The emergence of the multifunction printer did much to revolutionize the modern office. With the MFP's ability to do it all -- fax, copy, print, scan -- standalone units became largely unnecessary. But for some specific users, an MFP might not be enough. Scanners can do great things, and MFP scanners are typically of high enough quality for most users. However, there are some reasons you might want to consider a standalone scanner.
Some businesses just do a lot of scanning. For those who scan multiple documents frequently, and those who also typically require double-sided prints from the scanner, a standalone is a good choice. Though MFPs often have automatic document feeders, it's difficult to find a scanner function on an MFP that will scan both sides at the same time. Stand-alone scanners are typically faster than MFP scanners, as well.
While MFP scanners of today produce high-quality scans, most do not do well scanning photographs. Similarly, for scans of fine details, MFPs won't do as well as a standalone scanner. When looking for a scanner that can handle details and high-quality photographic prints, it's easy to find models made specifically for those types of scans.
There are scanners that can do more for book scans than an MFP scanner can. Standalone book scanners are a must for anyone scanning multiple book pages. They feature the ability to hold books flat, so you can get a better print from the book.
To scan transparencies, look for a standalone that has a transparency adaptor or a film scanner. Some MFPs offer transparency adapters too. However, those models tend to be an all-in-one photo lab and can be expensive.
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