|Epson GT-S80 multi-document scanner
|» Price: $1,388
» Available: From authorised dealers
AT FIRST glance, the Epson GT-S80 looks like a really small inkjet printer but upon closer inspection, this device actually allows you to quickly scan multiple hard copy documents and convert them to digital files.
The Epson GT-S80 scans documents much like how you send a fax. There is a 75-sheet auto document feeder (ADF) on top and scanned documents slide down the machine into an output tray located at the base. In front are four buttons for controlling menu options and quick scan.
This machine scans colour or monochrome documents up to A4 sizes. However, using the included transparent carrier sheet, you can scan an A3 document by folding it in half and loading it through the ADF.
According to the product brochure, the GT-S80 can scan 40 pages at 200dpi per minute. In my tests, speeds were slightly slower - 38 pages per minute (ppm). At its highest scan setting of 600dpi, it scanned 4ppm. There is even a bonus - this device can do both sides of a document at one go.
In the area of performance, my tests showed that the GT-S80 works best when scanning text documents.
One great feature is searchable text for PDF. Activate it and the scanner uses its optical character recognition software to 'look over' a document and convert it to PDF. It also allows you to search for text within that PDF document.
Scanning images brought a mixed bag of results.
For starters, you cannot scan photographs thicker than 200gsm. If you can get one of these thick documents through the ADF, the results are average. Scanned image quality is satisfactory and should be considered only for general office use.
If I had a gripe, it would be the bundled Presto Bizcard 5 software. The promise of this third-party software is great: scan a business card and the machine will detect and organise the contact details in the card into a neat database.
Unfortunately, life is not perfect.
Out of the 18 cards that I scanned, the software accurately captured the details of only one card. The other 17 cards had a mix of errors. A 'Dr Koo' in one card was captured as 'Drggf' while the title 'Manager' in another card became 'managa'.
Worse, the software could not get numbers right - some cards had missing numbers in the address or phone details.
Be prepared to verify and edit the data after scanning your cards.
Equally frustrating is the software's inability to scan and capture multiple business cards at one go.
A speedy scanner that needs improvement in its business card scanning software.
By Adli Yashir, a correspondent/Internet coordinator with Berita Harian.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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