Canon’s imageFormula R10 ($194) is a multipage sheetfed portable scanner designed primarily for connecting to a laptop on the road. It lacks any flavor of wireless connectivity, so you can’t use it on a network or with most handheld devices.
It isn’t as fast or feature-rich as our Editors’ Choice winner, the Epson WorkForce ES-300W Portable Wireless Duplex Document Scanner ($300), but it costs considerably less and functions well. If all you need is to scan multipage documents reliably and accurately to your laptop, the imageFormula R10 is a cost-effective choice.
Simple and Efficient
Many portable scanners, such as the Editors’ Choice–winning Epson DS-80W Wireless Portable Document Scanner ($170), accept only one sheet at a time, fed in by hand. Multi-sheetfed portables such as the imageFormula R10, on the other hand, have automatic document feeders (ADFs) that hold several sheets (usually up to 20) and pass them to the scanning mechanism without human intervention.
If you plan to scan short one- or two-sheet documents, a manual-sheetfed portable should serve you well, and they are usually considerably smaller, lighter, and less expensive than their multi-sheetfed counterparts. But if you deal with the occasional longer document, you’ll be much better off with a portable that comes with an ADF.
When closed and unplugged, the R10 measures 1.6 by 11 by 3.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.2 pounds—lighter and smaller than several competing models, which is especially impressive given its 20-sheet ADF. The ES-300W is an inch taller and more than half a pound heavier. Brother’s ADS-1250W ($230), another feature-rich portable, is bigger still and outweighs the R10 by 1.5 pounds.
But both those scanners have built-in batteries and wireless connectivity for truly portable scanning, and the ADS-1250W can scan to a thumb drive and uses super-fast USB 3.0. The R10 sacrifices such features for the sake of a light weight, a small footprint, and a low price, using USB 2.0 to both draw power and transfer data. Feature-wise, it’s more comparable to Epson’s ES-200 ($200), which comes with just the bare necessities for scanning to a laptop via USB, or Epson’s DS-320 ($249), a version of the ES-300W sans the battery and wireless connectivity.
Fujitsu’s ScanSnap S1300i is the biggest and heaviest (just over 3 pounds) of this group. It’s a highly accurate portable that lacks a battery and Wi-Fi but comes with with a terrific software bundle.
You won’t find onboard controls on the R10. All configurations and functions, including creating and configuring workflow profiles with preset resolution, destination, and file type, are managed through the excellent bundled CaptureOnTouch Lite software, discussed in the next section.
The R10’s maximum resolution is 600dpi and its daily duty cycle (the manufacturer’s recommended maximum use) is 500 pages. This may sound like a lot, but it’s about average for this class of scanner; all the Epson scanners mentioned here have the same rating. The Brother ADS-1250W’s duty cycle is 1,000 pages, but it’s also more like a desktop document scanner.
Capable Onboard Software
CaptureOnTouch Lite is a pared-down version of Canon’s highly capable combination scanner interface and document management program. It lets you set up and save scanning profiles and configure one-time scan jobs. In addition to supporting scanning to your local computer, it can send scans to a printer or your favorite cloud sites.
You won’t have to install any drivers or apps for the R10, as CaptureOnTouch Lite resides in the scanner’s firmware. Just plug the scanner into a PC or Mac and it works right away. This is especially handy if you’re frequently using the scanner with borrowed computers or taking it to different client sites.
Sluggish But Accurate Scans
Most of today’s multipage-sheetfed portable scanners, including Epson’s ES-200, ES-300W, and DS-320, are faster than the imageFormula R10—some considerably faster. In fact, of all the machines mentioned here, only the Fujitsu S1300i performed slightly more slowly on my tests.
I tested the R10 over a USB connection to our standard Intel Core i5 testbed PC running Windows 10 Pro. It captured and saved our 20-page one-sided (simplex) text document to image PDF at the rate of 13.8 pages per minute (ppm), or 1.6ppm faster than its 12ppm rating, and it scanned and saved our 20-page two-sided text document to image PDF at 16 images per minute (ipm), with each page side considered an image. That’s 2ppm faster than Canon’s 14ppm rating. All three of the Epson portables and the Brother model beat the R10, with scores more than twice as fast.
When I scanned our two-sided text document and saved it as a more versatile searchable PDF, the R10 took 1 minute 10 seconds, much slower than the ES-300W’s 46 seconds. The DS-320 managed 56 seconds, as did the ADS-1250W, and the ES-200 beat the R10 by 22 seconds.
Like most of today’s scanners, portable or otherwise, the R10 converted both our Arial and Times New Roman test font pages to editable text without errors down to 6 points—plenty small enough for all but a very few scanning scenarios. The ES-300W, which I tested a few years ago, scanned the same pages without mistakes down to 8 points, as did the ES-200. Fujitsu’s S1300i went error-free all the way down to 4 points Arial and 5 points Times New Roman, while the ADS-1250W tied the R10 at 6 points for both test font pages.
An Inexpensive Option for USB Scanning
The imageFormula R10 lacks some useful features, including a battery, wireless connectivity, and the ability to scan to your mobile devices. The bright side is that the R10 costs considerably less than most of its competitors, and it’s small and light enough to toss in your bag and go. If all you need is to scan directly to a laptop via a USB connection, the Canon imageFormula R10 does that well, making it a good value for basic portable scanning.
The Bottom Line
The Canon imageFormula R10 portable sheetfed scanner, which relies on a USB connection, produces high-quality scans at a low price and is small enough to grab and go.
Canon imageFormula R10 Specs
|Maximum Optical Resolution||600 ppi|
|Mechanical Resolution||600 ppi|
|Automatic Document Feeder||Yes|
|Maximum Scan Area||Legal|