Scanner for longevity, openness, and artworks

Does anyone have any good recommendations on meaningful scanner hardware that works really well with Linux and will work long term? I’m looking for something that can scan both children’s artwork as an archive but also a professional watercolor artwork on somewhat larger paper. Maybe a Max of 18 in, but I’m certainly willing to go smaller if that’s not a realistic option because the price increases or there’s nothing meaningful there. Any recommendations or resources appreciated and personal experience is highly valued.

I don’t have a very good knowledge about scanner printer but i have used some i think hp devices are pretty good and i think in linux printer scaner this stuff is far better from other os. You can go with any, epson is also good.

I read about canon some models have some issues but not sure.

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Speaking from experience, anything remotely good that will fit larger paper is going to be expensive, and I have yet to find one, with good reviews, that I could even remotely afford to try (They all either cost thousands of dollars, or had people giving warnings about colour reproduction issues). But for normal paper, and small to medium sized artwork, my Canon LiDE 120 has done great for the past several years. It works out of the box with any default, Linux scanner tools I’ve tried, and has great colour reproduction. Though you do usually want to tweak the settings in GIMP to get the most out the images you scan.
Unfortunately, you have to be careful what size paper you get with it, as even most normal sized sketch pads are just slightly too large.

I’ve searched and searched for a large format bed scanner that can be used for art, and never had any luck. So if someone does have an affordable recommendation in that department, I’d be interested to hear it as well.

Whatever you do, don’t buy all-in-ones. They’re garbage at nearly everything they do (especially HP).

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Please don’t be throwing dirt at all the very good machines out there. A general “all machines of this type are crap” statement is far from reasonable unless you have personally and subjectively tested every one for quality.

Yes, sometimes there are less than desirable machines produced. The users seem to quickly identify the bad apples and those quickly go out of favor.

OTOH, with way more than 20 years experience with linux and scanners I have yet to encounter more than one or 2 that I would not recommend to others. I have never encountered a bad all-in-one from HP and have worn out 4 different ones, both laserjet and inkjet.

If you have had a bad experience then please point out the specific brand & model rather than telling people to not buy “all-in-ones” and specifying a particular manufacturer to always avoid.

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As a general rule, all-in-ones, from every brand I’ve experienced (Brother, Canon, HP, and Lexmark), are a very, “You get what you pay for”, situation. They tend to skimp out, one way or another, unless you go for the more costly options.

If what OP wants is a scanner, they should go for a stand alone scanner, and avoid trying to get a printer with it, potentially to save on cost. Especially as colour reproduction tends to be the one thing I always see suffer in all-in-ones.

And I was very specific about avoiding HP in particular, as they are, by far, the worst offenders of any brand I’ve experienced when dealing with this. Of the five to six HP all-in-ones I’ve had to deal with over the years, they’ve all had terrible colour reproduction in their scans, with print qualities that varied wildly from model to model. Some would print okay, others would fail to correctly print certain colours, no matter what print settings were used. (Not to mention their current behavior as a company, but that’s a very different, and unrelated, conversation.)
Brother and Canon’s efforts were… passable… but still preformed significantly worse, and at a higher cost, than any decent, stand alone scanner that I’ve tried.

If you want a usable printer that can scan documents, and maybe the occasional photo, an all-in-one, from almost anyone other than HP, might be okay for you. So long as you’re not expecting to be printing out a lot of professional photos, or scanning in artwork. You’ll be fine.

But if you really want good accuracy, and performance, for one task or the other, with the intent to focus on that task, you will be far better off with a dedicated scanner or printer, depending on your needs.

To be clear, I’m not saying they’re bad machines for general office use, and I’m sure that there are brands I haven’t used that probably do fairly well. But every experience I’ve had with all-in-ones, especially their scanners, has been very lack-luster. I don’t recommend them for anything dependent on good colour reproduction.

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You may note that I did not specify “art quality”.
Someone wanting a scanner for artwork certainly should be looking for a stand alone good quality scanner and not a generic AIO machine that is designed for average use in home or office mostly text environments.

You certainly do “get what you pay for” as far as quality in most cases.

My experience has been different than yours with respect to HP, and we will have to agree to disagree there.

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Guys, the OP asked for a recommendation. So far, the 5 subsequent posts did not point out a single recommendation. Either recommend a scanner according to OP’s objectives or stop littering this topic. Thank you.

@kylerconway, if you don’t get any suggestions, feel free to ask here The Water Cooler - Fedora Discussion as well.

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The very first post I made alluded to the scanner I use personally (a Canon LiDE 120), and my positive experience with it, as well as it’s potential shortcomings.
I do recommend it as a balance between performance and cost, if no other options are available, as it can often be found for a fair price, if you look around.

I listed my experience on the subject, and some things to look out for, while also voicing my own issues regarding the topic of, specifically, large format scanners.

I tried to give as much helpful information on the original topic as I could from the very beginning, and, in no way, was I trying to start an argument, or go off-topic.

Even my argument with Jeff, wasn’t really off-topic, as it was regarding the potential position of all-in-one printer-scanner systems in regards to OP’s requirements.
OP asked for recommendations and resources on the topic, even saying that personal experience on the subject was appreciated.
Why are you condemning on-topic conversation as “littering”?

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I agree with @cptgraywolf

Discussion about what has or has not worked for each other is hardly off topic since it gives the OP something to look for or avoid, and was explicitly asked for.

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Thanks everyone. Sorry about the semi-contentious topic – hardware is sometimes hard. Really do appreciate the leads on some scanners. I had a very old HP inkjet/printer/scanner all-in-one combo (I think from a combo deal 15 years ago) that never worked all that well but died a number of years ago. I’m finally ready to spend the dollars on something as a replacement with growing need from kid art worth archiving in some way as well as in-house artists producing some lovely work worth digitizing.

Appreciate the comments so far. If there are any other recommendations I’m still very much open to hearing them. Once I decide on what I’m getting I’ll try to post an update of my impressions as well.