Epson's WorkForce GT-1500 is a colour document scanner designed to simplify the tedious task of scanning stacks of text documents in an office environment.

Easy to use and simple in its focus, the Epson WorkForce GT-1500 does an adequate job of photo- and document-scanning.

The Epson WorkForce GT-1500 can quickly scan multiple sheets at a time thanks to an automatic document feeder (ADF) capable of holding as many as 40 sheets.

Although you're limited to a maximum scanning resolution of 600dpi when using the ADF, the benefits of having an ADF are clear: imagine having to scan a 40-page document manually - opening the lid and aligning each sheet of paper individually. That could take an hour, and if it's a task that's part of your regular work routine, those hours add up quickly.

With the Epson WorkForce GT-1500, it takes only 40 seconds to scan 10 pages and roughly three minutes for 40 pages.

It's easy to scan documents and use the included Epson software to tweak the scans before you save to one of several file formats, including PDF. However, we found the included Abbyy FineReader Sprint Plus OCR software can turn TIFF files into text files, but it can only process one page at a time, rendering the ADF useless. Alternatively, you can batch scan documents as TIFF files using the EpsonScan software then process them individually afterward using the OCR software - but that's hardly convenient.

The Epson WorkForce GT-1500 is not a scanner meant for anyone looking to scan stacks of photos. The high-speed ADF is designed for text documents; photo-, transparency-, and slide-scanning are eschewed for a focus on multi-page documents and speed.

Unfortunately, the Epson WorkForce GT-1500 can't scan both sides of a document in one pass as can the more expensive ScanSnap S510M. Both scanners can handle documents as large as 8.5x14in, and both can scan on average about 18 pages per minute. But the ScanSnap can scan both sides of a page in the same amount of time it takes the GT-1500 to scan one side. If you have lots of double-sided documents, the ScanSnap is the better choice.

The Epson WorkForce GT-1500 turned in some fast scanning times. As we mentioned earlier, in our tests the GT-1500 took 40 seconds to scan a ten-page single-sided text document. A scan of an 8-by-10 photo at 600 dpi and 24-bit colour depth took only 35 seconds on average, about ten seconds faster than recently reviewed flatbed scanners such as Microtek's ArtixScan M1 Pro. It took an additional 7 seconds for the same photo to scan when set at 48-bit colour scanning. Our 4-by-6 photo scan test (set at 1,200 dpi) was equally impressive with both our 24- and 48-bit colour scans taking about 60 to 70 seconds on average.

We also found that the Epson WorkForce GT-1500 required almost no warm-up time, thanks to Epson's ReadyScan LED technology, which eliminates the need to warm up the internal lamp.

Although the GT-1500 is clearly designed to handle large volumes of documents, it does prove up to the task of handling photo-scanning as well. Both our grayscale and colour photo-scans achieved Very Good image-quality rankings in our jury test, based on their strong colour and high levels of detail. In fact, when compared with the photo-centric Epson Perfection V300 Photo, we found that both produced similar-quality scans.

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Epson WorkForce GT-1500: Specs

  • Epson GT 1500 - desktop flatbed scanner
  • Max Supported Media Size: 216x297mm
  • dimensions: 470x318x121mm
  • 3.9kg
  • 16-bit (64K grey levels) / 48-bit colour
  • External Resolution: 16-bit (64K grey levels) / 48-bit colour
  • optical resolution 1200x2400dpi
  • Interpolated Resolution: 4800x4800dpi
  • Max Document Size 216x297mm
  • Media Feeder Type: Autoload
  • Document Storage Capacity: 40 sheets
  • USB
  • AC 230V (50/60Hz)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional , Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8 or later, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Vista
  • 1 year warranty
  • Epson GT 1500 - desktop flatbed scanner
  • Max Supported Media Size: 216x297mm
  • dimensions: 470x318x121mm
  • 3.9kg
  • 16-bit (64K grey levels) / 48-bit colour
  • External Resolution: 16-bit (64K grey levels) / 48-bit colour
  • optical resolution 1200x2400dpi
  • Interpolated Resolution: 4800x4800dpi
  • Max Document Size 216x297mm
  • Media Feeder Type: Autoload
  • Document Storage Capacity: 40 sheets
  • USB
  • AC 230V (50/60Hz)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional , Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8 or later, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Vista
  • 1 year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Epson WorkForce GT-1500 is Epson's answer to the growing need in small businesses for a fast document-focused scanner that can scan multiple pages of text in short order. The results with photos weren't disappointing either, making the scanner more versatile than we expected. Unless you require film- and slide-scanning capabilities, this could be the scanner your home or office needs to eliminate those growing stacks of paper. However, if you're looking for a scanner purely dedicated to document-scanning and capable of handling double-sided documents, take a look at the ScanSnap S510M.

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