Epson Perfection V200 Photo
At a Glance
If you want the biggest bang for your buck from a scanner, you would be hard-pressed to do better than the new $100 Epson Perfection V200 Photo. While it offers many of the same features that other low-cost scanners provide--including the ability to scan both photo prints and 35mm film at a high resolution of 4800 dpi--what distinguishes the V200 from competing models is its impressive speed.
A production model of the V200 was about twice as fast as the identically priced HP G3010 and Microtek ScanMaker s450 in several tests at various resolutions. For example, the V200 took just 35 seconds to scan a 2-by-2-inch color print at 1200 dpi, whereas the HP and Microtek scanners took about a full minute. The V200 also did an excellent job of reproducing color shades (including skin tones) and both shadow and highlight details in our test photos.
Besides being able to zip through prints and film, the V200 provides easy-to-use image enhancement tools, including ones for automatic color restoration, backlight correction, and dust removal--all of which did stellar work rejuvenating old images, even ones with washed-out color. The V200 also adeptly batch-scans 35mm film, handling up to four slides or six frames in a filmstrip at once. Four push buttons (for scan, copy, e-mail, and PDF) and an adjustable lid that opens a full 180 degrees to accommodate large books or 3D objects are other useful features. The bundled software includes a basic image editor (ArcSoft PhotoImpression 6) and an optical character recognition application (Abbyy FineReader 6 Sprint) capable of creating editable text and searchable PDFs.
The V200's great price, performance, and image quality should put it on the short list of anyone who is searching for a proficient general-purpose scanner.