plugged into an electrical socket and turned ON. Also, be certain that the cables are securely connected. If you have seen a scanning option previously and don’t see it anymore, delete the scanner from the system and try adding it again this time.


Portable scanners are usually not big or bulky and slide easily in any bag without any problem. Although lightweight and portable can capture high-definition images in a short span of time. This article can help you get your hands on one of the best Mac device-compatible scanners. 

From reading the reviews of the 5 scanners, you will get an idea that apart from compatibility, several other factors are also necessary for purchasing a perfect portable scanner. The powering machine, user-friendliness, ADF function, speed, and connectivity are some of the other essential factors to look at before you invest your money in any portable scanner. 

This article covers portable scanners for varying categories as well as price ranges. They also include battery-operated scanners and some scanners that need constant connection with the Mac device in order to function. The article also includes scanners that are sheetfed with an ADF and scanners with a flatbed. In the end, your choice for the best portable scanner lands down to your budget!

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