Epson’s Perfection V39 Color Scanner

Good scans, excellent OCR, and other strong programs

Epson Perfection V39 Color Scanner
A lot of scanner and great software for under $100. Epson

Of all the things you can attach to your computer, like printers, scanners have been around a long time. Like the first laser printers, the first scanners were woefully slow and expensive. In fact, high-end desktop publishing gear, such as laser printers and scanners, was prohibitively expensive, causing many document design and layout professional to rent time on these costly machines.

Nowadays, the tables have turned to the point that the issue is finding a good scanner, or the best scanner, for your application (i.e. photos, documents, both). Few (if any) scanner makers make more “step-up” scanner models than Epson, thereby most likely providing a set of features ideally suited (or close, anyway) to your needs.

This brings us to the latest personal scanner from Epson, the $100 MSRP Perfection V39 Color Scanner, the next step up from the Perfection V19 we reviewed a while back.

Design & Features

The V39’s approach is providing top-quality scans easily and inexpensively, without a high learning curve and a lot of fuss. Wherever possible, much of the scanning, saving, and cataloging process is automated, thereby often reducing your need to make quality-affecting decisions. The scanner itself contains four action buttons: PDF, Send, Copy, and Start, that allow you to perform a few standard tasks.

Mostly, these speak for themselves, but just in case: Copy actually sends the scan to your printer, Send lets you send to one or multiple email addresses, and Start begins a new scanning session. At 9.9 inches wide, 14.4 inches long, about 1.5 inches thick, and weighing in at a mere 3.4 pounds, the V39 is light, petite, and streamlined.

In addition, a small kickstand on the back holds the machine semi-upright, decreasing its desktop footprint and making it little easier use. The V39’sonly power/data source is USB, which means you can use it anywhere, as long as you have computing device with a hot USB 2.0 port available.


While the V39 scans plenty well enough for a $100 scanner, the real value here is in the bundled software, which includes the following titles (Mostly the names speak for themselves. I’ll elaborate where they do not):

  • Epson Scan with Easy Photo Fix technology
  • Epson Event Manager allows you to change behavior by redefining buttons to perform different tasks.
  • Epson Copy Utility used in conjunction with the Copy button and your printer, Epson Copy Utility enables you to use scanner to make hard copies.
  • Epson Easy Photo Scan
  • Epson Document Capture Pro can, according Epson, manipulate and send with ease, and automate scan jobs for convenience. But this is a simplistic description. This is powerful document manipulation utility.
  • ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe (Windows only): According to Epson’s Web site, this product has been replaced Arcsoft Print Creations Pages & Scrapbooks.


You wouldn’t expect a $100-scanner, or any scanner without an automatic document feeder, to be fast. No matter how fast the machine itself works, you still have to load each document or image separately. Besides, where most scanners measure speed in pages per minute (ppm) for single-sided scans and images per minute (ipm) for double-sided scans, Epson’s spec sheet claims that color images of 300 dots per inch (dpi) take about 10 seconds, and 600dpi images take 30 seconds.

When scanning images, though, you can step the resolution up to 4,800dpi, which allows you to resize and otherwise manipulate the image without degrading quality.

The End

With so many scanners available today, choosing one isn’t easy. Keep in mind too that higher-end scanners typically specialize in either document or photo scanning. But then those are heavy-duty machines designed primarily for business. If you’re looking for a scanner that performs both types of scanning at a reasonable price, this one is surely worth your consideration.