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Epson WorkForce ES-400 Review

A great option that competes with higher-end models, at a budget-friendly price
Epson WorkForce ES-400
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Price:   $350 List
Pros:  High quality scans, easy operation, good text recognition
Cons:  Slower than other high end models
Manufacturer:   Epson
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 18, 2021
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Scanning Performance - 35% 8
  • Speed - 30% 7
  • Software - 20% 7
  • User Friendliness - 15% 8

Our Verdict

While it's not the best scanner on the block, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers high-end performance with substantially less sticker shock than what is typical of higher-end models. If you don't mind sacrificing a bit of speed, it can be a much more economical option than most of the other top-scoring options. Although it's not perfect, it also offers good text recognition, simple operation, and good overall scan quality.

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Pros High quality scans, easy operation, good text recognitionGreat scan quality, small and portable, simple operation, good OCRHigh quality scans, easy to use softwareNow available for free, high quality scans, great text recognitionExcellent photo scan quality, easy setup, relatively inexpensive
Cons Slower than other high end modelsSlowRelatively slow, 10-page document feeder feels limitingSlow and laborious for multi-page documentsSoftware can be a bit clunky, very slow for long text documents
Bottom Line A great option that competes with higher-end models, at a budget-friendly priceA great balance between performance, quality, and portability, all at a reasonable priceThis model produces high-quality scans, is easy to use, and is good at scanning lots of short documentsA perfect free option for those that occasionally scan shorter documents and receiptsAn excellent and reasonably inexpensive flatbed option for digitizing documents and photos
Rating Categories Epson WorkForce ES-400 Brother DS-640 Fujitsu ScanSnap S1... Scanner Pro App Epson Perfection V39
Scanning Performance (35%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Speed (30%)
7.0
4.0
5.0
3.0
4.0
Software (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
User Friendliness (15%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Epson WorkForce ES-400 Brother DS-640 Fujitsu ScanSnap S1... Scanner Pro App Epson Perfection V39
Paper Sizes Max: 8.5" x 240"
Min: 2" x 2"
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) 8.1 lbs 1.0 lbs 3.1 lbs N/A 3.4 lbs
Resolution (dpi) 600 x 600 600 x 600 600 x 600 N/A 4800 x 4800
Simplex/Duplex Duplex Simplex Duplex Simplex Simplex
Scanning Modes Color, Grayscale, Black and White 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 50-page No 10-page No No
PC Compatible Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Mac Compatible Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Measured Pages Per Minute 14 4 13 3 N/A

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a high-end scanner that performs more similarly to other top-end than it does to more comparably priced ones and earned one of the top overall scores in our testing. Read on to see how well this model performed in the individual tests that our reviewers used to calculate the overall score.

Performance Comparison


Loading up one of our scanners for a speed test.
Loading up one of our scanners for a speed test.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Scanning Performance


The Epson WorkForce ES-400 shared the top score in our scan quality testing, putting it on par with our top overall performers. It handled handwritten text, printed text, and receipts exceptionally well. It was also quite accurate when it came to scanning full-color documents. Colors looked just a bit less vibrant when compared to other top-end models, but not by much.

The WorkForce was able to produce good scans of both handwritten and...
The WorkForce was able to produce good scans of both handwritten and printed text in our testing.

Speed


Speed is the one area where the Epson WorkForce ES-400 yields some ground. We clocked its speed at 14 pages per minute. It does have a 50-page automatic document feeder, so scanning longer documents is largely automated. Other models also have a 50-page document feeder or more and can zip through a stack of pages at a much quicker pace. Overall, the Epson's speed won't hold you back unless you're scanning lots of 50-page documents.

Color scans often looked a bit faded in our testing.
Color scans often looked a bit faded in our testing.

Software


The Epson WorkForce ES-400 again shared one of the top scores in our software testing. Its character recognition was good, though we were able to find a few words that the optical character recognition missed, and therefore were not searchable, but the vast majority of words were recognized. This is one area where this model clearly excels compared to other high-end competitors.

In terms of file management and selecting scan settings, the ES-400's software was slightly less intuitive than the software on a Fujitsu or Canon, but it still had a fairly gentle learning curve. The software is supported on both PC and Mac operating systems.

User Friendliness


The Epson WorkForce ES-400 was one of the most user-friendly models we tested, scoring highly once again. Setup was a breeze; 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.

The Workforce has a somewhat arcane interface, but it becomes easy...
The Workforce has a somewhat arcane interface, but it becomes easy to use with a little practice.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers a relatively low price for accessing the benefits of a high-end document scanner, offering an overall reasonable value. If you end up scanning lots of very long (50+ page) documents, it may be worth spending a bit more to get the higher speed of a different model.

Conclusion


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