When my Dad bought my Epson printer about nine months ago, he was very impressed. He decided that we, or I, needed a scanner. We have bought all of our printers from Epson so we respect them as a very good computer products manufacturer. I don't really use my scanner, in fact I have never used this scanner. I can't think of a reason for using one either so it will just sit next to the printer un-used. I thought I would give it a spin this evening so I could give it a fair and unbiased review. I decided to scan an image from todays Daily Telegraph newspaper. Before I start the review, I would like to point out that this isn't the one of the best quality scanners on the market today. I will set out below, how good I think this scanner is under a number of headings *************** Speed Compared with the scanner that was included in the package I got when the PC was bought, this is fairly quick. It can copy 7.68 ms/line when operated at 1600 dpi but can only manage around 5.12 ms/line when set to 600 dpi. This isn't too bad, if you don't have lots of sheets to scan. If you want to send somebody a 30-page report via e-mail, I can imagine the scanning process being very slow and annoying. If there was an auto feed mechanism then this would be a problem, but you have to insert each sheet you want copied, individually. ********************** Resolution The resolution on this machine isn't that good compared with most other scanners, but it is still good enough to produce good quality scans. The Optical Resolution is 1600 dpi x 3200 dpi, which isn't too bad for a scanner at this price. The Interpolated Resolution comes in at 12800 dpi x 12800 dpi. You don't really need much better than this if you are just using it for home use. You will have to fork out an awful lot more money if you want an improved resolution. ************************ Ease of Use
There aren't any real difficulties in using this scanner. Most people will be able to interpret the various settings and formats, with relative ease. Everything is kept fairly simple and the software that comes included has been very well designed. Most of the presets are what most people would use when scanning pictures, so if the user is uncertain of what various settings mean, they can just simply scan their item on the current settings. For those who are good with computers and want to enhance and play around with images, should find it very simple. ************************** Ease of Installation Whenever you are using a new piece of equipment on a computer, you should always plug it in when the power is off. Simply attach the USB cable into the back of your PC and then put the plug in a power socket. When you turn the computer on, it will say that a new device has been detected. SImply insert the CD-ROM, that comes included, and follow the step-by-step installation. This should take no longer than five minutes and once it is complete the scanner will be ready for use. ********************* Design This scanner does look quite cool, as do most of the prodcuts that Epson manufacture. It is looks nice, mainly due to the fact that the edges are rounded. The concept isn't too over the top so it does look good on your desk. My old Tiny scanner is all straight lines and it looks ghastly. It comes in an off white colour, which will suit most computers. The buttons along the front fit in well with design and they don't look really large and ugly. The size of the scanner, as follows: Width - 27.5 cm, Depth - 41.9 cm and Height - 6.2 cm. The scanner comes in at a total weight of 2.5kg, which is about standard for this type of scanner. ************************* Instruction Manual These are very clear and precise. They run through all of the various settings and functions available on th
e machine. Most users will be able to fulfill their 'scanning' needs if they can follow the simple instructions. The diagrams are clearly printed and the annotations are clear. The font is easy to read and the wording of the technical terms is very easy for most to understand. There are no large blocks of text, all information is presented in short points so you can find what you are looking for with relative ease. **************************** Manufacturer Support Epson seem to have a good setup in place for dealing with their customers. Many of the products from Epson, give you the chance to register the item online. This means that they can help you much more efficiently and much faster. They have a UK telephone contact number, along with a postal address. I feel confident that I will get all of the help I need. should I encounter any problems with using the scanner. *************************** System Requirements This scanner will be compatible with almost any computer that is less than five or six years old. It will work on the following operating systems: Apple MacOS 8.6 or later, Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Apple MacOS 9.2.2, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP, Apple MacOS X 10.2 or later. It looks as if Windows 95 won't be good enough, but most people have at least Windows 98 installed on their machines. ******************** Value for Money We bought this scanner for £60 and this is fairly cheap as scanners go. You get a well designed product from a well respected company. You get good enough quality images and the settings are very easy to understand and change. It is also ideal to buy as a present for somebody as it isn't hugely expensive. I would give this the thumbs up if you are using this for home usage, but if you need really high quality images then you will have to look at a better model. Thanks for reading.
I first stumbled upon this site when I was looking to buy a new scanner. I had been around all the shops in my local town and read reviews in one or two PC magazines, but I was still pretty confused as to which scanner to buy. Mainly because I had heard many conflicting reviews and to be honest, the scanners available locally, were all pretty standard models that didn?t vary much, from shop to shop. So after examining all the reviews of scanners on this site, it was a toss-up between an HP Scanjet and the Epson Perfection 1650. Now could I find what I was looking for in the shops? I did the same search again for the specific models and I only found one computer shop (not chainstore) in my local town that stocked the 1650. Decisions, decisions......hmmm? Ok, so I bought the 1650. It was the last one in the shop and it had been reduced, apparently because the expensive ones don`t sell as well as the usual bog standard ones that are awash in places like Curries and Dixon?s. A bloody good buy as it turned out and I needn`t have worried! Everything about this scanner suggests quality. It comes in two shades of grey and it looks and feels robust. There are four buttons on the front that when pressed, depress smoothly and are made of a soft rubbery kind of plastic and not the cheap, hard brittle buttons that I had seen on so many other models. Installation was an absolute breeze. You simply install the software first before setting up the scanner and plugging it into one of your USB ports. From then on, your PC recognizes the new hardware and goes to work with the `found new hardware wizard`. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! There are many functions that this scanner will perform. Scan to file, enables you to scan an image or document to a file or folder on your PC, such as my documents. Copy, enables you to copy a document and print it straight off. Scan to Application, enables you to scan an image or document to an application such as Word or
Excel. Scan to OCR, enables you to perform document recognition and send the resulting text to your word processing program for further editing. Scan to Email allows you to scan an image or document straight to your email program as an attachment and Scan to Web allows you to scan an image and upload it to an image sharing website. Photo Print, allows you to print a scanned photo straight off and last but not least, this application allows you to scan colour negatives and get the image on your PC for editing and/or printing. The scanner has four buttons on the front panel, the main button and three smaller ones. The three smaller ones are; Photo Print, Scan to Email and Scan to Web. On your desktop are two icons, Epson Smart panel and Photo Print. By double clicking the Smart Panel icon on your desktop, a panel comes up with all the above options mentioned in the previous paragraph. Alternately, the smart panel can be configured to start with the option that you use the most, which is started by pressing the main button on the front of the scanner. The great thing about this scanner is that it has built in document recognition. This means you simply place your document in the scanner and it does a quick scan to recognise what sort of document it is, i.e. colour photo, text document, illustration, etc and deals with it accordingly. It?s fast, easy to use and produces great quality scans. It also comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I have just realised I have forgot to reinstall since reformatting my HD. Dooh! But what did surprise me about this scanner, though, is that it produced great quality pictures from some old colour negatives that I had lying around. You simply remove a panel in the lid and place your negatives in a plastic holder, which then sits in the scanner before closing the lid, pressing the button and waiting for it to do its magic. It scans each picture on the negative separately and although this takes a l
ittle longer, it?s still fast and produced superb quality images on my HD that are as good as the original photo. Although this is my first scanner and have not used many of its functions, such as Scan to Email, Scan to Web and Scan to OCR, I do recognise quality scans when I see them. In addition, friends, who do have other scanners, have told me that the quality is excellent and that I really did make a good purchase. The only quibble I have and I know I?m being pedantic, is that it does not have a separate power off switch on the front of the scanner. When not in use, you simply pull out the plug from the wall. But that?s it! I would thoroughly recommend it without a second thought. It really is a great piece of kit!
Having just gone to the expense of upgrading to Windows XP, buying an extra 40gb drive for back-up purposes and four drive caddies to allow safe drive-swapping, I could well have done without having to buy yet another piece of replacement hardware for my PC, but my scanner's just gone west, so please read generously - wife and PC upgrade habit to support! The old scanner WAS a Hewlett Packard 4100c, but now it's just a cream plastic ornament. OK, so I've had it 2 years or so, but how much use does a scanner get in the domestic environment? To be frank, I'm a bit p***** at HP, since the thing's had the equivalent of a month's office use, so I'm b******d if I'll consider another scanner from them - vote with your feet, that's what I say!! I suppose the moral of the story is "Don't buy electronic stuff you'll not be using much, as it's almost a guarantee that it'll go wrong OUTSIDE the warranty period" Anyway, my next venture into the wonderful world of multi-media was to have been a project to put all of my colour slides and negatives onto CD-Rs. The 4100c had no facility for this, so it's untimely demise just brings forward the inevitable upgrade to something that does. Hey ho, dust off the flexible friend (again!). BASIC DETAILS So what did I buy? : The Epson 1650 Photo scanner, costing around £157 at www.dabs.com. I also paid the extra £3 to have it delivered after 5pm. It just goes to show how much cheaper this kit is getting. I'm sure I paid way more than that for the 4100c, and it doesn't (or rather didn't) do as much! The 1650 Photo comes firmly in the middle of Epson's quality and price range, being neither a "pro" model nor entry level. a) Appearance Well, it's a flatbed A4 scanner, so no surprises there, as it sits on your desktop in a "portrait" kind of direction. The colour? Two-tone grey, wow! Th
e major difference with the photo model, as opposed to other scanners, is that the lid looks rather thickly domed. This allows for the lighting needed for the back-illumination of your transparent media, e.g. slides or negatives. The power for the lighting comes from a jumper lead, which plugs into the "Option" socket on the rear of the main body of the scanner. Presumably, anyone with the non-Photo version of the 1650, could buy this and add it on, but no doubt, this would be a dearer way to get a Photo version than simply buying one in the first place! The front panel has "Quickstart" buttons, which, once the software is installed, allow for "Straight to Printer, FAX, e-mail" facilities. It neither the dinkiest, (like a Canoscan model), nor the bulkiest A4 scanner I ever saw, with a footprint of 17" by 10", although it does stand 4.5" high. The lid has opening hinges, to allow for thicker items to be put onto the glass. b) Specification Genuine 1600 dot per inch (dpi) scanning; none of those phoney "interpolated" figures giving the impression that it's something it's not! This is important especially if you are scanning colour slides, since they aren't much more than 1" wide themselves, so even at the Epson's top quality scan rate, you've still got a picture divided widthways into only 2000-odd dots. In truth this is nowhere near the quality of the original, since the chemical grains on the celluloid that make up the slide are much finer than that. It is however easily good enough for what I want since I'm not intending to throw them onto the silver screen any more. Besides, I gave my projector to a jumble sale. This definition is also slightly better than the 1440 dpi of my colour printer, also an Epson, so the scanner is no longer the "weakest link" in my chain of reproduction, especially when making full size 1:1 prints from scans.
The largest re-incarnation of any of my slides will now been an A4 print. Unlike some Canon and other models, this still uses a mains adapter to provide its power. Some of the former now take their power from the USB connection, but with all that extra lighting, perhaps that wouldn't be such a good idea, despite the neatness this brings. Colour is scanned by a maximum of 48-bit processing, which means that in theory at least, it scan differentiate 281 TRILLION colours, which might actually be a bit of over-kill, especially since many picture files like JPEGS from the web, may only have 256, and even THEY look OK! Why, it even boasts 16,384 shades of grey - John Major, eat your heart out. c) Software Supplied As well as drivers for all strains of Windows and the Mac OS, the CD-ROM bundled software contains: Arcsoft Photimpression - imaging software that allows you to adjust all kinds of elements of the picture. Optical Character recognition software for scanning the printed word direct into text files. Adobe Photoshop Elements. Personally, I'm never that impressed at the prospect of "YATUBGP" - Yet Another Totally Unneccesary Bloody Graphics package. I'm awash with them, thanks to magazine disks etc. I'll just stick to Paint Shop Pro 7, thanks very much! It has the ability to kick-start the scanner from its list of TWAIN devices and haul the result onto screen, from whence I can twiddle and eventually file it. I'm not sure if it's true, but I was once told that TWAIN stands for "Thing Without An Interesting Name" - sounds about right! INSTALLATION Two CD-ROMS are supplied, one with drivers and all the Epson-supplied software for OCR, scanning to file, scanning to FAX, scanning to printer etc. These all come under the collective umbrella of the Epson "Smart Panel" once installed and all your scanning needs c
an be initiated from here. The second CD installs Adobe Photoshop Elements - OK so I gave in and installed it. It was either that or look at one "greyed-out" option in the Smart Panel! Windows XP users note: you have to uninstall the TWAIN driver supplied with this disk and let Windows put its own in. Other than that, the install went like clockwork. IN USE 1. BASIC SCANNING - One thing that is immediately noticeable, is that despite the higher definition, it is markedly faster than my old HP 4100c. The initial pre-scan is only delayed by "lamp warm-up", before whizzing through the initial scan and dumping it to a thumbnail sketch. You do have to bear in mind that A4 sized scans at top definition do make extremely large files; even 1600 dpi scans of a colour slide can result in a 26mb JPEG file - now THAT's some JPEG file for such a little picture! When launching Smart Panel, your options are: COPY - straight to printer, a kind of poor man's photocopier. SCAN TO E-MAIL - a utility that put the scan direct into e-mail as an attachment, just add the recipient's details. Be careful how big a file you create. Even if you're on broadband, the recipient might not be, and they won't be leaving you on the Christmas card list if you keep sending them 3mb file attachments. SCAN TO OCR - this allows for printed matter to be sent straight to a text file, for editing and knocking back into shape. In my experience, the latter process can take longer than copy-typing! PHOTO PRINT - Like Copy, but with more options for selecting higher definitions. SCAN TO APPLICATION - This allows you to opt for a different graphics package after the initial scanning has taken place. PHOTOSHOP - does what it says on the can, i.e. launches Photoshop! SCAN TO WEB - Like scan to e-mail, except that it prepares the photo for upload to a phot
o-sharing web-site. You must register before doing this. SCAN TO FILE - again, this just launches the scanning facility, with the end option of choosing where to dump the files created, and a chance to change the format, BMP, JPEG etc. 2. SCANNING SLIDES AND NEGATIVES - Proficient though the 1650 is at all these, I really bought it for its ability to digitise my old photo negatives and slides. The domed lid I spoke of earlier has the usual brilliant white soft plastic layer to press conventional work down against the glass. Removal of this by sliding it out long ways reveals a central strip light for the back-illumination of your transparent media. To position either slides (4 at a time) or 35mm negatives (six at a time), you get a universal template, which puts the said work exactly under the strip light. Then by selecting the nature of the medium to be scanned, the scanner sets off as per normal, doing its first test scan. Rather cleverly, it then puts the thumbnail sketches for these into separate boxes on screen. Therefore, four slides really do come out as four pictures, each with a default file name e.g. file0001.jpg. (Now there's original....not!). Whilst the thumbnails are displayed, you can un-check any that you don't want a full scan from, and also rotate through 90 degrees any, which are "portrait format". Also, now is a good time to reverse any that you have the wrong way round. Full definition scans (1600 dpi) take a long time to complete, and can even SEEM to lock your machine up, so it's best to experiment little by little to see how many you can do at once, without either yourself or your PC giving up the will to live! The few trial slides and negatives that I have tried so far are really good, although I've yet to print any at their largest (for me anyway) size of A4. The postcards I have done are as good as photos to the naked eye. Of course, if you insist on using a magnifying glass,
you'll see the differences. My advice, if archiving slides or negatives, would be to use the highest definition possible, but save to a CD-R if you have a CD-RW machine. At these file sizes, even the biggest of today's hard drives will start to get a bit crowded if each slide needs 26mb! CONCLUSION The 1650 Photo is doubly useful IF you want the photographic features. Its basic abilities with paper media are as good as most other scanners with a similar specification, and the price doesn't take too big a hit because of its extra features. I'm really pleased with it!