Epson WorkForce DS-510 Color Document Scanner Review

Precise scanning and text recognition for under $300

Epson WorkForce DS-510 Color Document Scanner

 Epson 

Pros

  • Reasonably fast automatic two-sided (duplex) scanning
  • Highly accurate text scanning and recognition
  • Competitive price
  • High-capacity automatic document feeder, or ADF
  • Strong software bundle

Cons

  • Bundled business card reader inaccurate
  • No Wi-Fi or other network feature
  • Ethernet optional

 Bottom Line: Reasonably fast, highly accurate, and fairly priced—what more could you ask from an entry-level to midrange document scanner?

Introduction

Lifewire has looked at a lot of scanners over the years, and one name that continues to deliver quality and value is Epson. One in particular that stood out was the WorkForce DS-6500 Color Document Scanner, but with a list price of $899.99 it might be too costly for a lot of folks. You get plenty of volume, speed, and features, but then not everybody needs all that power.

Enter Epson’s $349.99 ($279.99-street) WorkForce DS-510 Color Document Scanner, a smaller, less-costly, and slower—but capable just the same—scanner. (At the time of this writing, it was listed on Epson’s Web site for $70 off, or $279.99. As you read on, you’ll see that it’s well worth it for what you get.

The primary benefit of document scanners like today’s review unit, Epson’s $349.99 ($279.99-street) WorkForce DS-510 Document Scanner, is that for the most part the components involved—the scanner hardware itself, the on-board software, and the bundled optical character recognition, or OCR, and other software utilities—is that it can all-but eliminate typing.

Few of us enjoy typing. Especially when we have machines like this one to do it for us.

Design, Features and Software

Epson calls this a “workgroup” scanner, but the low price could also qualify it as a personal scanner. As document scanners go, this one is small: 11.7 inches wide, by 6 inches deep, by 6.1 inches high, and it weighs a slight 5.5 pounds. A 50-sheet (single-pass) auto-duplexing automatic duplexer, or ADF, feeds the scanner at the rate of about 25 pages per minute, or ppm (in our tests).

In fact, Epson rates the DS-510 at (when scanning at 300 dots per inch) 26 pages per minute, or ppm, simplex (single-sided) or 52 images per minute, or ipm, duplex, or double-sided. As you’ll see in a moment, in addition to being reasonably fast, this scanner and the bundled software is highly accurate.

The scanner’s default resolution is 600 dots per inch (dpi); when I set the dpi to 300, which is plenty for most document scanning, it scanned a little faster. The ADF is “single-pass,” which means that it has two scanning mechanisms, one for each side of the paper—a much faster method, and it scans sheets up to 36 inches long. The ADF can hold and process all sizes of paper up to 8.5 inches wide simultaneously (although like some other reviewers, the included Presto! BizCard didn’t do the best job of reading business cards).

Epson’s Document Capture Pro, on the other hand, did an excellent job of scanning all other documents. For optical character recognition, or OCR, Epson has thrown in ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Sprint, which has always been an easy-to-use and accurate text recognition program.

Altogether, the bundled software is:

  • ABBYY FineReader OCR
  • EMC Captiva ISIS (Windows only, via web download)
  • Epson Scan
  • Document Capture Pro
  • NewSoft Presto! BizCard

Speed and Accuracy

As mentioned earlier, the DS-510 is rated at 26 pages single-sided (simplex) and 52 pages double-sided (duplex), also displayed as 26 pages per minute, or 26ppm, and 52 images per minute, or 52ipm, which, is fast for a $300 scanner. For the most part, it kept up with these speeds, and not once during any of my tests did it jam, nor did I experience any other performance related issues. The mechanism itself was very reliable.

Aside from the problem with business cards mentioned earlier, accuracy was very close to 100 percent. Conversion to text-based PDFs, or sPDFs, was quick and painless. The DS-510 is rated for 26 letter-size scans per minute, or 3,000 scans a day. The minimum paper size is 2.9” by 2.1”.

Other Features

In addition, for another $349.99 (the list price of the scanner) you can add Epson’s Network Interface Unit to the Epson WorkForce DS-510 Color Document Scanner. You can then send scans directly to several cloud-based services, such as Evernote, Google Cloud Print, and Sharepoint. Out-of-the-box, the scanner also has no Ethernet port or any other networking capabilities, so that $350 module is certainly worth considering—but (come on Epson!) it costs as much as the host unit it goes into...

In the box you’ll find the scanner, a 6’ USB cable for connecting directly to your computer, a CD with software, and an AC adaptor and power cable.

The End

Unless you plan on scanning a lot of business cards, we can’t think of a reason not to buy this scanner. It was a breeze to setup and use, and, when not scanning business cards (again, a software issue), 100% accurate.