Cheap flatbed scanners may well meet the needs of users who mostly scan text documents and, perhaps, occasional photos. Resolution on budget scanners is generally lower than on their pricier cousins; however, many experts say a minimum optical resolution of 2400 dpi is more than adequate for most jobs. To keep the price down, budget flatbed scanners may also omit or downgrade features, such as resolution or bundled software. Users must evaluate their needs to determine which features are worth the extra cost. Two scanners rise to the top of this category: the Canon CanoScan LiDE 110 (*Est. $55) and the Epson Perfection V33 (*Est. $65).
If you don't care about scanning slides or transparencies, the Canon CanoScan LiDE 110 is an excellent choice, reviewers say. It doesn't have the high quality scans of a higher-priced model, but it creates competent images and quick copies of office documents. It's also light, at 3.5 pounds, and powered just by the USB cable, so many users report bringing it with them on the road to use with a laptop, although it's not designed to be portable. Users say the service on Canon's limited one-year warranty is excellent. Durability may be an issue, but that's common at this price.
The Epson Perfection V33 model (which Epson says is similar to the now-discontinued V30 model, with the addition of Scan-and-Stitch software) is a workhorse performer, with good scans and easy setup, reviewers say. Users are generally pleased with its operation and durability, but say warranty service is a trial to obtain. They like the included software.