Epson Perfection V600 Review
Pros: Good scan quality, ability to scan photos and film negatives
Cons: Very slow for long documents, no native text recognition, clunky software
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Epson Perfection V600
$249.99 at Amazon
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$259.99 at Amazon
|$0.00 List||$100 List|
|Pros||Good scan quality, ability to scan photos and film negatives||Great scan quality, small and portable, simple operation, good OCR||High quality scans, easy to use software||Now available for free, high quality scans, great text recognition||Excellent photo scan quality, easy setup, relatively inexpensive|
|Cons||Very slow for long documents, no native text recognition, clunky software||Slow||Relatively slow, 10-page document feeder feels limiting||Slow and laborious for multi-page documents||Software can be a bit clunky, very slow for long text documents|
|Bottom Line||Produces very accurate photo scans but does not offer digital enhancement that other scanners use to make photo scans look better||A great balance between performance, quality, and portability, all at a reasonable price||This model produces high-quality scans, is easy to use, and is good at scanning lots of short documents||A perfect free option for those that occasionally scan shorter documents and receipts||An excellent and reasonably inexpensive flatbed option for digitizing documents and photos|
|Rating Categories||Epson Perfection V600||Brother DS-640||Fujitsu ScanSnap S1...||Scanner Pro App||Epson Perfection V39|
|Scanning Performance (35%)|
|User Friendliness (15%)|
|Specs||Epson Perfection V600||Brother DS-640||Fujitsu ScanSnap S1...||Scanner Pro App||Epson Perfection V39|
|Paper Sizes||Max: 8.5" x 11.7"||Max: 8.5" x 32"||A4, A5, A6, B5, B6, Business card, Post card, Letter, Legal and Custom size||Any size||Max: 8.5" x 11.7"|
|Weight (pounds)||9.0 lbs||1.0 lbs||3.1 lbs||N/A||3.4 lbs|
|Resolution (dpi)||6400 x 9600||600 x 600||600 x 600||N/A||4800 x 4800|
|Scanning Modes||Color, Grayscale, Black and White, Automatic Detection, Film||24-bit color, 8-bit (256 levels) gray scale, 1 bit monochrome||Color, Grayscale, Black and White, Automatic Detection||Color Document, Black and White, Color Photo, Grayscale Photo||Color, Grayscale, Black and White, Automatic Detection|
|Automatic Document Feeder||No||No||10-page||No||No|
|Measured Pages Per Minute||N/A||4||13||3||N/A|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're looking to scan old film negatives or slides, the Epson Perfection V600 is one of the least expensive options around. If you're just looking to digitize printed photos, you can get away with an even less expensive model, but this is the best deal we've found for scanning film negatives and slides.
While we generally liked the Epson V600, we did have some trouble with its software, which impacted its overall score. For more specifics on its performance attributes, read on below.
The Epson V600 is a very capable flatbed scanner, but unless you're specifically looking to scan film negatives or slides, you can find a better value scanner.
Photo Scanning Quality
The Epson Perfection V600 lives up to its name when scanning photos, creating near-perfect representations of the originals. We say 'near perfect' because you will always lose some quality when converting an image. The scans sometimes have a noticeable, albeit slightly, less sharp or vibrant quality than the originals.
The Epson Perfection V600 does offer optional image enhancement (they call it ICE - image correction and enhancement). We found that this mostly focuses on removing damage, like cracks and dust that have damaged a photo. There are some color enhancement modes that can also revive some of the vibrancy of older-looking photos, but we think most photographers will want to do their editing outside of the Epson software.
Text Scanning Quality
Like other flatbed models we tested, the Epson V600 produces good-looking text, though very small fonts may look a bit fuzzier than what high-end document scanners produce. It is certainly of a high enough quality to handle all of your text-based documents, though it scans them very slowly. It also offers optical character recognition, rendering text-searchable documents. We found this to work quite well, with only a few words being missed here and there.
Like pretty much all bed scanners, the V600 has no document feeder and is quite slow. It's hard to nail down the speed of bed-style models because things like the composition/color of the document and what settings you're using can change how quickly or slowly a device can scan. That being said, starting the clock upon opening the scanner's lid to position the page and stopping it upon lifting the page off of the bed, it took us an average of 40 seconds to scan an 8x11 page, with some large photos taking up to 60 seconds. While it's slow, it isn't terrible in relation to other bed scanners. However, the lack of a document feeder, and slower speed, isn't a great choice if you need to scan lots of long documents. In that case, a scanner with a document feeder is a much better option.
Compared to the software of other flatbed models, we found the V600's included bundle to be less refined and more difficult to use than other scanner software. Navigating through settings and file management felt much less intuitive than other programs we used, and we found that the software ran very slowly whenever we used it on a Mac OS device. The software does include an extension for recognizing text, meaning you can create scans with searchable text. However, you do have to jump through some settings hoops to accomplish this.
We found the Epson Perfection V600 was relatively easy to use in our testing. We had it up and running within 10 minutes of opening the box, and though the on-device buttons weren't exactly intuitive, we were still able to get some scans made before reading the manual. While more advanced tasks that require using the software could sometimes get a bit confusing, the barebones of the V600 are generally clean and simple.
The Epson Perfection V600 is a bit pricey if you're only looking to scan printed photos, but actually quite a good deal if you want something that can scan film and slides. For the latter function, it is certainly one of the best values on the market.
The Epson Perfection V600 is a great and relatively inexpensive choice for anyone that wants to digitize old film negatives and projection slides. If you just want to digitize printed photos, it is still a great option, but probably a little more than you really need to spend.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata