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Epson Unveils Small Office/Home Office Document Scanners

The two new devices both process up to 35 dual-sided pages per minute and can save scans to online document storage repositories like Dropbox and Microsoft SharePoint. By Rich Freeman

Epson America Inc., of Long Beach, Calif., has introduced two new duplex document scanners for use in small and home office settings.

Named the WorkForce ES-400 and WorkForce ES-500W, the devices process up to 35 dual-sided pages per minute and can save scans to a hard drive or email message, as well as Dropbox, Microsoft SharePoint, Evernote, Google Drive, and other cloud-based document storage solutions.

The WorkForce ES-500W also includes wireless functionality that enables it to scan directly to smartphones, tablets, and notebook PCs.

That additional feature, which is the most significant distinction between the two new products, is responsible for the WorkForce ES-500W’s $399 recommended price point, which is $50 greater than the WorkForce ES-400’s MSRP. Both models will be sold exclusively through computer, office, and electronics retailers, as well as the Epson website, rather than IT distributors.

Standard features for both new devices include a 50-page automatic document feeder, a straight-through document path for scanning business cards and credit cards, automatic document size detection, and skew correction and double-feed detection capabilities for preventing missing pages and paper jams.

“We’ve really tried to focus on ease-of-use,” says Heather Johnston, product manager for scanners at Epson.

Other features include a “slow button” for helping wrinkled and damaged documents like receipts complete the scanning process successfully and support for oversized documents up to 240 inches in length.

“Especially in the medical field, there’s been people that want to scan EKGs,” Johnston notes.

An accompanying software package shipped with both scanners includes Epson’s own Document Capture Pro solution, which includes OCR functionality for producing searchable .pdfs, plus FineReader from Milpitas, Calif.-based ABBYY USA, which can convert scans into editable Microsoft Word and Excel documents, and NewSoft Presto! BizCard from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Visioneer Inc. for scanning business cards.

Built-in support for the TWAIN application programming interface enables the scanners to integrate with a wide range of document management solutions as well. Like most of the included applications, the TWAIN driver is compatible with both Windows-based hardware and Apple Macs.

“Our software is now more Mac friendly,” Johnston says.

The WorkForce ES-400 and WorkForce ES-500W will both be available for purchase later this month.

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