Epson are marketing this scanner as a versatile unit, capable of meeting the demands of home, school, office and graphics users.
The Epson is the cheapest of the 1,200dpi resolution scanners in this Labs, but despite its impressive specifications and large array of software it failed to perform very well overall.
Our biggest gripe about the Epson was its slow scan times. Cranked up to 1,200dpi resolution, scanning our test images consistently took roughly eight minutes across an A4 page. For a USB scanner this is quite surprising. Epson are also offering a SCSI version, the Perfection 1200s, which comes with an Adaptec SCSI card and cable. According to Epson, at 1,200dpi the 1200s captures full colour images 30 per cent faster than conventional scanners.
Despite the higher resolution, the images it produced were less than spectacular. In all of our tests, including a black and white scan and an OCR test (optical character recognition) it put up an average performance across the board. Colour reproduction was striking if not accurate, but at the same time most pictures were let down by blurred edges.
Epson are marketing this scanner as a versatile unit, capable of meeting the demands of home, school, office and graphics users. The Epson TWAIN software reflects this by offering the choice of an Easy or Advanced interface. The Easy interface is more of a prompt asking you to specify the image type and its software destination. The Advanced option allows you to tweak the colour, brightness, saturation, contrast and intensity of the scanned item. One-touch scanning is achieved through the convenient button on the case.
The Perfection 1200U comes with one of the biggest choices of bundled software in the Labs. Epson's Instant Photo Print enables you to print multiple copies of your scanned photos, providing you own a compatible Epson Stylus printer. Adobe PhotoDeluxe is also included and is handy for creating brochures and other promotional material. Adobe PageMill, designed to help you incorporate scanned images into a Web site, Xerox Textbridge Classic and NewSoft Presto! Page Manager are also included.
Users interested in at least having the capability of performing a 1,200dpi optical scan without necessarily paying for a 1,200dpi scanner will flock to this model. For the price the Epson Perfection 1200U is highly featured, but it struggles in our main focus on image quality.
This Review appeared in the January, 2000 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine