There’s no secret ingredient in determining the best scanner for your Apple desktop or laptop, as the factors that make a Mac-friendly model great are, by and large, the same as those that set the best Windows scanners apart from the pack. As with any tech product, prospective buyers look for the ideal combination of performance and features based on their needs, and set it against the price. For a document scanner, common criteria include speed, the ability to scan to various formats, the paper capacity of the automatic document feeder (ADF), optical character recognition (OCR) performance, the ability to scan and read business cards, the presence of a flatbed, the ability to scan over a network, and portability. Among the desired traits for photo scanners are speed, high resolution, the ability to scan slides and film, as well as prints, scan quality, and dust and scratch removal.
For most of these factors, it makes little difference if your scanner is connected to a PC or a Mac. But there is one area in which Mac users are at a distinct disadvantage, and that is in software. As popular as Apple computers have become, Mac users are underserved when it comes to scanners and some other peripherals. As a Mac owner myself, I’m keenly aware that it’s still largely a Windows world out there.
In order for a scanner to work at all with a Mac, it has to have a macOS driver. Beyond that, the software that’s usually bundled with a scanner may or may not be Mac-compatible. Most recent photo scanners can work with Macs. Photo scanners often just come with drivers and a scan utility, leaving it to the user to provide a photo-editing program. Popular choices, including Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CC, are available in both Windows- and Mac-compatible versions.