Scanner Review: Epson Perfection V500 Office Color puts the Epson Perfection V500 Office Color through its paces and shows how the stand-alone flatbed scanner bridges the gap between a document-heavy office and a photo-centric home environment.

With the rise in popularity of multi-function printer/scanner/fax devices over the last few years, the standalone desktop scanner might seem to be an endangered species, especially around the office. Don’t be fooled. The standalone scanner is still alive and well, and with good reason — MFP’s have their place, but they have their disadvantages, too.

For one, an MFP tends to be a large and bulky appliance hogging a lot of desk space. Also, if you or your staff needs to run print jobs and scan jobs at the same time, an MFP will quickly become a bottleneck since it can’t do both simultaneously. If either the printer or scanner components of an MFP need downtime for repairs, you’re out both devices. On top of all that, the scanners built-into MFP’s may not offer the same quality and feature set of a standalone scanner, such as film negative scanning.

Enter the Epson Perfection V500 ($349.99), which aims to be a facile office scanner and then some, offering a range of scanning features from an automatic document feeder to 2400-DPI color negative scans. Epson has tried to design the V500 to be comfortable in both the document-heavy office environment and the restore-and-touch-up-old-photos home environment.

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