The market for standalone scanners isn’t what it once was, which is primarily down the fact that all-in-one printers have taken away much of the demand thanks to their added convenience. There are still plenty of situations, though, where the greater quality attained from a dedicated scanner is worth paying a little extra for, and Epson’s Perfection V37 (also available as the V370 with added transparency scanner) comes into its own.
Epson is a major manufacturer of flatbed scanners and the Perfection V37 is an interesting unit, as it uses a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) rather than a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) to gather reflected light from the document or photo and form an image from it. Traditionally, CCDs have been thought to render images better and certainly to have a greater depth of field, being suitable for scanning some 3D objects, like jewellery, as well as 2D pages and pictures.
Like many modern scanners, the illumination source is a strip of white LEDs, which is virtually instant-on and doesn’t have the warm-up time of a cold cathode tube.
This scanner is an entry-level model, but doesn’t have the compact dimensions of some inexpensive flatbeds, like Canon’s CanoScan LiDE 210. It’s configured as a portrait scanner (which is to say that it's narrower than it is deep) though, so its footprint is less noticeable than some others.
Because of the CCD sensor, which takes more power than a CIS one, the Perfection V37 has a separate plug-in power supply and both this and the USB cables plug in near the front of the right-hand side of the unit. This is more of an advantage to Epson, which can have just the one control board inside, with all switches and sockets mounted on it, than the customer, who has to have unsightly cables with big in-cable suppressors on them draped across the desk, rather than at the back.
The four buttons in the front right-hand corner of the scanner are for scan/power, copy, email and PDF. The three scan and send functions are controlled via the Epson software that’s installed with the device and which call up a corresponding dialog, which enables you to scan multiple pages before converting or sending to other software.
The scanner is supplied with two main software applications: ABBYY FineReader Sprint 9 and ArcSoft Media Impression 2. The ABBYY app is a full Optical Character Recognition (OCR) package, which as well as preparing PDF files, can forward converted scans to Word or Excel. Media Impression 2, meanwhile, is a fairly basic photo and video editing app that can make simple changes to the things you scan, including crops, colour adjustment and some special effects.