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October 11, 2018

Buckets of Old Photos? Scan & Save Your Memories! Epson FastFoto FF-640

Hi Friends,

   Thank you for joining us today for a very interesting technical product review. We have a unique twist on the technology equipment that we evaluate, with the specific product we are reviewing, which is the Epson FastFoto FF-640 Scanner.

   Just some background on this Scanner; it is a fit for not only home office use, but it's also quite useful for the home, as well. Today, we are going to take a look at the FastFoto in terms of the set-up of the scanner, the speed of the actual scanning process, the quality of the scan results, as well as some features and options that I found quite helpful, and you might, as well.

   Straight out of the box, the scanner looks non-threatening, and if I had to compare it, I would say it's about the size of a toaster oven. The only thing that you have to do is just snap in the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which is quite simple. Aside from that, the scanner is pretty much turn-key and ready for the software, which is the last step in the set-up. This part is a snap! Super-easy, since you download the software directly via Epson's website. I call it "seamless" since it is so easy. I suggest you download all software offered to you for your given operating system. It's free to download and it will help you take further advantage of the functionality of the scanner.

   Guess What? Congratulations! Your Scanner is now configured and ready to begin scanning!

   At this point, your scanner is all set up, with software installed, the USB cable connected to your laptop or desktop, and now you're ready to begin using it. As easy as the scanner is to get set up, it's even easier to use!

   What I have tested the scanner with was 5 different items; regular photos, Polaroid photos, documents, business cards, and for my own purposes, baseball cards. Automatic folders are set up for you and you name them at the moment right before they actually scan. One amazing feature of this scanner that will "WOW" most folks is that it automatically scans front and back, so if you have handwriting or something on the back of a document or photo that is important to save, it will also scan that as well. The FastFoto will name the front file name with an "a", and the file name for the back will have a "b". Not only does it capture the names, but it also captures the date as well for easier filing and for ease in locating the files long after you have finished scanning.

   Another thing that makes this real easy is the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which you really cannot do without it. It is a critical part of the scanner. Example: I was trying to send some Polaroids through and they were not going through at first but then I resolved it by just placing them in a different way on the feeder, which is very versatile in this specialized type of scanner. On the topic of ease, you can even have the photos border adjusted by simply tweaking the settings, and it even allows you to take out red eyes if they show up in the scan. As for resolution,the FastFoto defaults to 300 DPI resolution but it also has an option for 600 DPI, but remember, and this goes for all Scanners; as you go up in resolution, the time it takes to scan your items will increase, as well.

   Speed is another great quality of this scanner.  I sent through 20 photos and they were done in about 50 seconds which is blazing fast. The amount of time that it saves you will really impress you! Sometimes, you have to go back and adjust the photos or anything that you've scanned in order to tweak it and make it better, especially if it's a faded out photo; this will correct it. For those folks that scan often and then have to correct the documents or photos, etc afterward, will realize that this is a huge time saver. Just think of how much you will miss Photoshop editing your scanned image files. This might make you tear up over that... or perhaps they are tears of joy?  Perhaps both?

   Overall it's amazing how accurate the FastFoto is, and that just goes to show you the quality of product that Epson once again has put out on the market. As I mentioned above, the quality is second to none. One of the many features that makes this scanner shine is the auto enhancement, which really does some magical things when you're dealing with photos that are either faded or just very very light, i.e. with sun in the photo, or something bright along those lines. As mentioned, you can select the enhancement option in the settings by changing it to be Automatic, or you can manually do it in the folder that pops up with the app. Just select the image, click on Edit, and you can do many things to enhance your photos.

   Yet another great feature of the scanner is that you are able to select whether you want to save the enhanced photo as an original or if you want to make a second copy so you don't overwrite the original, in case you need to make additional changes, from the original version forward. This increases the efficiency and the amount of time saved and headaches saved with the scanner and its accompanying software. I ran into an issue with some baseball cards that would not get a reverse scan. I very easily found out through the intuitive menu that by adjusting the sensitivity settings, the lightness and darkness of writing on the back of the card, completely remedied this and fixed the issue. Any issues you come up with are easily remedied most often by looking in the settings in the software. It's true...it's all right there. I tried another scan test where I loaded up many different photos of different sizes and it scanned all of them seamlessly without even a hint of a "misfeed"! All the while, this scanner is so quiet that you don't even realize that it's working until your originals come out into the front catch. Quiet scanning is perfect in my book!

   To sum everything up here, this is an incredibly fast, very smart device with very good software for the user interface and it also is amazing in terms of how you are able to easily edit and enhance photos, either automatically or manually. This is a scanner that can be used to blow through hundreds or thousands of photos that you may have from years back, and catalog them for your family or yourself. Can you imagine a flood or fire and you lose all of those memories? Wouldn't it be advantageous to use the scanner to make a backup, digitally, of all of these treasures? With the option to upload everything to the cloud, you have basically an off-site private copy of all of your precious memories. This will ensure your photos will survive any adverse or damaging conditions that could affect your family photos from years past, because they are saved as your very own personal off-site high-quality front and back scans. The FastFoto makes sense on a number of levels, and it is certainly something you want to take a look at further after reading this review, so you can take the first step towards owning this time saving wonder!

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes - Rent to Own Homes, since 2002
"Located at the Corner of Technology and Real Estate"
Rent to Own Homes and Real Estate Blog for HomeRun Homes: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #Epson #Scanner #FastFoto #Photos #Office #Home #Document

September 20, 2018

Life@Easier; The Epson Workforce ES-500WR

Hi Folks,
   Welcome back, and I'm glad to have you back here with us!

   SPOILER ALERT: I'm going to ask you a couple of rhetorical questions, to which I already know the answer:

   Do you ever look at hard copy printed receipts and wish you didn't have so much critical paper floating around which fades out a little more each day?

   Do you ever wish you could extract data from your receipts and add it into your Accounting software?

   Do you think about how life would be so much easier if you could scan your documents directly to a cloud storage service, like Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, etc?

OK, I just gave you a small preview. Are you excited yet?

The Skinny...

   I hope so, because I have had the fortunate opportunity to test and review the new Epson Workforce ES-500WR Wireless Color Receipt Duplex Document Scanner (Accounting Edition), and the features I mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg with this dynamic scanner.

   The size of the box is a little confusing at first, and you will be thinking, "Where's the Beef?", but always remember what Aunt Nannie told you..."good things come in small packages"! It's actually the perfect size, because it is compact and you can fit it almost anywhere opened up, and absolutely anywhere when folder closed.

   The main step is to get it plugged in, ready for some brutal testing, and to see if this baby can live up to it's beefy specs. While we are on the topic of "Specs", all technical specifications will come at the end of this review, for those tech geeks (just like me!!).

   So, knowing the download process can take time with all new devices from all manufacturers, I set this to download the required software. All-in-all, it took me less than 20 minutes to complete the download, and during that time, 1/2 cup of coffee was consumed. It was really good coffee, but the set up was truly very fast for me.

   The Epson ScanSmart Accounting Edition is comprehensive, and the Nuance Power PDF software, which helps you create or convert to searchable PDFs, is a game-changer. Further, everything supports TWAIN drivers, so there are no worries about integrating with pretty much any document management software.

The Sizzle... 

   Now, a huge selling point is the 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), and I had some nice tests planned for it. Right away, I took a huge stack of statements, some thick, some wrinkled, some with other markings on them, and they scanned in blazing fast. I did experience one jam, but it was my fault, as there was a small paper clip on a statement (User Error!), but it was better that it alerted me rather than try to run it through and ruin the device.

   I then put together the most rag-tag and ugly bunch of bent, folded, creased "scrap" receipts anyone has ever seen. Very smoothly fed into the device, and everything came out perfectly, except for one, but when I took a close look at it, I could not read it myself, so it might not have even been a receipt in the first place. Perhaps a smudge from an older print out? Any way, that bodes for a 100% execution rate for the Scanner.

   Now, I took this to the next level; it's really humid here on the East Coast, so I left a few statements on the backyard table for an hour, and of course, they were then sticking together. Instead of taking the paper feed, the scanner notified me of the potential jam, and upon looking this up, apparently it's due to the double-feed detection. When I let the pages dehumidify, I accidentally put them in crooked, and the scanner straightened it out for me. Auto-pilot?

   Fast? Understatement. The specs say this scans 35 pages per minute or 70 images per minute, but I think they undercut the true amounts (which I found much higher), just to be on the conservative side, and so people could not complain ("you said 35 pages per minute and I only got 34 pages per minute"). Perhaps I should complain I got 37 pages per minute? Ahh, people...you know who I'm taking about....!!!

The Steak...

   I really like how when you do duplex-scanning (double-sided), it will not scan a blank page if that is what is on side 2, and how you can approve the thumbnails as they scan, so you are in total control.

   Earlier we spoke about searchable scanned documents, and this is a major feature. You can export these to Excel or your Accounting software, i.e. Quickbooks. As it does this, it has learning capabilities, so I saw it begin to "know" a few logos that were repeating in the statements. This scanner is more like a well-oiled tool to help streamline your accounting process, especially for archiving and storage.

   All-in-All, a very quiet, compact, and very attractive tool, that lets you connect with computer, smart phone, or tablet. It is fast, high quality, and helps you reduce your paperwork to the point where it literally reduces clutter and makes life easier. Theoretically, isn't that what we are looking for...to make life easier?

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes - Rent to Own Homes, since 2002
"Located at the Corner of Technology and Real Estate"
Rent to Own Homes and Real Estate Blog for HomeRun Homes: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #Epson #Scanner #TWAIN #Printing #Office #Accounting #Wireless #Duplex #Document

April 15, 2018

One Tough, Speedy Scanner; Epson WorkForce DS-320 Portable Scanner

Hi Folks,
   I hope you are all doing well.

   I know most of you spend a lot of time on the road, so what I am going to discuss with you today might single-handedly impact the way you work going forward. I had the opportunity to test, evaluate, and review the Epson WorkForce DS-320 Portable Scanner...and the cats out of the bag; I love what I saw!

   From the minute I opened up the box and removed the scanner and other items from the box I realized that this thing was built for battle. What I mean by that is this thing could probably take a punch if it had to and keep on going because the structure of it is just so solid. It's really an awesome looking little device.

   Setup was a breeze and only took a few moments to get it going. I had to download the drivers for the document software that comes with the Scanner, Twain/Isis Compliant, and needless to say there was no reboot required after installing the software which is always a good thing!

   So, once I got this bad boy set up I started to give it my stress test by overloading the document feeder and by being a little rough with the machine. It didn't miss a beat in the scanning job it was working on even though I gave it a little shove while it was scanning and it did not show up in my finished product. This is great because things get moved and bumped when you are on the go with a portable device. As for Speed, I can absolutely positively say that I reached 25 pages per minute all black text full document top-to-bottom pages of writing 25 per minute plugged in on AC. I tried it also via USB power and I did get a little bit less than 25 PPM, so AC power is the way to go with this. The Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) I alluded to is quite sturdy and took the overload of pages, because I had double-overloaded it. I wanted to see if it could stand up to the test, but there's no reason to do that; that was just testing the durability of the product to see if it can stand up to that, which is did. By the way....all scanning was whisper quiet!! If you turn your back on it you won't even know that it completed. I wonder if this was intentional, to help those folks on the go since they're going to be in different offices and need a device that would have to keep quiet.

   I like the fact that you can toggle between the double-sided printing or non double-sided printing (duplex or non-duplex) by way of the computer. The software is highly intuitive, for example, you can make up parameters for a specific type of scanning profile and use it later on without having to re-create the settings. Simplicity!

  Another major benefit of the software is that it is able to save directly to the major Cloud drives, such as Dropbox. That is golden when you are on the road a lot. With that in mind, getting back to what I said earlier about this scanner is built for battle/ready for war, I think of the Road Warriors and that is often the sales staff going back and forth all week to different clients in and out of the office, and this is a sturdy device so if they need scanning, the DS-320 will certainly suit their needs. Obviously, it was built portable with movement between different locations in mind, but it really does work perfectly for folks like sales people who are always on the road.

   Further, the fact is you are not tied to just document scanning. You can scan receipts and there is a special slot to slide in your business cards so they are cloud-ready for you.  Yet another hugely helpful feature is the OCR capabilities (optical character recognition), which allows you to create searchable PDF files from things that would normally not be searchable.

   Overall, the Epson WorkForce DS-320 is a great portable scanner. If you have sales staff on the go or are an on the go salesperson, it would be ludicrous to ignore a device that could become one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes - Rent to Own Homes, since 2002
"Located at the Corner of Technology and Real Estate"
Rent to Own Homes and Real Estate Blog for HomeRun Homes: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #Epson #Scanner #TWAIN #Printing #Office #RealEstate