Epson Workforce Pro GT-S50
The WorkForce Pro GT-S50 from Epson is a desktop document scanner. It has a 75-sheet automatic document feeder and scans both sides of a sheet of paper in one pass, at resolutions up to 600 dpi and 24-bit color.
The GT-S50 is a little larger than most desktop document scanners, but not terribly so. It is also the only document scanner we've tested with an LED status menu, which can be helpful when trouble shooting or using presets. Your Mac connects to the GT-S50 via USB 2.0
The accompanying EpsonScan software is easy to use and should be familiar to anyone who's used a flatbed Epson scanner in the past. Its not flashy, but its functional, and I'll take that any day.
To test the speed of the scanner, we ran a few tests: a one-page, 300 dpi color scan to a folder using the supplied scanner driver; a 10-page document with a mix of single and double-sided pages, and color and black and white images and text to a folder using the provided driver; and lastly, an OCR scan from Acrobat Professional 9. The Epson turned in respectable numbers, taking 15 seconds for the single page test, 56 seconds for the 10-page test. The Scan into Acrobat Pro result was on the slow side, taking 29 seconds--nearly three times as long as the Canon ImageFormula DR-2010m, and 11 to 12 seconds longer than two others.
To test scan quality, we printed the one-page 300 dpi scan to file document on our office color laser printer. The GT-S50 scans were deemed to be of Good quality overall, without much in the way of noise and artifacts in the light areas of the image. Colors, though not on the level of a good flatbed scanner, were better than other document scanners we've tested. In our OCR test with Acrobat, the Epson performed very well, requiring very little in the way of editing or cleanup.
Macworld's buying advice
With respectable scan times, flawless (if dated looking) software, decent scan speeds, and the best looking color scans we've seen from a document scanner, the Workforce Pro GT S50 is one of the better document scanners available.
[James Galbraith is Macworld's lab director. Product photo by Peter Belanger.]