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Plustek ePhoto Z300 Review

Slow scanning and below-average overall performance make this model easy to pass on
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Plustek ePhoto Z300 Review
Credit: Plustek
Price:  $199 List
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Manufacturer:   Plustek
By Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  May 23, 2023
51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Scanning Performance - 35% 5.9
  • Speed - 30% 2.1
  • Software - 20% 7.0
  • User Friendliness - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Plustek ePhoto Z300 demonstrated below-average performance overall. When scanning black-and-white documents and receipts, we observed reasonably sharp text quality with minimal blurring when zoomed in. However, the scanning process noticeably lightened all black colors, and all scanning processes are painfully slow compared to the average models on the market. Nevertheless, the resulting scans from the Plustek are legible and usable.
REASONS TO BUY
Simple to use
Approachable price
REASONS TO AVOID
Below average scanning performance
Painfully slow

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Price $199 List
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Bottom Line This model's sluggish scanning and subpar overall performance places it at the rear of scanners we've testedGreat performance from a portable scanner that isn't to bad on the walletWhile not the fastest, it excels in every aspect at a relatively low priceA great choice for those that mostly need to scan photos and book/magazine pagesYou can give it a try without any risk, and packs a lot of performance into a phone app, but isn't great for longer documents
Rating Categories Plustek ePhoto Z300 Epson WorkForce ES-60W Brother DS-640 Epson Perfection V39 Scanner Pro App
Scanning Performance (35%)
5.9
8.3
8.2
8.6
7.1
Speed (30%)
2.1
6.8
3.7
5.1
3.4
Software (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
User Friendliness (15%)
7.0
8.0
6.7
7.0
7.7
Specs Plustek ePhoto Z300 Epson WorkForce ES-60W Brother DS-640 Epson Perfection V39 Scanner Pro App
Paper Sizes Max: 8.5" x 11.7"
Min: 1" x 1"
Max: 8.5" x 72" Max: 8.5" x 32" Max: 8.5" x 11.7" Any size
Weight 3.4 lbs .7 lbs 1.0 lbs 3.4 lbs N/A
Resolution 600 dpi 1200 dpi 600 x 600 dpi 4800 x 4800 dpi N/A
Simplex/Duplex Simplex Simplex Simplex Simplex Simplex
Scanning Modes Color, Grayscale 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
Automatic Document Feeder No No No No No
Windows Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A
Mac Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A
Measured Pages Per Minute 1 15 4 N/A 3

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The simplest scans are rather slow with the Plustek ePhoto Z300.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Scanning Performance


The Plustek ePhoto Z300 proved to be a below-average performer in our scanning performance tests. When scanning black and white documents and receipts, we found the text quality to be sharp enough, with just a little blurring when zoomed in, although all dark colors were significantly lightened in the scanning process. Still, the results were legible and usable.

In our photo scanning performance tests, the Plustek maintained poor color accuracy, adding a tint of blue, and consistently produced scans with a notable increase in graininess. Between text documents, receipts, and photos, this model failed to impress our team, and its performance trailed most average scanners we've tested.

The simple and common task of scanning receipts can prove difficult for some models.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Speed


Speed matters if you value your time, and a faster scanner will handle tasks more quickly, allowing you to move on to more important things than feeding a scanner. Unfortunately, the Plustek ePhoto Z300 is a very slow scanner. Slow scanning speeds and the lack of automatic double-sided scanning (duplex) will leave you feeding large jobs, one page or photo at a time.

In our single-page test, each scanner is tasked with scanning a single sheet document on the duplex, double-sided, 600 DPI color setting. The lack of a duplex feature forced us to manually feed the document, resulting in a process that took 40 seconds. By comparison, the fastest scanners completed the task in as little as 4 seconds.

In both of our 10-page document tests, for 600 DPI black and white simplex and duplex settings, the Plustek ePhoto Z300 completed each task in 428 seconds, and again the process required manual feeding. At an average page-per-minute speed of over 42 seconds, the Plustek is not a fast scanner. In fact, it's painfully slow. We wouldn't even consider it adequate for small tasks if you care about productivity and time.

plustek ephoto z300 - this model is slow, and manual feeding makes every task take even...
This model is slow, and manual feeding makes every task take even more time.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Software


Perfect optical character recognition (OCR) simply doesn't exist yet, and while some above-average models we've tested have come exceptionally close, the Plustek ePhoto Z300 is more of an average model.

Optical character recognition turns printed documents and even handwritten ones into digitized documents and is an incredibly useful tool. OCR is by default on the Plustek and does a decent job of recognition with a low error rate. It accurately digitized words, only missing a couple in our test, and occasionally combined words.

plustek ephoto z300 - while ocr is good on this model, the software could be better overall.
While OCR is good on this model, the software could be better overall.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

User Friendliness


We rated the user-friendliness of each scanner, specifically evaluating the setup and user interface, and the Plustek proved to be about average.

Setup on a PC is performed via a CD, although a tutorial exists if you are a PC user and don't have an optical drive. Mac users are able to download drivers and software via the manufacturer's website. The user interface is non-existent. It lacks a screen, settings, or buttons. While not very robust, it does make the scanning process simple — you simply feed a photo or document one at a time.

plustek ephoto z300 - setup on this model is done via a cd for pc users, and could be...
Setup on this model is done via a CD for PC users, and could be problematic for some.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Plustek ePhoto Z300?


Slow speeds and lower-quality scans compared to its peers left our team wanting a lot more from the Plustek ePhoto Z300. As such, we can't recommend this model when there are so many other great options that offer better performance at a similar price point.

What Other Scanners Should You Consider?


The Plustek ePhoto Z300 is possibly the least capable scanner that we've tested. While it had a lot of promise, based on extensive research, product comparisons, and reviews, it simply did not perform at the level we expect from a good printer. For a portable device capable of taking on the go, check out the Epson WorkForce ES-60W. Not only is it portable, but it outperforms the Plustek and is a hair cheaper. Of course, if you're seeking the best scanning performance and aren't encumbered by budget, then look no further than the Canon ImageFORMULA R40. It offers exceptional performance and is fast enough to make quick work of any scanning tasks.

Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok