With the advent of portable & pocket-size Pen Scanners, scanning notes & organizing information is easier than ever.
With OCR technology, these digital scanner pens copy your highlighted text & save it to be transferred to your preferred OS (Operating System).
These are a great invention for the Generation Z who operate in the digital age & require writing digitally quite often.
In addition, they are essential for students studying in foreign language, since these pens can also translate different languages for your convenience.
While some can translate, others can also read extracts making your pronunciation better, helping people with reading challenges or those who are visually impaired.
Research suggests that pen scanners with reading capabilities have improved reading and pronunciation both.
So how will you know which is the right kind of pen scanner for you?
There is a gazillion out there and hard to tell which is better than the other. So, let us help you find the best one for your need.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when going out to buy a pen scanner.
Fine Motor Skills
The dexterity of the elderly, physically impaired or the young ones isn’t ideal but using pen scanners gets easier with practice.
Once you get the grip of it, it doesn’t seem as challenging as it would initially.
What is the primary function of your pen scanner? What purpose do you require it for, is essential to know before purchase?
Whether you need it to read bar codes, or do you want it to read it for your or help translate a foreign language.
Your selection should be based on your primary function.
Make sure that before purchase you compare your laptop, mobile phone, tablet etc. to see whether your pen scanner is compatible with your everyday use devices to be able to transfer data comfortably.
6 Best Pen Scanners Revealed
Let’s get down to the best 6 pens you’ll find in the market for every and any purpose you need it for.
Read on to find out which out of the 6 suits your requirement the best.
1. C-Pen Reader
The champion of all, the C-Pen is one of the most popular and demanded pen scanners of all times.
It is rated as the best handy scanner that delivers a very crystal pronunciation enabling easy understanding of the text.
It not only scans but also comes with a microphone attached that lets you save voice notes for personalized understanding.
And thanks to its 1 GB storage you can easily record and save your voice notes.
It is the most ideal scanner pen with respect to compatibility since it sails smooth with PC and MAC both.
The C-pen will not ask for any more software to transfer data to your PC or MAC devices.
You can plug-in and plug-out just like a USB and transfer data the same way. From reading multiple font sizes, to different language translations it is super handy for dyslexic people as well who have trouble reading everyday product labels or any kind of documents.
It comes with a built-in OLED display that when placed on a word immediately shows definitions and reads out for correct pronunciation.
With so many great features there is always a price associated. So, if you consider this pen, please remember it is one of the most expensive pens in the market today.
- Can read multiple sizes of fonts
- Can convert from Spanish to English to Spanish
- Lets you save voice notes
- Display screen
- Easy to Use
- Hear individual words and lines of text read aloud. Completely self-contained, NO computer or Wi-Fi required to use reading function
- Multiple built-in dictionaries to search definitions including the Oxford Primary Dictionary
- Scans in multiple English accents and languages, including French and Spanish, Record audio to review later, helping people with a limited working memory
- Optionally scan and transfer text to PC or Mac, directly via USB or from the 8GB storage, with no additional software required
- Package includes ReaderPen, carry case, USB cable, instruction manual, and earphones
2. Scan-Marker Air
If you are looking for maximum compatibility then close your eyes and buy Scanmarker Air.
It works brilliantly with Apple, Android and iOS devices. Despite being a tiny device, it is comparatively quiet light in weight and super convenient to use thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity option.
You can easily charge it with a USB port. The pen can read barcodes, numbers, up to a certain size of images and is a genius to translate more than 50 languages for you.
Plus, a read feature that will encourage better pronunciation. For so many options, the price it comes at is peanuts.
Plus, along you it you will get a soft case for easy carrying, a Bluetooth dongle, a usage guide and a year long warranty. What more does one want?
- Can translate more than 50 languages
- Compatible with majority OS
- 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 𝗦𝗔𝗩𝗘𝗥 – Scans 3000 characters per minute. Full line of text within one second! Create summaries faster than ever before; just slide your handheld scanning pen across a line of printed text and watch it appear instantly on your screen
- 𝗦𝗖𝗔𝗡𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗦𝗟𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗦 𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗥 𝟰𝟬 𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗨𝗔𝗚𝗘𝗦 – Super accurate and fast multilingual OCR text scanner ideal for students and professionals. Scan directly into any computer application of your choice eg. Word or into our intuitive mobile apps
- 𝗧𝗘𝗫𝗧 𝗧𝗢 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗘𝗖𝗛 – The Scanmarker apps will read the text back to you in real-time while scanning! Aids with memorization and reading comprehension, and is an effective assistive tool for those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties
- 𝗨𝗟𝗧𝗥𝗔-𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 & 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧 – Scan and edit on the go! Scanmarker Air’s ultra-portable design lets you scan wirelessly using Bluetooth, from anywhere, to a computer, smartphone or tablet. Compatible with Mac & Windows computers, plus iOS & Android devices
- 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝗦𝗨𝗣𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧 & 𝟭 𝗬𝗘𝗔𝗥 𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗧𝗬 – Have any questions or concerns? We’re here for you long after your initial purchase. Scanmarker offers free software updates and technical support 24/7 for the lifetime of your product. There are never any additional fees for using our product. We also guarantee a full one-year warranty
3. Ectaco C-Pen 3.0
Initially Ecataco’s C-Pen was only compatible with Windows XP but the C-Pen 3.0 also works well with MACs, Windows and Android.
Known to be super-efficient, this C-pen doesn’t leave a trace on the paper, very user-friendly and not only just scans but also immediately inserts scanned data into your field where applicable.
With Greek, Latin and Cyrillic character sets, it can read more than 180 languages and translate them all.
It can be said it is not a wireless pen as it lacks a battery. To use it you will have to plug it in your computer or tablet via the USB port.
But the flip side is it can read right to left and vice versa. It is vividly faster and easier to use than desktop scanners.
And unlike many other pens, it lets you read from curved, patterned or laminated screens without any hindrance.
- Easy to use
- Can only read Greek, Latin and Cyrillic characters sets
- The C-Pen is an affordable and reliable handheld data entry alternative to fixed desktop scanners.
- Letting you capture the exact segment of the text you need, it instantly inserts scanned data into the desired field within your applications.
- Seamlessly integrating with the software you are already using, you can now scan from curved, laminated and patterned surfaces - something standard scanners just can't do.
- Significantly faster and more flexible than a desktop scanner it connects easily with your laptop or Win XP based handheld device and is lightweight and extremely portable.
- Able to read printed text in over 238 languages it lets you send a phrase or a whole paragraph from foreign books or documents to your PC for phonetic pronunciation or to speed up translation and learning.
4. PenPower WorldPenScan
The competition is tough in the pen world. Every pen scanner seems to have an edge over the next one.
The PenPower WorldPenScan maybe a tough name but its easiest to use. It connects wirelessly to your devices and automatically pairs with them when turned on.
Reads and translate foreign languages that include Korean, Arabic and Chinese.
Plus, it adds value to your knowledge bank by quickly looking up meanings of the words on a single click and also searches for book reviews using the ISBN codes.
It is light in weight but has a great built quality. The down part is that it requires a software to be downloaded for connectivity and can be paired with a single device.
And it is said to be not very good with number reading compared to scanning words.
Priced fairly, it can help students in studying foreign language.
- Wireless connection
- Works as a dictionary too
- Can only work with a single device
- Inaccurate with numbers
- TIME SAVER: Scans full line of text within one second! You can create summaries faster than before. Just slide your scanning pen across a line of texts and watch it immediately on your screen.
- SCANS AND TRANSLATES: It is an accurate and fast multilingual text scanner for students and professionals. It is easy when you scan directly into any computer or mobile application. It can recognize French, Spanish, German, Italian, English, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, etc.
- MULTILINGUAL LANGUAGES: This scanner can read the text back to you in real-time while scanning. Directly edit scanned data in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, iWork, E-mail and browsers. It allows to translate the digitized texts into multiple languages.
- EASY TO COMPACT: Scan and edit on the go. The comfortable design makes you use this item by Bluetooth. Also, you can use this anywhere.
- PACKAGE INCLUDES: Pen Scanner x1, USB cable x1. It is for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android.
5. IRISPen Executive 7
Executive 7 can conveniently scan text, numbers and barcodes for you. Plus, the ability to translate and read over 40 languages will definitely help those taking foreign language courses or studying abroad.
This pen is USB operated and converts data into editable text in Word, Excel & Outlook. This is an ideal option for Microsoft Office users.
The reading aloud option helps with pronunciation issues.
Furthermore, you can enjoy scanning signatures and graphics. It works well with Microsoft Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000.
It doesn’t secure the top position on the list due to its unfriendly installation procedure but it serves the purposes as good as others on the list.
- Scans signatures and graphics both
- Helps in pronunciation (also of the foreign language)
- Table separator mode function
- Not very expensive
- Difficult to install
6. Youdao Language Translator
Made for the purpose of helping students improve their reading skills, the Wizcom WRP2 helps those with dyslexia, aphasia to get better at language fluency, reading and comprehension.
It is super easy to use and is recommended for anyone 10 year and older.
Aimed to work as a reading aid, the LED screen displays spellings, meanings, synonyms of any scanned word or phrase.
Of-course, it has a certain accent that some may easily understand and some might find it difficult.
Once students get the hang of it, the issue becomes trivial. On the positive side, it comes along with earbuds, headphone jack ensuring that your reading aid doesn’t let you down.
- Helps dyslexic people in reading and comprehending easily
- Display screen features
- Easy to use
- Wizcom accent may take a while to understand
- 【High Efficiency】Quick translation between CN↔EN at the moment you scan, 15 times faster than referring to a paper-based dictionary. Up to 98% of the accurate recognition rate. Recognize traditional/simplified Chinese and English in various fonts. Support multi-media scanning, including paper, digital screen, label, and wooden surface, etc.
- 【High Translation Accuracy】With more than 10 years of expertise. Self-developed Youdao Neural Machine Translation (YNMT) translates like a human, not a machine. Real person pronunciation (American and British accents) helps to improve listening and speaking.
- 【Paragraph Translation】Provide instant and fluent long sentence translation. Host more than 2.3 Million Entries. Real person pronunciation (American and British accents) helps to improve listening and speaking.
- 【Offline Translation】Perform well without an internet connection. Distractions free. Provide an attentive and fully immersive learning experience.
- 【Light & Portable】60g portable design with the same size as a pen. Large touch screen display with eye-protective UI design. Large RAM & ROM. Full angle recognition. Covered by Alloy Rear Shell: high-quality materials designed to maximum-optimize user experience. High-fidelity speaker. Bluetooth and Type-C connection.
Before reaching any conclusion, it is essential to understand that all pen scanners take a while to get a steady hand at.
You may not find them very easy to use on day 1 but after some practice, this issue can easily be fixed.
More or less, all perform the same function with the same kind of features that are associated with reading, scanning and translating foreign languages.
So, on the feature front, there isn’t a clear favorite. However, for accessibility, accuracy and pronunciation the C-Pen takes the winning point.
Sohaib Hasan is the head creative writer of Gajotres.Net, a website dedicated to providing reviews of innovative products and services changing the world.
Sohaib has been writing on computer hardware, software, and more. He loves technology and believes it’s only right that we always keep up with all its latest advancements to stay one step ahead in our everyday lives.