Epson WorkForce DS-1660W Review: A budget-friendly combined scanner

Despite its price and portability, Epson's latest scanner is a poor choice for duplex scanning duties

Epson Workforce DS-1660w
Price
£192
  • Value for money; Scan quality; Easy installation;
  • Limited single pass scanning; Slow;

For small businesses on a tight scanning budget, but with a desire for versatility, Epson's WorkForce DS-1660W is a worthy contender. It teams up a 25ppm ADF and A4 colour flatbed scanner supports USB 3 or wireless connections and comes in at a very low price.

The DS-1660W has a small footprint so it won't take up much desk space and the flatbed lid can be raised up to scan books and magazines. It also has an integral NFC sensor so users with Android mobiles can engage in quick tap-to-scan operations.

There are compromises though, as the ADF is a simplex model; so to scan in duplex mode, it has to pull each page back and reverse it resulting in very slow speeds. Epson's software bundle is also slim because the DS-1660W only comes with the basic Scan 2 utility and Document Capture Pro app.

The DS-1600W is easy to install; we connected its USB 3 port to a Windows 10 desktop and had the software loaded in 10 minutes with the utility also updating the scanner's firmware. You can use the scanner's control buttons to set up a WPS wireless connection or run the install utility again and select the wireless option.

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We used the latter which connected to the scanner over USB and reset it to link up with our chosen wireless SSID. It reconfigured the software for a network connection and activated the scanner's web management console. Which, allowed us to install the apps on other networked desktops and run Epson's DocumentScan iOS app to wirelessly pull in scans to our iPad.

The Scan 2 utility presents a tidy interface where we could select the ADF or flatbed, a resolution, colour, greyscale or mono scans, simplex or duplex, de-skew and blank page skipping. It can scan to local or network folders and supports a wide range of output formats including BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PDF and searchable PDF (sPDF).

Advanced options include hole punch removal, text enhancement and brightness and contrast controls. The utility is easy to use and we saved a range of scan profiles with different settings for quick access.

The Document Capture Pro provides more scan automation features where we could create multiple jobs for different types of scans and save them for quick one-touch access from its main interface. It also offers many more destinations with support for email, direct printing, FTP servers, SharePoint, web servers over WebDAV and SugerSync, Evernote and Google Drive cloud accounts.

We had no problems creating a job to scan documents to our Google Drive account. We selected this from the destination menu, logged in to our account, pasted the authorisation code into the dialogue box and then selected a cloud folder.

Epson delivers the quoted simplex speeds over both USB 3 and wireless connections with single-sided scans of 50 bank statements returning 26ppm for 300dpi greyscale and colour settings. For duplex operations, this is not the scanner you're looking for; colour double-sided statement scans at 300dpi. This resulted in speed tumbling to 6ppm and fall further to only 3.6ppm at 600dpi.

The flatbed fared better with an A4 colour photograph scanned in 36 seconds at 600dpi and only 7 seconds at 300dpi. We were also impressed with scan quality as our photos revealed a sharp focus and excellent colour balance while statements scanned at 200dpi will keep your inner archivist happy.

The lack of single-pass scanning limits its appeal but Epson's WorkForce DS-1660W will suit small businesses seeking a low-budget flatbed/ADF combo scanner. Output quality is good, the software provides useful scan management features and wireless support makes it even more versatile.

Verdict

A budget-friendly combined ADF/flatbed scanner with USB and wireless support but a poor choice for duplex scanning duties

600dpi A4 colour ADF/flatbed scanner; 25ppm at 300dpi colour/mono; simplex; 50-page ADF; USB 3; 11n wireless; WiFi Direct; NFC; daily duty cycle – 1,500 pages; external PSU; Epson Scan 2, Document Capture Pro software; 451 x 315 x 120mm (WDH); 3.9kgs; 1yr on-site service warranty

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