Brother ADS-2700W review: A simple and speedy desktop scanner

It has limited cloud support but this network scanner delivers great quality and speed at a good price

A photograph of the Brother ADS-2700W

IT Pro Verdict


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    Speedy scans

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    High scan quality

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    Strong paper handling


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    Limited cloud scanningLimited cloud scanning

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    No access to ControlCenter4 management software

Brother’s ADS-2700W desktop scanner is a versatile choice for SMBs on a budget. It supports USB, Ethernet and wireless connections, and is well suited to big batch scans with a speed of 35ppm, a 50-page ADF and a daily duty cycle of up to 3,000 pages.

Setup is a bit of a faff: you don’t get any software in the box, so you’ll need to download it all from Brother’s website. Once you have acquired the main utility, though, the rest of the process is straightforward. With the scanner connected to our lab network via Ethernet the installer discovered it promptly, loaded the requisite drivers and invited us to download Brother’s iPrint&Scan app, along with Nuance’s PaperPort 14 SE digital file cabinet.

You can optionally install a remote network setup tool too, along with the Presto BizCard 6 card management app and a wireless configuration assistant to help set up the printer over Wi-Fi – although enabling this connection will disable the wired network port. Be aware too that, this being a lower-end model, you don’t get the full ControlCenter4 scan management tool, nor access to Brother’s Web Connect portal, which handles scanning directly to cloud and social media services.

Instead, the iPrint&Scan app for Windows and macOS keeps scan operations simple. It automatically connects to the scanner on the network and allows you to define multiple quick-scan workflows, specifying mono or colour scanning, target resolution, a wide range of output formats and your choice of output destination. While there’s no direct integration with cloud services, you can use Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive folders as workflow destinations. Scans can also be sent directly to email addresses, once you’ve set up an SMTP server.

Mobile users can install Android and iOS editions of iPrint&Scan too. We tried this out on an iPad and had no complaints: it quickly found the scanner on the network and allowed us to remotely initiate document scans, edit the generated output files and email them to contacts.

A screenshot of the Brother ADS-2700W scan management software

Walk-up operations are supported via the scanner’s 7.1cm colour touchscreen. You can select any PC on the network that has the Brother software installed, and scan documents directly to a receiving folder. Using the scanner’s web interface you can also create up to 25 one-touch profiles for direct scans to FTP sites and network shares.

Unauthorised use can be restricted with the scanner’s Secure Function Lock feature. Up to 100 user profiles can be created to control access and decide who can scan to destinations such as PCs, FTP servers and email addresses – and whether users can save scans to external media via the scanner’s built-in USB port.

However you manage your scans, the ADS-2700W has excellent paper handling. It coped with our stack of papers, till receipts and waybills quickly and cleanly, with lightning-fast reactions to paper jams ensuring that, on the rare occasion that an item got misfed, nothing was damaged. All the accompanying apps include tools to automatically clean up the output, including skipping blank pages, auto-straightening and punch-hole removal.

Speed is good too. Our 30-page sheaf of well-thumbed bank statements was efficiently scanned at the quoted 35ppm speed, at both 200dpi and 300dpi and in both greyscale and colour. Switching up to the maximum 600dpi resolution cut scanning speeds to 10ppm, but you’ll probably never need to go this high: we found the 200dpi setting was perfectly adequate for producing clean scans and accurate searchable PDFs.

SMBs that want a simple and speedy desktop scanner at a good price will find the ADS-2700W ticks all of their boxes. It doesn’t support the full range of cloud services, but it can’t be faulted for performance or output quality, and a trio of connection options means it will suit almost any office.

Brother ADS-2700W specifications

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Format600dpi colour scanner
Scan speed35ppm at 300dpi colour
Display7.1cm colour touchscreen
Connectivity2 x USB 2, 100Mbits/sec Ethernet, 802.11n wireless
Scan typeSimplex/duplex
ADF50-page ADF
Recommended monthly duty cycle90,000 (approx)
Bundled softwareBrother iPrint&Scan, Nuance PaperPort 14 SE, Presto BizCard 6 software
Dimensions299 x 206 x 178mm (WDH, closed)
Warranty1yr RTB warranty
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.