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Reviews

Epson WorkForce DS-80W review: The little scanner that could

A featherweight portable scanner that’s great value and supports USB and wireless connections

Price
£139
  • No external PSU needed; Good wireless connectivity; Extremely portable; Great output quality
  • No ADF or duplex; Rollers struggle with thin documents

Mobile workers that want a lightweight portable scanner will approve of Epson's WorkForce DS-80W as this slim plastic baton weighs a mere 300g. There's no extra baggage as it doesn't need an external power supply and uses its micro-USB port to charge its integral Li-Ion battery.

Along with local USB connections, it can link up with wireless APs using WPS or use WiFi Direct when wireless services aren't available. The lack of ADF means you'll need to feed each sheet in separately but Epson claims a good scan speed of 4 seconds per page.

The DS-80W handles a wide range of media and paper thicknesses up to 270gsm so it'll easily cope with laminated and embossed plastic cards. The only downside is this is a simplex scanner so to scan both sides of a page, you'll have run one side through and then turn it over for a second run.

The scanner has a small LED display panel on top which shows battery charge level along with the status of the automatic feed mode and the wireless connection. Down below are buttons for power, activating wireless and connecting to an AP using WPS.

The DS-80W is easy to install. We connected its USB port to a Windows 10 desktop and waited for 30 minutes while the utility downloaded the latest versions of Epson's Scan 2 and Document Capture Pro apps. It also installs a firmware update tool which checked the scanner and upgraded it to the latest version.

Epson's Scan 2 utility is easy to use, allowing us to quickly select colour, mono or grayscale scans, a resolution, document skew correction and blank page skipping. To scan both sides of a page, the automatic feeding mode waits for you to flip the page over after the first side has been scanned and insert it again.

Advanced controls include hole punch removal, text enhancement plus brightness and contrast controls. The app can scan to local or network folders, supports BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PDF plus searchable PDF (sPDF) output formats and lets you save scan profiles for quick access.

Epson's Document Capture Pro takes scan automation to the next level as you can create a range of jobs and save them for one-click access. Supported scan destinations are extensive; you can send documents directly to email, a printer, SharePoint, FTP and web servers plus Google Drive, Evernote and SugarSync cloud storage accounts.

We speed-tested over a USB connection and found that when starting scans with the scanner's button or direct from the host PC, there is a 3-4 second pause before the paper is drawn through. The actual page scan process is 4 seconds for greyscale and colour scans at 300dpi which drops to 9 seconds at 600pdi.

A minor issue is the paper must be pushed all the way into the scanner's feed slot until you can feel the rollers picking it up. Occasionally, it wouldn't sense lightweight 75gsm paper and courier waybill flimsies being inserted, which needed a helping hand when the scan was started.

Scan quality at 200dpi and 300dpi is easily good enough for a wide range of document types and for archival purposes. The OCR capabilities of both utilities are also impeccable and produced accurate searchable PDFs down to 6pt font sizes.

Swapping to a wireless connection is simple, and we quickly connected the DS-80W to our Netgear wireless AP using WPS. We installed Epson's utilities on a networked Windows 10 desktop where the scanner was discovered and set up ready for use. Epson's free DocumentScan iOS app also spotted the DS-80W and provided options to directly scan and store documents on our iPad as PDFs or JPEGs.

Mobile workers that need a lightweight portable scanner will find Epson's WorkForce DS-80W fits the bill nicely. It's great value, comes with a fine software bundle, supports USB plus wireless connections and is slim enough to slip comfortably into your briefcase.

Verdict

Mobile workers that need a lightweight portable scanner will find Epson’s WorkForce DS-80W fits the bill nicely. It’s great value, comes with a fine software bundle, supports USB plus wireless connections and is slim enough to slip comfortably into your briefcase.

600dpi A4 colour scanner
4s per page @ 200/300dpi colour/mono
Simplex
Single-sheet feeder
300 pages per day duty cycle
11a/b/g/n wireless
Micro USB 2
Li-Ion battery
Epson Document Capture Pro and Scan 2 software
TWAIN and WIA drivers
272 x 47 x 33mm (WDH)
0.3kg
2yr RTB warranty

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