Scanned Heat

What's the one piece of business equipment you probably don't have but really need?

With e-mail being such an integral part of business communications, a scanner is almost more important to your business than a printer. Consider the possibilities: E-mail documents and scanned reports instead of paying for expensive printing, binding and postage. Update your company Web site on your own. Design your own invitations and greeting cards to send to customers. The possibilities are endless, and with decreasing costs, a scanner in the office just makes good sense.

All the scanners we looked at cost less than $300, some even less than $100, and all come bundled with software that allows you to do everything from editing scanned text to creating greeting cards. These scanners are all USB, though some offer dual connectivity with parallel interfaces; they're also flatbed, though a couple offer an ADF, allowing you to scan documents faster.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Scanned Heat.

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