Quick Review: Canon P-215 scanner

Just a quick note for those of you looking to get rid of some paper clutter.

I’ve never been very good about digitising bits of important paper and consequently always spend ages rummaging through folders and boxes whenever I need an old bill, document or other important bit of information printed on a dead tree.

I do have an old multi-device printer/scanner, but it’s so slow that I almost never bother to use it, and manually replacing sheets of paper is very tedious. I wanted a proper document scanner that can be fed multiple sheets of paper. Plus the printer part of the multi-device has been replaced by a Samsung color laser, so it’s almost never hooked up.

Whilst I’ve often heard good things about the Fujitsu SnapScan series, they’re a bit too expensive for a few stupid bits of paper…

Canon P-215

…until we had to file some paperwork for the tax man that is. I spent half an afternoon looking for one number of an elusive bit of paper until enough was enough. I finally decided to get all the annoying paper clutter sorted out. I found the Canon P.215 and have been pretty impressed with it so far.

It hooks up via a single USB cable and doesn’t need a separate power supply. There is a simple built-in app for Macs and PCs or you can alternatively install the provided TWAIN driver and use any app of your choice.

The provided Canon app isn’t bad and offers a number of built-in scanning options, including 1-touch scanning to Evernote.

Evernote integration

So my current workflow is: Open the post, stack all the evil bits of paper in the feed tray and hit the button. The documents all end up in Evernote which takes care of making them taggable and OCR-searchable.

It’s not perfect: The P-215 does simultaneous duplexing (so one scan of a page reads the front and back side at the same time), however it often adds a blank back side of a page to Evernote as well.

Plus there’s no way for it to recognise multiple pages of one document, so you can either feed it all in one go and end up with one long document, or you can scan documents with multiple pages separately. (Couldn’t they do some sort of heuristic to combine multiple pages of a docuemt based on the white balance of the page? I’m sure the boffins at Canon could figure that out…)



  • It’s small enough to sit in the shelf underneath my desk
  • It doesn’t need a power supply, so it’s super easy to use
  • TWAIN driver is nice future-proofing
  • Included software is pretty decent (as printer/scanner software goes)


  • The built-in business card scanner is rubbish and frequently jams. Luckily I don’t really need it much, but don’t buy it for that feature.
  • A flatbed scanner is better for photos. This will do the job in a pinch, but don’t rely on it for that purpose.

Buy it

Canon P-215 at Amazon.com
Canon P-215 at Amazon.de