Brother DS-940DW portable duplex document scanner
4.4Overall Score
Name: Brother DS-940DW portable duplex document scanner
Price (RRP): $299
Manufacturer: Brother

The Brother DS-940DW is a portable, single-pass, duplex scanner – something very few $299 products do, let alone portable ones with Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and a battery.

The Brother DS-940DW is almost unique (and its nearest competitor is the Epson ES-60W, and I have used it too) but before you rush out and buy, we want to issue some caveats that apply equally to both.

  • Meant for casual/mobile users – a few sheets at a time
  • The design – small feed and receive rollers – means documents can skew
  • It is a sheet feed – not a hand scanner
  • It works best with 60-80gsm bond paper.
  • Take care with light stock (use a carrier sheet)
  • If heavier stock does not feed don’t force it
  • It does not have user-replaceable rollers, or parts – when it stops feeding or charging that is it

In other words, don’t use the Brother DS-940DW – a 4-cylinder to tow a caravan. In all other respects, it is a great little scanner that adds flexibility to a mobile warrior’s arsenal.

If you need more, then look at a multi-function printer or our favourite desktop scanner – the $499 ADS-1700W duplex scanner.

Brother DS-940DW portable duplex document scanner

  • Australian Website here
  • Manual here (pdf check downloads)
  • Price: $299 but you may find this online for about 10% less
  • Warranty: 1-year

It is part of the DS-640 and 740D family that may suit your needs at a lower price point.

In the box

  • Scanner (512MB)
  • USB-A 3.0 to micro-B cable 1.2m
  • Calibration sheet (use occasionally to reset the scan area)

As it charges via USB micro B there is no plug pack – see battery later

Portable – EXCEED

Yes, it is at 319 x 63.1 x 45.4mm x 699g. In comparison, a sheet of A4 paper is 210mm wide. It is durable in so far as we don’t recommend dropping it, but it will withstand the rigours of a briefcase.

Technology – EXCEED

The key to this scanner’s portability is the use of dual CIS (Contact Imaging Sensors) that eliminate the need for bulky optic lenses, mirrors, RGB filters, separate light sources and CCD (Charged Coupled Device) or CMOS.

To put this in perspective, the paper needs to be pulled by the front roller over the sensors at a consistent rate before being pulled by a rear roller and exiting the rear slot or the U-shaped paper receiver. In other words, it has no flatbed or hand scanner capability.

Brother DS-940DW
Note the small diameter front and rear friction rollers

Paper stock – PASS but take care

We mentioned the best is straight bond paper, but specifications are for up to 270gsm which covers photos and 1mm thick ID cards.

It fed flawlessly with bond but was really pushing to feed glossy ID cards and heavier photos. It did not feed glossy stock.

And this is where the caveat comes in. A single, small feed roller has limitations you need to be aware of. It is also important not to feed paper that might damage or soil the roller. For example, a crayon drawing or OHP transparency is out. No staples, perforations, punched holes etc. Be kind to the roller, and it will be kind to you.

Setup – EXCEED

It works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux using standard OS drivers. There is Brother iPrint and Scan app for all OS as well as an embedded web server page to change settings.

But it offers four modes

  • Wi-Fi N 2.4Ghz via a home network router – WPS setup
  • Wi-Fi Direct to your computing device – connect to its SSID
  • USB cable to a PC or Mac
  • Standalone via a microSD card to 32GB

Test – PASS

We tested over Wi-Fi on Windows 10 machine and had a few issues. First is has a relatively small 512MB of memory.