Quick Review of the Epson WorkForce DS-790WN scanner

Epson’s PR company emailed me about their new WorkForce DS-790WN scanner and I really like Epson’s scanners, so I asked them if I could borrow one for a little while. They said yes and sent me one. Here it is alongside my other Epson scanners (DS-530 & DS-570W):

As you can see from the image, the first difference is the touch screen on the front. That’s really what separates the DS-790WN from the cheaper models. You can use this scanner without a computer attached.

All the same features and functions present in the Windows/Mac drivers are available to configure via the touch screen. You can tell the scanner the location of an FTP server, SMB share, or even a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox and it will send the data to that location via wi-fi or Ethernet. It’s pretty cool.

Image quality wise, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in the output from the cheaper scanners versus the DS-790WN. At least I couldn’t tell from any of the stuff I scanned with it.

Here’s a video of the 3 scanners in action, scanning some old magazines at 600dpi as TIFF files:

The DS-790WN is faster than the other two. It’s got a bigger onboard cache I assume, so it can keep scanning huge images without needing to stop so the computer catches up. At lower resolutions/quality (i.e: 150 dpi JPEG), it’s less of an issue.

The other main difference between the DS-790WN and the cheaper scanners is the 100 page sheet feeder and heavy duty rollers/pickups. The DS-790WN has a 7,000 page/day duty cycle versus 4,000 pages/day for the DS-530 and DS-570W.

With a street price of around $1300 compared to $450 for the DS-570W II, you’d really need to want to be able to operate the scanner without a computer to justify the extra cost. For some people that’s a deal breaker and the extra $850 is worth it. For my purposes as a digital archivist, that money is better spent on some LTO tapes, guillotine blade sharpening and boosting my internet connection’s upload speed.