Flatbed Scanner vs. All in One Printer – A Comparison

Purchasing a scanner is a significant investment. Thus, you should weigh all of your alternatives before making a decision on your document scanner.

Here, we’ll look at each of these gadgets – flatbed scanners and all-in-one printers and find out how they differ from one another, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of owning multifunctional printers or different Printers.

Both of these devices come with their own perks. But, depending on their features and uses, your preferred option should be the one that’s compatible with your requirements. That being said, you have to consider many factors, including your budget, to choose between the two devices.

Whether to use a flatbed scanner or an all-in-one printer is one of the most crucial decisions. Let’s look more closely at each of these individually.

Flatbed Scanner

The flatbed scanner is the ideal scanner for scanning a wide range of documents, including business cards, invoices, pictures, and even irregularly shaped papers. The flatbed scanners have a mirror panel that you can set your document on. The document is illuminated by light from that’s beneath the panel. A lens, a glass filter, CCD rays are placed to the scanning head of a flatbed scanner.

This combining device scans the document, catching every detail and saving it as electronic files.

All-In-One Printer Scanner

All-in-one printer scanners are devices that incorporate printing, scanning, copying, and other features such as web, fax, and so on. All-in-one printers are multifunctional printers that may be used in any setting and provide various facilities in your printer scanner.

This type of scanner uses a sheet-fed scanner to scan pages and pages at once.

Flatbed Scanner vs. All-In-One Printer: Who’s the Winner?

The decision between a flatbed scanner and an all-in-one printer is based on the goals and requirements of your dedicated scanners. Either scanner has pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to personal preferences.

A professional flatbed scanner is generally a better alternative whenever you need high sample results. It will deliver crisp, detailed scans with elevated images as they are considered great photo scanners. Although all-in-one scanners are helpful for various tasks, they are only beneficial for fundamental scanning and printing tasks.

Let’s talk about Flatbed Scanner vs. All in One Printer now:


Flatbed and multipurpose scanner prices vary depending on the model. In fact, money can be a determining factor in excellence. If the all-in-one scanner also can print, fax, or copy in addition to scanning, it is almost likely sacrificing quality somewhere.

Similarly, if you require excellent high-quality results, the cost would be considerable.

Flatbed Scanner

If you compare the same configurations, All-in-Ones Flatbed Scanners are less costly.

All in One Printer

If you compare the same configurations, such as DPI, Dynamic Range, and Size, All-in-Ones are more costly.


Flatbed Scanner

Latest flatbed scanners are more portable than multipurpose printers and have a smaller footprint. Containers or printing inks, for instance, are required for the added printing services. As a result, the flatbed takes up less room in terms of dimensions.

All in One Printer

All in One Printers are larger in size.

Document Copying

Flatbed Scanner

Documents can be copied with Flatbed Scanners with better quality.

All in One Printer

Documents can be copied with multifunctional scanners. The method is lengthier than using specialized printers, and the result may be inferior.

Photo Quality

This would be the most crucial consideration for pros when choosing between a flatbed scanner and an All-in-one printer.

Flatbed Scanner

If you need to scan professional photographs and photos, a flatbed scanner with a high definition is the way to go.

All in One Printer

Most images will be damaged if they slide through the document feeder of a multifunctional scanner.

Because you can’t feed negatives, presentations, or films further into the input tray of multifunctional scanning machines, scanning them on a flatbed scanner is preferable.


Although some multifunction printer scanners have a surface for scanning graphics and 3D items, they do not have a lower density or bit depth, resulting in poor quality of images.

Flatbed Scanner

A flatbed scanner is required for printing on canvas, wood panels, or illustrative boards. Flatbed scanners may also scan three-dimensional objects or artwork.

All in One Printer

Flatbed scanners are ideal for scanning artwork. Although multifunction printer scanners may accommodate flexible artwork through all-in-one printer document feeders, the scanning results are not as excellent as flatbed scanners.

Automatic Document Feeder

Automatic document feeder, available on both flatbed scanners and all-in-one printers.

What Needs to Be Considered

No matter which printer you choose, there are some factors that you should consider before making your final decision. It’s always better to spend some time selecting the most suitable option rather than having to spend money on something that you won’t be able to use.

Some of these factors are-

  • Photo scanners
  • Space on your desk
  • Amount of scanning slides
  • Quality of scanning
  • Ink cartridges
  • Multiple device connection
  • Photo editing
  • Film negatives
  • Optical character recognition
  • Multifunctioning ability
  • Wooden panel
  • Software compatibility


Are you debating whether a multifunction printer scanner or a single-function printer plus makes more sense?

The answer is largely dependent on what you want to scan. You might need a standalone scanner, scanning documents, photo scanner, high-resolution scans, and other functions.

Unless you’re capturing different stuff that needs a separate scanner, an MFP will suffice. However, depending on scanning needs, you may require both an MFP and a scanner to scan documents, or perhaps two scanners—multifunctional Printer or dedicated scanner for photos or documents, as no scanner can do both efficiently.