Simplex vs. Duplex Scanners – Similarities and Differences 

Scanners are essential devices for various document processing applications. However, these devices are available in different types and with as many other functions. Thus, this guide looks at a common argument among users, the simplex vs. duplex scanners topic.

While both scanners are popular, each has its benefits and drawbacks. Fortunately, this guide will be looking at the specific details you should consider:

What is A Simplex Scanner

A simplex scanner is a scanner that can only process one side of a paper or document. It usually features a scanning mechanism that can’t access the other section of a document. Users that want to scan the other side of a document might have to flip it manually.

The traditional simplex scanner is ideal for basic applications such as for home use or small offices. That is because they tend to be less productive than their duplex types.

What is A Duplex Scanner

A duplex scanner is a scanner that can scan each side of a document in a single pass. The user doesn’t have to flip the document manually, which is often time-consuming. Duplex scanning involves two specialized cameras, with each scanning on either side of the document.

A duplex scanner is your best option to scan documents regularly because it’s convenient, efficient, and fast. However, expect the improved document processing functions to add to the cost of the printer.

Simplex vs. Duplex Scanner – Similarities and Differences

There are various similarities and differences between a simplex and duplex scanner, including:

1.  Scanning Functions

Both simplex and duplex scanners are machines that work well for document processing. However, duplex scanners are much better because of the diverse functions that they often support.

You can use duplex scanners to scan two sides of a document, thus improving your productivity in data processing functions. Since duplex scanners can scan both sides of a document, most brands incorporate them with various other auxiliary features. While these features come at an extra cost, features such as wifi connectivity can be highly convenient for your needs.

2.  Time Consumption

You might find the best simplex scanner on the market; however, its single document processing ability is inefficient. When compared to a duplex scanner, a simplex scanner is time-consuming. However, this concept only applies when you want to scan documents that have dual sides.

For places that have to process large amounts of documents, the duplex scanning function should be ideal.

3.  Effort Involved

A simplex scanner can only scan one side of a document, meaning that users have to flip the documents to complete the process. However, a duplex scanner is convenient because users don’t have to flip the documents.

The duplex scanner features a dual scanning mechanism which makes it highly efficient for document processing functions. However, duplex scanners also tend to be slightly heavier than their counterparts. Thus, this means that moving them around during maintenance or even relocation procedures can be a hassle.

4.  Cost

While the cost difference between these two printers is not much, you are sure of saving cash when you go for the simplex printers. That is because the simplex printers don’t support dual scanning and aren’t generally fully featured.

However, the duplex scanners are slightly expensive than their counterparts and are suitable for significant document processing purposes. Typical examples would be in organizations or companies that have several documents to scan each day.

5.  Quality

As far as qualities go, both simplex and duplex scanners have similar scanning functionalities. The duplex scanners might be slightly better due to their ability to conveniently process both sides of a document.

As with all other flagship electronic devices, the cost of the device has a direct correlation to its general functions.

Best Applications for Simplex or Duplex Scanner for Your Needs?

There are various factors in choosing a suitable scanner product for your needs. The typical applications to consider include:

  • Homes or Small Offices – if you want to use the scanner in your home or office, consider whether you have to be processing documents with two sides each time. For most users, duplex scanners are best, even if they are available at a higher cost than the simplex scanners. However, remember that duplex scanners come with various other features to support such dynamic scanning functions.
  • Small to midsize workgroups – you may have to go for the duplex scanners for when you have to scan several documents for a workgroup. The duplex scanners are cost-effective, primarily based on the extensive nature of operations that such workgroups have to perform.
  • Large Organizations – these are ideal for organizations that tend to have high volume needs for document processing. The duplex scanner types are suitable for these applications because they are suitable for the diverse nature of such documents. Your organization might also benefit from the several features and functions that such printers often have to provide.

Simplex vs. Duplex Scanner – Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing the right simplex or duplex printer, the are several factors that you have to consider, including:

  • The number of documents that your organization has to process regularly. The simplex types are ideal for processing small amounts of documents. However, the duplex types process documents fast due to their dual scanning functions.
  • Simplex scanners tend to feature relatively fewer components than their counterparts. This means that the simplex scanners offer immense portability and are easy to set up in small spaces.
  • The ease of maintenance that you expect from your preferred scanner. The duplex types tend to be the more complex of the two scanners, which is probably challenging to maintain. The tradeoff here would be in the quality of both machines.


It’s good you want to learn more about scanners before investing. In this guide, we have looked at the critical details to consider between simplex and duplex scanners. The simplex types scan one side, while the duplex types scan both sections of a document. Expect the duplex types to be expensive but also to guarantee better scanning functions.