Is a reliance on brand names a bad thing? It’s an open discussion, but a case for the defence would surely be Epson scanners. Here’s a product area where the firm has barely put a foot wrong for years, and the Perfection 2480 Photo certainly isn’t going to put paid to that record.
Selling for just shy of £70, this is an effective piece of hardware at what’s really an entry level price. Yet just because it lacks that extra one at the start of the price tag doesn’t mean it skimps on features. The box proudly claims that it can quickly and easily restore photographs, and it’s a claim that the contents of the box live up to.
Still, we’re jumping slightly ahead. The unit itself is a stylish looking flatbed scanner that’s quite lightweight and relatively slim. It’s a breeze to set up, hooking up to a USB port on your PC (and it will make use of the added speed of USB 2.0 if your computer supports it).
It insists that you install the software first, and everything you need to do is clearly outlined in the well thought-through printed instruction sheet. It’s a healthy software package that comes with the scanner, and getting that lot loaded up accounts for a good chunk of the protracted set up time. But once done, you’re quickly into the action.
Several choices face you. If you want to keep things straightforward and uncomplicated, then three buttons on the front of the scanner itself take care of the core functions – scan and save, scan and e-mail, and copy. Or you can use one of the included software applications and get to work from there. You also have the choice of fitting the film holder (for 35mm slides you need the next model up – the 2580) and scanning film directly.
Whichever you opt for, the results are uniformly good. We used a variety of source materials, covering fresh 35mm prints and dated monochrome images, and were pleased with the results. Scanning time, if using USB 2.0, wasn’t excessive, falling seconds either side of half a minute at 600dpi (and producing sharp results), although clearly it took a lot longer when we increased that resolution. The scanner’s maximum stated resolution is 2,400dpi, incidentally.
Extra marks, too, for the Auto Mode, which for the less experienced user will be a real help. The scanner basically detects the type of image you’re scanning and will adjust its settings accordingly. If you’ve a bit more time, and you’re more comfortable with scanning in general, then the professional mode gives you absolute control. Either way, the image quality you get at the end is very good, and suitable for the needs of the majority.
Ultimately though, what Epson has delivered here is a rounded package, not just a piece of hardware in a box. From the inclusion of the oft-omitted USB cable, to the getting started sheet and software collection, this is a quality, value for money scanning solution. The software covers many bases, with versions of ArcSoft’s PhotoImpression, Presto BizCard and OCR package FineReader 5 Sprint. And these are in addition to Epson’s already impressive set of software tools.
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