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1,600 of 1,616 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Epson GT-S50 vs the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510
For the last year and a half, I've been using a Fujitsu S510 SnapScan page scanner, which is a natural competitor to the Epson GT-S50. So, when I was offered the chance to review the Epson, it seemed like a natural fit - somebody looking to purchase one is likely to also look at the other. (Go to Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Sheet-fed Scanner to read that review. It was...
Published on April 21, 2009 by W. B. Halper

versus
132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epson WorkForce vs Fujitsu Scansnap - tried both in same week
I've tried them both (Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 and Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500) and the winner is Fujitsu ScanSnap. In short, the reason is bad Epson software and horrendously, awful, incompetent support from Epson, while Fujitsu gets it right in both categories. Here are the details...

I've owned 2 ScanSnap scanners. When one of my older ones started acting up...
Published on July 7, 2012 by Someone Who Cares About Produc...


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1,600 of 1,616 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Epson GT-S50 vs the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510, April 21, 2009
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For the last year and a half, I've been using a Fujitsu S510 SnapScan page scanner, which is a natural competitor to the Epson GT-S50. So, when I was offered the chance to review the Epson, it seemed like a natural fit - somebody looking to purchase one is likely to also look at the other. (Go to Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Sheet-fed Scanner to read that review. It was fairly far down, on page 4, when I last looked.)

Let's look at the two scanners...

First of all, both scanners are top fed and scan both sides of a page in a single pass. They are infinitely faster than the scanners built into the "all-in one" printers and suitable for high volume scanning...the Epson is rated for 1200 pages per day.

The Epson GT-S50 comes with both TWAIN and ISIS drivers, giving it with a clear advantage in interfacing with software from other companies. Almost every program that can read from a scanner uses one or the other. The ScanSnap, on the other hand, uses its own proprietary driver, which only ties into their ScanSnap Organizer program...a program that displays small images of the scanned pages. Both scanners come with OCR programs, for converting scanned images to editable text, but, with the TWAIN driver, only the Epson directly interfaces with different programs - OmniPage Pro, Textbridge, or whatever else you prefer.

The Epson driver offers more choices in output resolution. Whereas the SnapScan has four levels - Normal (150dpi), Better (200dpi), Best (300dpi) and Excellent (600dpi) - the Epson has eight levels ranging from 75 dpi up through 600 dpi. For some strange reason, neither company's software allows you to name the output file before scanning. After scanning, you'll need to manually rename each file with something recognizable. (The default date/time stamp doesn't give you any useful information if you need to find a file a month later).

The Epson ships with software for both Macintosh and Windows systems. I've tested both versions in a mixed Windows/Mac network and they both work smoothly. The Fujitsu ScanSnap, on the other hand, comes in dedicated Mac (S510m)and Windows (S510) models. I've only used the Windows version.

Both scanners are similar in their physical shape, although the Epson looks quite a bit larger...it's about 1" longer, 2" taller and an inch or two deeper than the SnapScan. It holds 75 pages in the input slot, versus 50 in the SnapScan. The Epson has a two-line display on the front. The SnapScan only has "scan" and "power" buttons. Both units are solidly built and give the feeling that they'll last for a long time...I've used my SnapScan for 30K+ pages and it's still going strong. Both units have user replaceable pads and rollers to keep them running smoothly.

How do they operate in real life? To begin my testing, I fed the same 42 page document through each scanner. The document was complex as they come, with both text and color graphics on most pages. It was also laid out to be used in a vertical flip chart (letter-size, but bound on the short edge)...from the scanner's perspective, the back-side of each page was upside down. My theory was that a scanner that could make sense out of it could handle almost anything...

The Epson scanned my test document faster than the ScanSnap, but software processing of the scanned image took longer. The ScanSnap took 3min 10sec from the start of the scan to PDF file creation, without using text recognition; the Epson took 4min 6sec. The OCR software runs in the background on the SnapScan, but runs in the foreground on the Epson. Because of this, the SnapScan can be used to scan the next document while the text is being recognized, while the Epson remains busy until it's completely finished. My test document tied up the Epson for 12min 20sec from the time that I started the scan until the OCR finished and saved the file. My computer's no slouch, but a faster computer would obviously shorten that time. If you use an outside text recognition package, you can always run it at a later time and eliminate this time waster.

The ScanSnap features automatic rotation of upside down and landscape pages. (Everything is fed in vertically on both scanners.) The Epson doesn't...you get what you feed in. In my test document, the ScanSnap flipped the upside pages right-side up. The Epson left them upside down. Even with the upside down pages, the OCR worked fine.

The Epson can handle mixed page sizes in one scan. You can drop all your receipts in and have them scanned at once. The ScanSnap needs all the pages to be the same size in each scan...a longer page is assumed to be a misfeed and aborts the scan.

The Epson has a straight through paper path. It can handle credit card and ID Card scanning. The ScanSnap doesn't and can't. This makes the Epson perfect for a medical office where health insurance cards are always being copied.

The Epson can scan documents up to 36" long. The ScanSnap stops at legal size (14"). This is useful when you are scanning cash register receipts, but as a practical matter, I seldom run into anything else that's longer than 14"...at least not without also getting too wide for the scanner.

Using the default settings, the ScanSnap had a sharper output at 600dpi. Clicking the "unsharpen" box in the Epson software produced a scan that almost exactly matched the ScanSnap's output...why unsharpen actually sharpens is a mystery. In solid-color blocks, the Epson was clearly superior, producing a solid-color output. The ScanSnap had a lot of off-color noise that was clearly visible when enlarged.

The Epson also has the ability to drop out colors, which is useful when scanning something printed on colored paper. It would also be useful if you need to remove a red "confidential" or "top secret" stamp from a borrowed document. :)

Besides the drivers and other utility software, the Epson includes PaperPort 11 SE, which is a visual file organizer. It operates similarly to the ScanSnap Organizer. I didn't test it out...the last time I installed PaperPort 11 Pro (NOT the SE version), it messed up my computer so badly that I ended up reinstalling Windows to get rid of it. (If you have a minute to kill, go read the reviews on Amazon for PaperPort 11 Pro!) I assume that Epson's version is more reliable, but having been burned more than once, I'm not about to try any version of PaperPort ever again! Both scanners use the ABBYY FineReader software. It works nicely. The ScanSnap also includes a full version of Adobe Acrobat Standard...a $200 program if you were to go out and buy it separately.

So....which scanner would I buy? The short answer is that it depends on your application. If you're using both Macs and Windows machines, the choice is clear...the Epson works with both. Both scanners are built for years of use and each has unique features (e.g. card scanning) that point it in one direction or the other. The Fujitsu ScanSnap is designed to be a more "push the button and it goes" type of device. The Epson GT-S50 is more flexible. I like them both.

Update - August 3, 2009 - I've now had both machines running side-by-side for about five months. I now find myself almost always using the Epson instead of the ScanSnap. The reason is simple - the Epson NEVER double feeds. This may be a function of the newness of the Epson, but my Fujitsu isn't really that old, nor, at 19K pages has it seen much service. The double feeding has become a real problem...I have to carefully watch everything going through the SnapScan to make sure that it's not skipping a page. Not good.

Update #2 - November 14, 2009 - I upgraded one of my office computers to Windows 7 and the GT-S50 is working fine. There no drivers yet available for the ScanSnap S510...Fujitsu is estimating the end of December. Even their newer model, the S1500 won't have drivers for another couple of weeks.
I also need to add that I've have a less-than-satisfactory with Epson service. My GT-S50 keeps truckin' along, but another Epson scanner, a V500 Office started misfeeding after two weeks. Epson wouldn't ship me a replacement unit...their scanner service policy apparently requires that the scanner be delivered, at customer's expense, to a repair depot. That's not exactly the most customer-centric way of doing things...

Update #3 - January 27, 2010 - Fujitsu now has Windows 7 drivers available on their website. My s510 is now up and running.
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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epson WorkForce vs Fujitsu Scansnap - tried both in same week, July 7, 2012
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This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
I've tried them both (Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 and Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500) and the winner is Fujitsu ScanSnap. In short, the reason is bad Epson software and horrendously, awful, incompetent support from Epson, while Fujitsu gets it right in both categories. Here are the details...

I've owned 2 ScanSnap scanners. When one of my older ones started acting up (not detecting paper), and when Fujitsu wanted roughly $200 to "repair" it (which probably consisted of putting in a new $10 plastic paper feed detector that a customer can't do themselves), I thought I'd try another brand. So I started out in my quest with the goal of finding something better than ScanSnap. I WANTED to love something else. I searched, read other reviews, and tried the Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50.

The Epson is definitely more solid, although larger, than the ScanSnap. I was pleased with the large feed capacity on the Epson. It also has an LCD screen, where you can create macros (e.g. B&W scan at 300 dpi). So far so good. I was liking it on my first couple one-page tests. But here's where things went wrong...

Maybe I'm the only person in the world who wants to quickly scan, enter the folder and file name of my choice, and save to a PDF. Guess what? You can't do that with the Epson. I was shocked. It seems like that would be the most common task a user would want to perform. You have to scan to a pre-set folder (you can define it), using their default filename (something like img001.pdf or the mmddyyyy-hhmmss.pdf) and then rename it using Windows. I thought I must be missing something and I called tech support. More on that below...

With the Epson, I tried something I had done for years with the Fujitsu -- automatic color detection. With ScanSnap, including their new S1500, it CAN automatically detect any color on the page and then scan ONLY that page in color while leaving the other pages in B&W. But, with the Epson, there are 2 methods of scanning. With one method, there is NO automatic color detection. With the other method, it will scan all pages in color mode even if only 1 page has color. This causes unnecessary increase in file size.

I also noticed that the quality of scan wasn't as good with the Epson as with the ScanSnap. The Epson sometimes showed black edges around the piece of paper. If you print it out, you see the black edges, which looks dumb. And, the image appears fuzzy with the Epson, but more clear with the ScanSnap. Of course, anyone reading this will think I just didn't play with the settings, and it is possible I missed something. But, I tried all kinds of setting combinations and the Epson just didn't produce as good of a scan result as the Fujitsu, and even if you can improve it in a way I didn't try, the average user shouldn't have to do that; Scansnap was simply better.

I also had problems with the Epson pulling pages into the scanner at a slight angle. Now, I don't think either scanner is perfect at pulling in pages. I've replaced rollers and assemblies with ScanSnap to avoid the occasional double feed, and I wouldn't say they are perfect by any means. But, when I was hoping Epson would have a better feeding system, I was disappointed to see that it was pulling at an angle -- something I don't get with ScanSnap.

Then, the big problem for me was that the Epson software had a bug and would not scan >1 page into a single PDF file. Yeah, yeah, I know there is a setting about making a single PDF file with multiple pages, and I did have it set correctly. But, it didn't work when using their software utility for scanning. If I scanned 10 pages, only the first one showed in the PDF file. I already had Acrobat Professional installed, and I think that caused some driver problem, although it shouldn't have. The rest of my setup is a brand new Windows 7 clean machine. Other people don't seem to have this issue, but the scanner was worthless to me if I couldn't get Epson's help resolving the bug. So I called tech support, and that is when things went from bad to worse.

Tech support at Epson: I dealt with a level 1 tech support rep who asked me 101 unrelated questions, only to leave me on hold and never come back to the phone. I called back. The profile the first rep created was missing so they asked me 101 questions again. This person knew nothing about their product. I am not just being critical. He really didn't know how to perform a scan or anything. I had used the product for 2 hours and I knew far more about it than he did. I got bumped to level 2 support. I asked this next person if there was a way to scan, and type in the filename instead of using their default numeric names. He said no. I said "don't you do that when you scan papers at home?" He said he doesn't use a scanner at home. Hmmmm. The guys who are in charge of this product don't USE scanners so, of course, it shouldn't be a surprise to me that the software is so dumb. As for my "can't scan >1 page" issue, I had to get escalated again. My level 3 tech said I needed to hold on while he installed the softare! I said "you don't already have it installed?" He said he doesn't use this model scanner. Really? The level 3 rep hadn't used the software or hardware before? It was frustrating but comical. Level 3 didn't know how to solve the >1 page problem, so they said level 4 would have to help. How many levels were there? I was told level 4 would have to call me back within 24 hours. Well, no one called. 10 days later, I received an email (with my name typed incorrectly). It stated "Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response. If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days. Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you." What service? They never called. The rest of the email was a generalized summary about how to perform a basic scan. They could care less about my problem of not being able to scan >1 page. So level 4 apparently doesn't know anything more than the basics either, but even worse, they don't care that a customer is still stuck unable to scan multiple pages. On a side note, even the basic email confirmed my belief that you can't type in your own filename when doing a quick scan. The email stated "In the Filename field you can change the Prefix part of the filename only. For example, if you enter Test, the filename will be Test001.pdf."

I had no choice but to send back the Epson and buy the ScanSnap S1500. Remember, I was trying NOT to give ScanSnap my money after their high price for a repair. But, I'm glad I did. Their newest software is fantastic. These guys must use their product because the software is very smart. There is a great demo video on YouTube that you should see. (By the way, there is no decent video published by Epson on YouTube.) It certainly lets you name a file anything you want at the time of scanning. These guys even came up with a neat feature that if you highlight a word with a yellow highlighter, it will use OCR and add that word to the metadata saved with the PDF file.

If I didn't tell you which scanner hardware was hiding behind each scanner, and I just asked you to rate the software experience with each software package, I'm confident you'd easily say the ScanSnap had the better software. Better yet, it does what you want (naming a file!!!!, only using color for the color pages, etc.) and more. It doesn't have the LCD screen, but the purpose of that (macros) is resolved by a software popup on the Fujitsu ScanSnap anyway. The ScanSnap software asks you what you want to do with the file and even lets you create profiles via software.

Now I called Fujitsu because I was stuck with a few things using their software. To my amazement, the first person who answered the phone (without a delay) did NOT ask me 101 questions to create a profile. He just started right in with helping me. He knew the product extremely well, answered my questions immediately, and was a technical person. I was on and off the call with 100% of my questions answered. I even called back another time for a follow-up question and that person was equally good.

I should note for people new to scanners that the pages/minute option for any scanner is deceiving unless you use the worst quality settings. If you use better quality settings, or OCR, all scanners take longer per page. But, they are still pretty fast.

People, I WANTED to love the Epson but the reality is that Epson doesn't deserve a good rating for this product and they certainly don't deserve your money. Until they put new people in charge of the software development team, and new people in charge of tech support, and revamp those two departments, and actually try using their own product, I will certainly not buy another Epson scanner.
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248 of 263 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solidly built and fast though software is a weakness, March 14, 2009
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
Epson Workforce GT-S50 Review

I've been looking to move to a more paperless environment at home. It seems I get a daily deluge of mail that I have no intentions of archiving in its original form. I decided that the time is right to get a document scanner and start archiving these documents into PDF for safekeeping and retrieval.

My initial goal was to get a Fujitsu Scansnap but I was a bit put off by the fact that Fujitsu made separate scanner models for Macintosh and PC. Im on a Mac right now but I like the flexibility that PC support gives. So I decided to keep my eyes open for any other cross platform scanners and the Epson was announced shortly afterwards.

So after unpacking the Epson Workforce scanner I noticed the heft of this product. It's a sturdy peripheral and well designed in my opinion. The installation process was a bit
tedious. I had to supply my administrators password 6 times to install the various application and drivers. I do not know if Windows will have the same annoyance.

The software included for Mac is Abbyy Finereader 5 Sprint, Presto Bizcard reader, Epson Scan, Epson Event Manager. Let me be honest and frank with you. The bundled software literally looks like it comes from the 90s. Epson should have done better and partnered with better vendors. Fujitsu includes Adobe Acrobat and a superior Cardminder for business card scanning in addition to the superior scansnap manager.

The performance of this scanner is stellar. I ran a page through at 200 dpi and it felt as though it was ejected rather than fed. At higher dpi the scanner slows down a bit but its still a good performer. I've been having some issues with the deskew feature. I scanned a few small documents and they were not properly deskewed and captured slightly crooked. I looked at the driver and the deskew button was grayed out. Still haven't found out why I'll keep checking. All document scanners tend to skew the scans a bit so deskew is important if you like your documents straight.

Application support- The Epson Workforce scanner uses TWAIN (industry standard) and ISIS (higher end) drivers. I found that my Adobe Acrobat 9 easily accessed the scanner, and quickly created a searchable PDF via its OCR function. Acrobat with built in OCR and a document scanner may be all some of you need. It works very well. Other applications I tried didn't always have a TWAIN interface preferring to to use Apple's Image Capture. No worries though you can setup which folder you want to scan too and some applications will "watch" a folder for files to import. Suffice it to say you "will" get your documents into your app somehow even if you cannot scan it in natively.

Comparison. Fujitsu this year announced the new S1500/S1500m Scansnap. It is not available nor on Amazon at the time of this review but it is now on Fujitsu's website. I downloaded the data sheet and user manual for the new scanners. They are impressive. In addition to a sensor that can tell if two sheets have been fed (a feature of the Epson GT-S80 at more $$$) they also automate some of the scanning. You can toss in files of differing sizes with no problems. The biggest thing though to me is the Scanmanager software seems so much more fluid and modern to me. I also read that it may support both PC and Mac platforms in one device which was a feature I had to have. I will keep my Epson which works great yet is no frills and see if the Epson Scan software improves though I could see myself replacing this scanner with the S1500m and taking advantage of the superior Scansnap software.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic Little Powerhouse, April 20, 2009
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got the Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 scanner because of my needs in copying oversize contracts and prospectuses that I have to deal with and one of the great things about this machine is the ability to copy 8.5 X 36 inches long,YES let me repeat that... UP TO 36 INCHES LONG!!!

After dealing with several different scanners over the past 12 years and the limitations in copying the longer than 12-inch contracts & prospectuses that come up, it's a joy to copy the 14 inch long contract that was impossible till getting this machine and the picture quality is great,I did my scans at 600 dpi and it looked perfect.

Another feature that comes with the GT-S50 that is totally new to me is the ability to copy both sides of the documents at the same time and it does it so fast and perfectly.

It took about 5 minutes to download the 2 discs that came with the Scanner and it was ready to go without any problems.

In the past every scanner I've had was bigger than one would hope for and this beautiful little powerhouse folds up when not being used into an incredibly small dust resistant unit and I really am pleased with it.

This machine is a real winner.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for scanning old pictures, February 22, 2010
By 
Just Me (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
While this is a document scanner, I purely use it for photo scanning.

I went looking for a service to scan old photos into jpegs and found out that my 2k+ pictures were going to cost me an arm and a leg to scan into DVD(s), so I went out to look for an alternative. Did quite a bit of research and came across this printer. However, I did not see anybody that was using it for that purpose. I went ahead and got one just to try it out. At $400+ it was pricey, but a whole lot cheaper than sending my pictures out to a service plus I have the flexibility to scan in any order I wanted and do it batches at a time. A service would also only do 300dpi and I had to pay extra for things like chronological scanning. However, I was afraid that since this scanner is really intended for documents, it would not offer enough quality for pictures.

After scanning hundreds of pictures, I could not be happier with my purchase. This scanner is amazingly fast even at 600dpi. It can handle any size picture I have thrown at it(I have used several sizes from 2"x2" to 5"x7" with the vast majority being 4"x6"), and the quality of the pictures is amazing. Since the path the scanner takes the picture through is pretty much straight, it does not create any distortion and the wear it puts on the picture is minimal.

So a very fast scanner, with awesome picture quality, and no jams, what is there not to like? Well, on the negative side, it took me about 3 hours to tweak all the settings to where I could figure out what the right settings were for picture scanning. You have to go to the event manager to set most options, but you have a different place to setup other options. Also, I have to feed all the pictures in portrait (short side in) which is kind of weird. So figuring out the software was not trivial, but all in all after everything was setup, it has worked great. In the end, I use Photoshop elements to get the pictures through the scanner using the Epson drivers. Tag and date the pictures and get them into my catalog. That has worked pretty well for me. Glad I bought it and I will feel better when all these pictures are digitized for safe keeping! I rate the scanner 5 stars for superb performance. For ease of use I rate 3 stars because it was a bit harder to setup and use for pictures than I thought it should be.
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111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Epson GT-S50 vs the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510, June 16, 2009
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
For the last year and a half, I've been using a Fujitsu S510 SnapScan page scanner, which is a natural competitor to the Epson GT-S50. So, when I was offered the chance to review the Epson, it seemed like a natural fit - somebody looking to purchase one is likely to also look at the other. (Go to Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Sheet-fed Scanner to read that review. It was fairly far down, on page 4, when I last looked.)

Let's look at the two scanners...

First of all, both scanners are top fed and scan both sides of a page in a single pass. They are infinitely faster than the scanners built into the "all-in one" printers and suitable for high volume scanning...the Epson is rated for 1200 pages per day.

The Epson GT-S50 comes with both TWAIN and ISIS drivers, giving it with a clear advantage in interfacing with software from other companies. Almost every program that can read from a scanner uses one or the other. The ScanSnap, on the other hand, uses its own proprietary driver, which only ties into their ScanSnap Organizer program...a program that displays small images of the scanned pages. Both scanners come with OCR programs, for converting scanned images to editable text, but, with the TWAIN driver, only the Epson directly interfaces with different programs - OmniPage Pro, Textbridge, or whatever else you prefer.

The Epson driver offers more choices in output resolution. Whereas the SnapScan has four levels - Normal (150dpi), Better (200dpi), Best (300dpi) and Excellent (600dpi) - the Epson has eight levels ranging from 75 dpi up through 600 dpi. For some strange reason, neither company's software allows you to name the output file before scanning. After scanning, you'll need to manually rename each file with something recognizable. (The default date/time stamp doesn't give you any useful information if you need to find a file a month later).

The Epson ships with software for both Macintosh and Windows systems. I've tested both versions in a mixed Windows/Mac network and they both work smoothly. The Fujitsu ScanSnap, on the other hand, comes in dedicated Mac (S510m)and Windows (S510) models. I've only used the Windows version.

Both scanners are similar in their physical shape, although the Epson looks quite a bit larger...it's about 1" longer, 2" taller and an inch or two deeper than the SnapScan. It holds 75 pages in the input slot, versus 50 in the SnapScan. The Epson has a two-line display on the front. The SnapScan only has "scan" and "power" buttons. Both units are solidly built and give the feeling that they'll last for a long time...I've used my SnapScan for 30K+ pages and it's still going strong. Both units have user replaceable pads and rollers to keep them running smoothly.

How do they operate in real life? To begin my testing, I fed the same 42 page document through each scanner. The document was complex as they come, with both text and color graphics on most pages. It was also laid out to be used in a vertical flip chart (letter-size, but bound on the short edge)...from the scanner's perspective, the back-side of each page was upside down. My theory was that a scanner that could make sense out of it could handle almost anything...

The Epson scanned my test document faster than the ScanSnap, but software processing of the scanned image took longer. The ScanSnap took 3min 10sec from the start of the scan to PDF file creation, without using text recognition; the Epson took 4min 6sec. The OCR software runs in the background on the SnapScan, but runs in the foreground on the Epson. Because of this, the SnapScan can be used to scan the next document while the text is being recognized, while the Epson remains busy until it's completely finished. My test document tied up the Epson for 12min 20sec from the time that I started the scan until the OCR finished and saved the file. My computer's no slouch, but a faster computer would obviously shorten that time. If you use an outside text recognition package, you can always run it at a later time and eliminate this time waster.

The ScanSnap features automatic rotation of upside down and landscape pages. (Everything is fed in vertically on both scanners.) The Epson doesn't...you get what you feed in. In my test document, the ScanSnap flipped the upside pages right-side up. The Epson left them upside down. Even with the upside down pages, the OCR worked fine.

The Epson can handle mixed page sizes in one scan. You can drop all your receipts in and have them scanned at once. The ScanSnap needs all the pages to be the same size in each scan...a longer page is assumed to be a misfeed and aborts the scan.

The Epson has a straight through paper path. It can handle credit card and ID Card scanning. The ScanSnap doesn't and can't. This makes the Epson perfect for a medical office where health insurance cards are always being copied.

The Epson can scan documents up to 36" long. The ScanSnap stops at legal size (14"). This is useful when you are scanning cash register receipts, but as a practical matter, I seldom run into anything else that's longer than 14"...at least not without also getting too wide for the scanner.

Using the default settings, the ScanSnap had a sharper output at 600dpi. Clicking the "unsharpen" box in the Epson software produced a scan that almost exactly matched the ScanSnap's output...why unsharpen actually sharpens is a mystery. In solid-color blocks, the Epson was clearly superior, producing a solid-color output. The ScanSnap had a lot of off-color noise that was clearly visible when enlarged.

The Epson also has the ability to drop out colors, which is useful when scanning something printed on colored paper. It would also be useful if you need to remove a red "confidential" or "top secret" stamp from a borrowed document. :)

Besides the drivers and other utility software, the Epson includes PaperPort 11 SE, which is a visual file organizer. It operates similarly to the ScanSnap Organizer. I didn't test it out...the last time I installed PaperPort 11 Pro (NOT the SE version), it messed up my computer so badly that I ended up reinstalling Windows to get rid of it. (If you have a minute to kill, go read the reviews on Amazon for PaperPort 11 Pro!) I assume that Epson's version is more reliable, but having been burned more than once, I'm not about to try any version of PaperPort ever again! Both scanners use the ABBYY FineReader software. It works nicely. The ScanSnap also includes a full version of Adobe Acrobat Standard...a $200 program if you were to go out and buy it separately.

So....which scanner would I buy? The short answer is that it depends on your application. If you're using both Macs and Windows machines, the choice is clear...the Epson works with both. Both scanners are built for years of use and each has unique features (e.g. card scanning) that point it in one direction or the other. The Fujitsu ScanSnap is designed to be a more "push the button and it goes" type of device. The Epson GT-S50 is more flexible. I like them both.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - FAST...Never knew a scanner could be so clean, easy and quick!, April 30, 2009
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are like most small business owners the idea of a paper-less office has been a great concept but failed to live up to the reality for one simple reason...who has the time to sit around and scan papers all day? I know I don't...which is one reason I have years of paper work sitting in filing cabinets in several different rooms. Every few years I go through the time consuming task of sorting through old copies in a rather futile attempt to make space for incoming "must keep" items. When this item came up for review I jumped at the opportunity. I'll skip to the important part...jump on this little gem if you need a fast, easy scanner. Here's the breakdown...

Fast. Did I mention fast? It's such a tremendous improvement over others you won't even want to put it into the same category. Like others, I've owned several scanners in the past...all considered decent in their own day but always slow and unpractical. Never having been satisfied, I more or less gave up a few years ago and went with a multi-function machine that does everything...albeit not so well. However, this dedicated scanner reminds you why it's better to own one machine that gets the job done right - for those with an occassional need for scanning this might be over-kill but for small business owners, those with a home office or even a small general purpose office this is a "must have". Best of all, it's small enough to not take up space like the massive multi-purpose laser printer. Small and fast.

Easy to set up. Other reviewers have covered this in detail so I won't repeat it here but will only add that this was quick and easy to install for both XP and Vista machines. Seamless, no conflicts and was up/running in minutes.

Double-sided (fast!) scanning. Another reviewer mentioned the upside down tendency which I also encountered...it seems like there should be a work around although I've not found it yet. Not a big deal but a tad annoying just the same. Still, for my purpose it isn't a deal killer.

75 sheet feed is ample enough to handle most documents and the unit comes with "carry sheets" to use with odd sized receipts, crinkled items (a common problem when people shove the receipts into pockets) and other frequently encountered problems. Makes easy work of normal headaches.

Fits anywhere. I bring this up again because space is a premium and I was very pleasantly surprised by how compact yet well made this little machine felt. It folds up to practically nothing yet easily handles decent sized projects.

Clear results! Any scanner is only as good as the results and this was able to clearly scan everything from standard documents to grubby, wrinkled receipts with a clear output. Impressive!

Bottom line--GREAT little scanner!
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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epson WILL NOT REPLACE a defective scanner, July 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
My new Epson Workforce GT-S50 arrived last week. As soon as I set up the scanner, it had an E-1 paper jam error. I had never run paper thru the machine, but I still checked the paper path and found no evidence of any paper.

Epson support, after trying a few things, said the machine was defective. He said Epson does not replace defective scanners. The only option I had was to send the scanner to a repair place AT MY EXPENSE to have it repaired.
Very poor policy.

On the very positive side:
I purchased thru Amazon, and I am able to return the scanner for a refund (and Amazon paid the shipping). I am glad to know that Amazon will stand behind the products they sell!
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for it's intended use, July 27, 2010
By 
Harry M. Shin (Livermore, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
1. I think whether one likes this product vs not, is going to be whether one truly understands the primary purpose of this scanner--> ie as stated via epson, this is a DOCUMENT scanner. Thus, if you want to convert your file cabinet full of paper documents into PDF form--> this is a truly awesome piece of technology. Yes, any cheap flatbed scanner can create the same PDF document, but in most cases, you'll have to manually do one sheet at a time, flip the pages over etc... etc.. ie a huge waste of time and it increases the chances of making a mistake etc... With this scanner, you can put in a pile of papers (I forgot what the limit is, but I would recommend putting in a sensible amount, like 20 or so), you can designate whether the scan should be one sided or double sided--> click the button and it'll do the rest. The time savings is just staggering.

2. By the way, if you're really going to do this correctly (ie in terms of creating PDF files), do yourself a favor and purchase the full version Adobe Acrobat Pro. Why? You'll be able to modify your subsequent PDF documents, you won't have to use the epson software--> just do everything through acrobat pro (actually, you will / can still make modifications through the epson software, but it just seems more streamlined to make the PDFs through acrobat pro).

3. Note: remember the concept of using this scanner for it's true purpose. If you want to use this to scan photos etc... Obviously via the various reviews it can be done, but for various reasons (ie why risk the chance of having a valuable photo accidently caught in the roll mechanism etc...), just utilize a flatbed scanner; the higher the quality of the scan desired, purchase the appropriate scanner. If you have the negative of a photo--> please use a dedicated film scanner. I'm getting off topic, but the bottomline is that no one single scanner will do everything. For document scanning, this is the best. Highly recommended.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't do it..., December 2, 2010
By 
ben l (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner (Office Product)
This scanner has a known defect and Epson is acting in bad faith in continuing to sell them. The power supply connection inside many of the units (not the cord section) is defective and at some point, will fail and the unit will be unable to power up at all. That is what happened to my unit, which before it died was actually a VERY good scanner (and I've had a few, including the Fujitsu Scansnap). But why spend your money on a unit you know will fail? It's a big gamble. Do not buy this bad boy.

I spoke with Epson's Corporate headquarters and Epson is aware of this defect, but, according to their headquarters in the U.S., the Japanese division of the company isn't currently shipping any replacement parts (I don't know why that is, but my guess would be that Epson Japan is not merely being capricious, but are simply out of stock because they've had to fix so many of these defective machines). Do you want this scanner? Why not take on the challenge? It's fun to solve problems. It's like reading a Sherlock Holmes story, except in this one Moriarty wins.

And of course, I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention the Epson personal touch. The Epson customer service is like a sitcom about mean stupid people. The first person at Corporate HQ hung up on me (I wasn't being a jerk or anything, either). The second person at least had the courtesy to tell me they were hanging up on me first, which was so nice, I almost forgot that my scanner hasn't worked for weeks and Epson says they won't take it back and they have no idea when the Japanese arm of the company (I guess it's technically the head), will ship any replacement parts. Good times.

If you buy this scanner, You better be smarter than Kenny Rogers, because you're a gambling man!
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Epson WorkForce B11B194011 Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner
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