The best book scanner in 2023

Woman scanning a book in a library using one of the best book scanners
(Image credit: CZUR)

The best book scanners work in a different way than using a normal flatbed scanner. Instead of a moving scanner, a camera is held far enough above that it can capture the page quickly. We may only be talking a difference of a few seconds; but when you're scanning more than 300 pages, that difference really adds up.

Some of the best book scanners also come with pedals so you can turn pages with your hands, hold them in place, and initiate a scan without the book slamming shut. A few even use AI to detect page turns.

If the pages of your books are shiny, you'll probably prefer a scanner with lower or more diagonal illumination to avoid reflections. Another feature to look for is laser sensors, which can detect the three-dimensional shape of pages. 

Alternatively, if you want to scan other types of printed material, check out our guides to the best document scanners and the best document cameras (opens in new tab)

The best book scanner in 2023

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: CZUR )

1. CZUR ET24 Pro

The best book scanner overall

Specifications

Resolution: 24MP/ 5696 x 4272 px
Shooting area: A3+ (420 x 297 mm)
Speed: 1 sec / page
Book thickness: 35mm (or 50mm at A4)
Live View: 60fps at 1080p
Size: 362 x 352 x 149mm (259 x 163 x 39mm when folded)
Connectivity: USB, HDMI
Weight: 1.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Faster worker
+
Laser measures book’s curve
+
High res scanns

Reasons to avoid

-
Small screen
-
No USB-C connection

The CZUR ET24 Pro is our pick as the best book scanner overall. It boasts high resolutions, pushing it over the 300ppi point from an area over A3. There are magnetically-detachable side-positioned lights to minimise reflection. Pages are flattened by ‘second generation’ laser measurement. And you can get your scans done very quickly, thanks to the hand button, foot pedal, black mat to place the book on and ‘finger cots’; a kind of thimble to hold the page down, which are automatically removed by software. 

The software can also, for the most part, also recognise page turns for automated scanning. All this adds up to a machine which can scan at up to a page a second and save out to PDF, Word or other files thanks to the included OCR. And a HDMI port provides live view at 1080P too, so this scanner is just as comfortable in the lecture theater as the office. If you want a similar, but slightly cheaper option though, consider the older, lower res CZUR ET18 Pro (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Xerox)

2. Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600

The best book scanner for archiving

Specifications

Resolution: 600ppi max interpolated
Shooting area: A3 (300 x 400mm)
Speed: 3 sec / page
Book thickness: 30mm
Live View: No
Size: 383 x 210 x 156 mm
Connectivity: USB
Weight: 3000g

Reasons to buy

+
600ppi resolution scan option
+
Popular with archivists
+
Large scanning area

Reasons to avoid

-
No live-view option

Rather than directing a high resolution camera downward, like many document scanners, the ScanSnap SV600 conducts linear scans, adjusting focus as it goes to avoid the potential for distortion in the image corners. 

While the lights remain in the same spot, the brightness adjusts as the scan swoops across the page too. Software efficiency tools are impressive: an A3 landscape in three seconds and the scanner is happy with bound pages up to 30mm thick too. It can compensate for curvature, producing perfectly flat-looking scans, and detect and separate multiple documents on the bed. 

ABBYY OCR is included, making extraction of scannable and editable text feasible, and indeed the quality should help. Resolution is good, with 150, 200, 300 and 600 dpi modes (all at three seconds), which should please the design agencies, studios, galleries and professional archiving services in mind.  

(Image credit: Xerox)

3. Czur Aura Mate Pro

Dual-camera document scanner with book-flattening capability

Specifications

Resolution: 16MP / 4608 x 3456 px
Shooting area: A3 (460 x 345mm)
Speed: 2 sec / page
Book thickness: 30mm
Live View: 1080P @ 20fps
Size: 372 x 180 x 443 mm (180 x 130 x 443mm folded)
Connectivity: USB
Weight: 1650g

Reasons to buy

+
Folding design
+
Built-in webcam
+
Stylish desk lamp mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Cloud scanning may cause privacy fears

The Aura Mate Pro is Czur’s answer to the mobile worker’s book scanner and presentation tool; a document scanner equipped with much of their processing functionality from their dedicated devices with extra features for online meetings. Not least of these is a second camera in the post; ideal for a lecturer sharing a book or a students in a Zoom class, though the addition of Wi-Fi might be more useful more often.

As well as working with your computer (Mac and Windows), you can use your phone.  And while this device might be portable, the inclusion of a foot pedal shows it take the book scanning functionality seriously. OCR software and page flattening is included, too. The lamp-like design also includes a 320 x 240 px preview LCD.

Product shot of the IPEVO V4K PRO, one of the best book scanners

(Image credit: Xerox)

4. IPEVO V4K PRO

Portable document scanner for sharing book pages on the go

Specifications

Resolution: 8MP / 3264 x 2448 px
Shooting area: 342 x 255mm
Speed: N/A
Book thickness: Not stated
Live View: 3264 x 2448P at 30fps
Size: 277 x 78 x 48 mm (folded)
Connectivity: USB
Weight: 581g

Reasons to buy

+
EmpFolds small for travel
+
Excellent noise cancellation 
+
Adjustable exposure and focus

Reasons to avoid

-
Book scanning is secondary function
-
Single LED light can be uneven 

Many of us are involved in sharing parts of documents, including books, in live online presentations and lectures. Step forward the modern-day overhead projector: a document camera. One of the our favorites is the IPEVO V4K Pro, which takes one of the most popular designs on the market and refines the microphone with smart AI noise reduction. 

The camera can easily be directed at a book, either to produce a live view or to capture still images, on a Mac, PC or Chromebook. It’s not equipped with all the rapid page processing tools of the Czur or SV600, but it can definitely tackle capturing a few pages for work, which is why it sports a higher resolution autofocus camera than required simply for 1080P live streaming. We also like the fetching bottle green shade, and its relatively low cost.

(Image credit: Xerox)

5. Xerox XD-Combo

If the book doesn’t need to survive, consider sheet-feeding

Specifications

Resolution: 600ppi
Shooting area: 330 x 428mm
Speed: 25 pages per minute
Max Resolution: 600ppi
Book thickness: 35 sheets
Live View: No
Size: 401 x 330 x 140 mm
Connectivity: USB
Weight: 2.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for separated pages
+
Mac and PC compatible
+
Scans up to 25 pages a minute

Reasons to avoid

-
Books need to be unbound 
-
Separate power supply and USB connection

This is a full duplex sheet feeding scanner, which, by taking pages from a pile and scanning both sides, might be a more useful tool for some archiving tasks. It’s certainly quick; Xerox say a user can plough through 1,500 scans a day. So, if your  book will be discarded after scanning, why not un-bind it so the scans can be run more quickly through the scanner?

In practice this technology – which Xerox commonly place atop photocopiers – does prefer perfectly trimmed pages, but if that’s something you can provide the system will churn out images at 25 pages per minute which eclipses even the most powerful book scanners once the page turning is accounted for. 

We were also impressed that banners up to 3m (118 inches) could be scanned if required; you’ve got to admire fthis lexibility. There is also the option of standard one-off 600ppi scans from under the lid, always a handy option to have in the office; all this for a relatively modestly priced device.

(Image credit: Xerox)

6. IRIScan Desk 5

The best cheap book scanner for small books

Specifications

Resolution: 8MP
Shooting area: A4/Letter
Speed: 2 sec / page (B&W)
Max Resolution: 300ppi
Book thickness: 30mm
Live View: 1080p
Size: 267 x 85 x 75 mm
Connectivity: USB
Weight: 620g

Reasons to buy

+
Relatively light and portable
+
OCR with 138 languages
+
Detects page turn

Reasons to avoid

-
Curve compensation AI could be better
-
IRIScan Desk software not Mac compatible

IRIScan Desk 5 (and bigger brother Desk 5 PRO) are built to handle A4 (letter) and A3 (tabloid) sizes. The smaller Desk 5 is a great choice if you’re not looking to capture large documents as Canon-subsidiary IRIS have kept the feature-list trim while including all the archiving essentials; assuming, that is, you’re not using a Mac. These are edge detection, cropping, finger detection and deletion. There is even page turn detection, eliminating the need for a pedal switch.

The supplied software also allows live view dual-screening with your (Windows) computer’s webcam, making for an alternative to switching between views in a e-learning situation. We also appreciated that the device is entirely powered by its USB connection, making it painless to transport.

(Image credit: IRIScan)

7. IRIScan Book 5 / 5 Wifi

The best handheld book scanner

Specifications

Resolution: 1200ppi
Shooting area: A4/Letter
Speed: 4 sec / page (B&W) – estimated
Max Resolution: 1200ppi
Book thickness: Not stated
Live View: No
Size: 259 x 56 x 38 mm
Connectivity: USB (+ Wifi with IRIScan Book 5 Wifi)
Weight: 620g

Reasons to buy

+
Light and portable
+
Scans directly to MicroSD
+
iOS and Android app

Reasons to avoid

-
Unchanged for 5 years
-
Compulsory to register for software
-
Not Mac compatible

There was a time when a handheld scanner, which you move over the page or photo, was reasonably common. Now they’re hard to find, but if you want to scan sections of a book without taking them from the library, they could still have a use. 

The IRIScan 5 doesn’t even need to be attached to a computer, storing images to a 4GB MiniSD card if preferred. Scanning can be monitored from a 1.5-inch LCD screen; this too is where the settings are adjusted.

Though it’ll take a few tries to get used to moving the scanner over the page, it can satisfactorily manage to digitize type at around 8pt using the OCR. It might not be as easy and as quick as one of the book scanners above, but it certainly has the virtue of subtly, and can manage around 100 scans per charge. 

Can I use my smartphone to scan books?

While it’s unlikely to be something you’ll want to do on an industrial scale, or even for a whole book, it’s worth remembering that your camera phone likely includes a camera at least capable of putting up a fight against some of those featured by the scanners on these lists, and might well have them beaten when it comes to processing power.

This isn’t lost on developers either, and there are a good range of scanning tools out there. Beyond the built-in note tools, perhaps the most useful of these is is Adobe Scan (opens in new tab) from Apple's App Store or Google Play, which is not only straightforward in its design but features reliable OCR (optical character recognition) software and can output clean PDFs. 

Read more
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Adam Juniper

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones (opens in new tab), The Smart Smart Home Handbook (opens in new tab), 101 Tips for DSLR Video (opens in new tab) and The Drone Pilot's Handbook (opens in new tab)

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