FAST PAGE SCANNERS are heavy, but lightweight scanners may not have the quality your project needs. What’s a mobile user to do? Try one of those “scan apps” for your smartphone, hoping it will be good enough? Spoiler: They will not give you professional scan results. The new Epson DS-70 and Epson DS-80w, however, could be the tools you need. These two mobile scanners are small enough to carry everywhere and offer the quality to make mobile scanning useful.
Small but Solid
Both models measure 10.7 x 1.8 x 1.3 inches (l x w x h). The software included is the same for both as well: Epson’s Scan 2 and Document Capture (Mac) and Document Capture Pro (Windows); the TWAIN drivers are different for each scanner. Upgrades on the DS-80w include higher resolution (1200 dpi compared to 600 dpi) and faster speed (15 pages per minute compared to 10 pages per minute) than the DS-70.
Wi-Fi fans, or those who may need to scan to their smartphone or tablet, will go for the DS-80w. Yes, the “w” stands for wireless, and it connects to your local Wi-Fi network or directly to your mobile device. The DS-80w also has three buttons (Wi-Fi, Link, and a sliding on/off switch) and a small LCD display that shows battery power remaining and connection type in use.
Open the small, nonretail boxes and you find the scanner, a USB cable, and “Start Here” pamphlet. You can download drivers and software from the Epson website support area.
Plug in your scanner (even the DS-80w must be installed via USB for initial configuration), start the Epson software installation, and things progress quickly. Both our scanners required firmware updates, hence the need for the USB cable. Downloading the software to our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon was fast, the drivers installed without a hitch, and the first scan happened about 15 minutes after we opened the box.
The USB cables are about 3 feet, plenty long enough so you can put the scanner on either side of your laptop and reach a USB port on the far side. They may be a little short for those trying to reach a PC under a desk, but USB Type A to USB-mini cables are easy to find if necessary.
Scanning and Saving
As mentioned earlier, once the drivers and software are installed, scanning is straightforward. Like most relatively inexpensive mobile scanners, these scan only one side of the page at a time. However, the pages slide through quickly enough so you don’t get bored and start cursing—unless you set the highest DPI scan settings. Then you will need a bit of patience as the page speed slows down a fair amount. Finger tapping may occur, but fingers will snap when viewing the sharp, clear images and razor-edged text that the small, lightweight scanner sends along to your computer.
Epson’s Document Capture and Document Capture Pro scan software installs automatically with the driver software and Epson 2 Scan control utility.