The Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers high-end performance with substantially less sticker shock than what is typical of higher-end models. While it's not the best scanner on the block, it comes pretty close. If you don't mind sacrificing a bit of speed, it can be a much more economical option than most other top-scoring options. Although it's not perfect, it also offers good text recognition, simple operation, and good overall scan quality. If you choose to round out your home office with this scanner, we don't think you will be disappointed.Editor's Note: The Epson WorkForce ES-400 review was updated on March 20, 2022, with additional information on what we would buy and in-depth comparisons on competing products.
Epson WorkForce ES-400 Review
Pros: High quality scans, easy operation, good text recognition
Cons: Slower than other high end models
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a high-end scanner that performs more similarly to other top-end than it does to more comparably priced ones and earns one of the top overall scores in our testing. Read on to see how well this model performed in the individual tests that our reviewers used to calculate the overall score.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 shared the top score in our scan quality testing, putting it on par with our top overall performers. It handled handwritten text, printed text, and receipts exceptionally well. It was also quite accurate when it came to scanning full-color documents. Colors looked just a bit less vibrant when compared to flat scanners, but not by much.
Speed is the one area where the lower price of the Epson WorkForce ES-400 starts to show. We clocked its speed at 14 pages per minute. It does have a 50-page automatic document feeder, so scanning longer documents is mostly automated, and you are free to do other tasks while pages are running through. However, other models also have a 50-page document feeder or more and can zip through a stack of pages at a much quicker pace. Ultimately your usage will determine how big of a drawback this is; the Epson's speed won't hold you back unless you're consecutively scanning 50-page documents and don't have much to do while you wait.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 again shared one of the top scores in our software testing. Its character recognition was good; though we could find a few words that the optical character recognition missed and were not searchable, the vast majority of words were recognized. This feature is where this model excels compared to other high-end competitors.
Regarding file management and selecting scan settings, the ES-400's software was slightly less intuitive than other models. However, it still had a relatively gentle learning curve. The software is supported on both PC and Mac operating systems.
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 was one of the most user-friendly models we tested, scoring highly once again. Setup was a breeze; we had software installed, the scanner talking to the computer, and fresh scans saved to the hard drive within 10 minutes of cutting the box open. We also had no problems with jams in the document feeder and output paper tray.
Should You Buy the Epson WorkForce ES-400?
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a good all-around document scanner that offers high-end performance at a relatively low price. It isn't the fastest model around, but it provides the best convenience to price ratio that we've found. For those who want to outfit their workspace with functional appliances without spending a fortune, the Epson WorkForce is ideal for scanning mid-length documents at a leisurely pace.
What Other Scanners Should You Consider?
The Epson WorkForce ES-400 offers a relatively low price for accessing the benefits of a high-end document scanner, offering an overall reasonable value. But, if you end up scanning lots of very long (50+ page) documents, it may be worth spending a bit more to get the higher speed of a different model. The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 is one of our favorite scanners, and it runs through pages with lightning speed. If you consistently need to scan documents longer than 50 pages, the Fujitsu Fi-7160 Sheetfed has an impressively large 80-page capacity and a relatively quick scan speed.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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