Low-cost, high-resolution photocopies and uploading to the cloud
I want to say something like, “It’s absolutely amazing how clear and vivid the scans you can get with today’s sub-$100 photo scanners.” But having been using desktop scanners and writing about imaging technology for nearly 30 years, I’m here to tell you that scanning technology has been perfected for quite some time now. there would be no excuse for a reputable company like Epson to produce a scanner incapable of printing good scans, right?
That would be news!
Perhaps not as earth-shattering as a scanner from Epson that won’t scan well (but interesting just the same), it’s the small, super-handy, $69.99 (MSRP) Perfection V19 color scanner. Bright and portable, cheap and convenient, this is not a professional photo scanner, but should serve the average household or individual.
Design and features
At 1.5cm tall and weighing just 3.4kg, the V19 feels perhaps a little too light, and its removable plastic lid feels (and sounds) a bit thin. Considering these specs, though, I don’t really see how it could be much more durable. It’s a light, semi-portable scanner, and it’s quite ample for that, as long as you don’t handle it.
The flatbed, or section itself—the scanner footprint—measures 9.9 inches by 14.4 inches, and the platen, glass “bed,” or actual scanning area is 8.5×11.7 inches, or slightly larger than letter size 8.5×11 inches). Additionally, the V19 features a kickstand on the back that holds the device semi-upright, shaving a few inches off the full flat footprint. In addition to scanning from a computer with Epson’s Epson Scan utility, the V19 has four buttons on the front edge for one-touch actions, which are: PDF, Send, Copy and Start. These may speak for themselves, but just in case, the PDF button sends your scans to a pre-defined area on your hard drive and saves it as a PDF (Portable Document Format). Send , of course, sends the scan to a cloud location or other name you specify, and Copy sends the scan to a printer. Launch simply initiates a scan, scanning and displaying the preview on your computer.
And I shouldn’t forget to add that the lid is removable, so you can scan book pages and other thick media.
I’ve always liked the versatile Epson Scan utility that comes with most Epson scanners and multifunction printers. It allows you to choose between three difficulty levels: Home, Office or Professional. Each mode provides a wider range of interface controls to adjust scan quality. Besides Epson Scan, you can have Easy Photo Fix, Epson Event Manager and Epson Easy Photo Scan (Mac).
Unfortunately, Epson didn’t include an optical character recognition or OCR, a program to convert scanned text into editable text, but then it’s not a document scanner. However, if you want to convert scanned text, there are free OCR programs available, as well as “free” online OCR sites, but keep in mind that few things in this world are truly free. You can also buy good, relatively complete OCR software for about $100 – $30 more than the cost of this scanner. Whatever you decide to do, the good news is that OCR software today is extremely expensive and one of the best deals in IT.
My first scanner was a $2,000 supercolor HP Scanjet. Color scanners were rare and too expensive to sit on the desk of a fledgling independent desktop publisher. Instead, we paid service desks (like today’s FedEx stores, but with much more sophisticated, upfront printing equipment) for each scan. For those of us who’ve been around for a while, $70 color scanners (even if they’ve been around for a while) just don’t seem quite right.
And the low cost makes old timers immediately distrust them, anyway, qualitatively. But if all you want to do is scan your photos and the occasional document from time to time, you should get good use out of the Perfect V19 Color Scanner