While it's not the best scanner on the block, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers high-end performance with substantially less sticker shock that comes with the top models. If you don't mind sacrificing a bit of speed, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 can be a bit more of an economical option than the top scoring Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap. It also offers quite good text recognition but is not perfect in this realm.
Epson WorkForce ES-400 Review
Pros: High quality scans, easy operation, good text recognition
Cons: Slower than other high end models
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a high end and high performing scanner that punches a bit above its weight class when you consider its price.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 earned one of the top overall scores in our testing, as you can see in the table above. Read on to see how well this model performed in the individual tests used to calculate the overall score.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our scan quality testing. This put it even with the top overall performer, the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap. It handled handwritten text, printed text, and receipts with aplomb. It was also quite accurate when it came to scanning full-color documents. If anything the colors looked just a bit faded when compared to those of the Fujitsu, but not by much.
Speed is the one area where the Epson WorkForce ES-400 yields some ground to the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap. We clocked the Epson's speed at 14 pages per minute, which earned it a score of 7 out of 10. It does have a 50-page automatic document feeder, so scanning longer document is largely automated. The Fujitsu also has a 50-page document feeder, and can zip through an astonishing 46 pages per minute. Overall, the Epson's speed won't hold you back unless you're scanning lots of 50-page documents.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 again shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our software testing. Its character recognition was quite good, about even with the Scanner Pro App. We were able to find a few words that the optical character recognition missed, and thus were not searchable, but the vast majority of words were recognized. This is one area where it was clearly better than the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap, whose character recognition missed a substantially larger number of words.
In terms of file management and selecting scan settings, the Epson WorkForce ES-400's software was slightly less intuitive than the Fijitsu's and the Canon's, but it still had a fairly gentle learning curve, so we don't feel that it's a deal breaker at all. The software is supported on both PC and Mac operating systems.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 was one of the most user friendly models we tested, and it shared the top score of 8 out of 10 with its main competitor, the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap. Setup was a breeze with the Epson, we had software installed, the scanner talking to the computer, and fresh scans being saved to the hard drive within 10 minutes of cutting the box open. We also had no problems with jamming when it came to the document feeder and output paper tray.
With a list price of $350 and a retail price that is often below the $300 mark, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers a relatively low price for accessing the benefits of a high-end document scanner. Also, if you end up scanning lots of very long (50+ page) documents, it may be worth spending a bit more to get the speed of the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a good all-around document scanner that offers high end performance at a relatively low price. It isn't the fastest model around, but if you scan lots of long documents it offers the best convenience to price ratio that we've found.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata