Epson Perfection V19 Color Scanner

Low-cost, high-res scans of photos and posting them to cloud

Epson Perfection V19 Color Scanner
Excellent photo scans on a budget. Epson
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I want to say something like, “It’s utterly amazing how clear and vibrant of scans you can get with today’s under-$100 photo scanners.” But I’ve been using desktop scanners and writing about imaging technology for nearly 30 years, and I’m here to tell you that scanning technology has been perfected for quite some time now; there would be no excuse for a company with a reputation like Epson’s to produce a scanner incapable of turning out good-looking scans, right?

That would be news!

Perhaps not as earth-shaking as a scanner by Epson that didn’t scan well would be (but interesting just the same), is Epson’s small, highly convenient, $69.99 (MSRP) Perfection V19 Color Scanner. Light and portable, inexpensive and convenient, this is not a professional photo scanner, but it should serve the average household or individual well.

Design and Features

At one-and-a-half inches high and weighing a mere 3.4 pounds, the V19 feels perhaps a bit too light, and its removable, plastic lid feels (and sounds) somewhat flimsy. Considering these specs, though, I don’t really see how it could be much sturdier. It’s a lightweight, semi-portable scanner, and it’s plenty stout enough for that, as long as you don’t man-handle it.

The flatbed, or bottom, section itself—the scanner’s footprint—measures 9.9 inches by 14.4 inches, and the platen, the glass “bed,” or actual scanning area, is 8.5x11.7 inches, or slightly larger than letter-size (8.5x11 inches).

In addition, the V19 has a kickstand on the back that holds the device semi-upright, thereby shaving a few inches off its full, flat footprint. In addition to scanning from a PC with Epson’s Epson Scan utility, the V19 has four buttons on the front edge for one-touch actions, which are: PDF, Send, Copy, and Start.

These may speak for themselves, but just in case, the PDF button sends your scans to a predefined area on your hard drive and saves it as a PDF (portable document format). Send, of course, sends the scan to a cloud site or another designation you define, and Copy sends the scan to a printer. Start merely initiates a scan, by scanning and displaying the preview on your computer.

And I shouldn’t forget to add the lid is removable, to allow you to scan book pages and other thick media.

Software

I’ve always liked the multifaceted Epson Scan utility that comes with most Epson scanners and multifunction printers. It lets you choose from three levels of difficulty— Home, Office, or Professional modes. Each mode provides a wider range of interface controls for tweaking the scan quality. In addition to Epson Scan, you get Easy Photo Fix, Epson Event Manager, and Epson Easy Photo Scan (Mac).

Unfortunately, Epson did not include an optical character recognition, or OCR, program for converting scanned text into editable text, but then this isn’t really a document scanner, either. However, if you want to convert scanned text, there are a few free OCR programs available, as well as “free” online OCR sites, but keep in mind that few things in this world are truly free.

You can also purchase good, relatively full-featured OCR software for about $100—$30 more than the cost of this scanner. Whatever you decide to do, the good news is that today’s OCR software is highly accurate and one of the best deals in computing.

The End

My first scanner was an over-$2,000 monochrome HP Scanjet. Color scanners were rare and much too costly to sit on the desk of a fledgling freelance desktop publisher. Instead, we paid service bureaus (much like today’s FedEx stores, but with much more sophisticated, high-end pre-press publishing equipment) for each scan. For those of us who have been around for a while, $70 color scanners (even though they’ve been around for a while, too) doesn’t seem quite right.

And the low cost makes we old-timers immediately distrust them, quality-wise, anyway. But if all you want to do is scan your photos, and the occasional document now and then, you should get good use from the Perfection V19 Color Scanner.