There are many elements to a computer. You can add peripherals to it such as a printer, external hard drive, keyboards, mouse and even a scanner. If you are considering a scanner, then you will want to know how to choose the best flatbed scanner for your needs and computer. Examining the different varieties that is available should be easy once you discover what to look for.

Your scanner should be completely compatible with your computer operating system. This means whether you are running Windows or Mac programming, it should understand the language of the system. Most of them now are operated through a USB port within your computer, or an external USB hub. Some are designed for larger systems such as corporate scanners. Make sure you know what operating system you are using.

Each flatbed scanner comes with software that must be installed on your computer in order for it to communicate with your system. You must make sure you know how much space is needed for this software and ensure that your computer has ample space to accommodate it. Your choice should also include photo editing software so that you can modify, enhance and crop photos that you scan.

The color depth and color resolution is also an important feature of your scanner. Most common household units offer 36-bit color. This is about the minimum a good scanner should have. This ensures that photos are clear and documentation is legible. The higher bit color, the more crisp images and documents are.

A document or image is made up of dots. There are a specific number of dots that make up each inch of an image. The inch is measured across and down making a square inch. A good rule of thumb is the higher the number of dpi or dots per inch, the better the image will be.

Most flatbed scanners do not have a control panel unless they are part of a combination unit such as fax, copier and scanner. They do usually contain a power button but the rest is usuall operated by software on your computer. The software allows you to choose to copy or scan, choose the dpi and color options for the images. There is usually several choices to choose from including draft, medium and high resolution.

Prices of flatbed scanners will vary depending on the brand and style you choose. They can be relatively inexpensive if a simple yet efficient model is chosen. This is not to say that this is the best one for your needs though. If your scanner will be used primarily for photographs then you will most likely be spending more money for it.

It is recommended that you choose one that has at least a year warranty included. This will ensure that if parts or components of the unit fail it is covered under that warranty with the company. These are just a few tips on how to choose the top scanner for your needs. You may also talk to the sales clerk and question them as to the one they recommend.