Reviews You Can Depend On

Epson ES-400 Color Duplex Document Scanner for PC and Mac

Epson ES-400 Color Duplex Document Scanner for PC and Mac, Auto Document Feeder (ADF)
Price: CDN$ 412.28


Excellent scanner with more features than I need

What a time saver. I inherited a couple million (seems like) recipes from my mom and sister who have been clipping and collecting recipes for years. The collection takes up a lot of room and some are getting tattered as the recipe is really good so it gets pulled out more often. We’ve hand copied a few and started to photocopy some but either way its time consuming and photocopy’s still take up space.

TL;DR – Excellent reproduction of original documents at a speed that is faster than expected. Both scanner and software are easy to use and set up. Software is robust considering it’s included in the cost of hardware. Not mobile but not a big device to store.

One important item. This complete package of scanner and software was designed so that it doesn’t require an IT person to configure or operate. As long as your comfortable installing software and hooking up a USB device there shouldn’t be any challenges. That said things can go sideways with both hardware and software but I found this far easier to set up than any printer I have ever used. And, if you’ve ever used one of the old flatbed scanners this will feel like going from a shoppping cart to a Cadillac or Lincoln.

There’s a lot to like here, it’s a well thought out and engineered machine. The way it folds up when not in use so dust doesn’t collect on the inside which will eventually affect image quality is well done. Once packed up it’s a nice neat package that’s easy to slide out of the way. The attached document catcher works well with just a little hitch. A regular 8 1/2 x 11 page is long enough that once read and the outside end is butted up against the fold out stop the other end catches on the extraction wheel making noise.

I’ve used it at the various DPI settings and pages run through smooth no matter the definition selected. In the video I’m using the highest definition for this scanner, 600 DPI and you can see that it take a bit to have both sides of 4 pages scanned. But this is a real bonus, duplex scanning without having to flip over the document and refeed it (single pass). There are options however that allow you to select how the scanner operates, full duplex, single sided, B&W or colour, and of course definition (DPI). These items are set through the software. There are also options to set up the front mounted buttons and the software walks you through the process.

► A notable item: Scanning is a two-stage process. First off the scanner process the documents, this data is passed to the software which then renders it into a document. I found that with the two comps I used there was no difference in scanning speed but there was definite difference in rendering. How fast the software converts a scanned document to PDF depends on the hardware in your computer. I found that the difference between my Surface 2 tablet and laptop was significant. As such it’s hard to give any kind of estimate that’s of value simply because of hardware differences.
► Running at lower DPI settings results in some very fast scans. This is what I use for the recipes as I don’t need high def PDF documents. It also helps speed me through the heap of paperwork I have stacked up.
► Scanning speed, pages per minute varies and depends on the definition (DPI) you’ve selected but even at high def (600 DPI) it takes about 25 seconds to do a duplex scan of four sheets that are all B&W text.

The software is a rather large download if you want the Full Monty, 244 MB. It’s free and installation was very simple. Once the installed it took only a couple of minutes to get the scanner connected and recognized. Which utility to use depends on what I want to achieve but all are fairly simple to navigate through and you don’t need to be a serious computer person to get comfortable and start using the set up. It’s worth taking a few minutes and reading through the online information as it might speed up your decision on which software to start with.
► The software comes with an updater program. Simply run the updater and it will check the scanner software against any new versions and then let you download/install the newest drivers and utilities with no hassles. This service actually runs during the initial installation.
► Using the included Job Management interface, the scanner start button can be set up in the software to automate a scan job. Both the quality and destination can be preprogramed so that one button press initiates the desired scan configuration without any software button clicking. More preprogramed (2-30) jobs can be set up if needed.

When documents have been scanned into the software there are many options on how it can be handled or shared, store locally, upload to an FTP server, send to an Email address, print, Send to a web folder, Send to a Microsoft SharePoint server, Evernote, Google Drive, or SugarSync.

I found the included OCR software to work quite well. I fed a couple of very old pages through the scanner. These had faded text as they were printed probably 40 years ago. The software never missed a beat and even very faint characters were recognized.

I am suitably impressed with how well both the scanner and software work.

While not a mobile device it’s foot print is smaller than most printers and it takes up very little room especially when closed up for storage.

Other than the little glitch with the document stop causing scanned sheets to catch on the feeder wheel I can’t find anything negative and this one items isn’t significant enough to cause a drop in rating.

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