Epson’s $549 DS-730N Network Color Document Scanner is a capable document scanner for busy small-to-midsize offices. It's reasonably fast and reasonably accurate, and its three-year warranty makes its low price an even better value—but it doesn't quite stand up to the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 ($495), our Editors' Choice for small-office scanners, which has Wi-Fi, impressive OCR accuracy, a higher duty cycle rating, and a touch-screen control panel. There's nothing wrong with the DS-730N, but with such fierce competition, there are few situations where we'd recommend it over its peers.
Measuring 8.5 by 11.7 by 7.9 inches (HWD) and weighing 7.9 pounds with its trays closed, the DS-730N is about average in size and girth for a scanner in this class. As with most desktop document models, when its input and output trays extended and in service, its size nearly triples, so make sure you've got enough desk space.The DS-730N's trays considerably increase its footprint.
The automatic document feeder (ADF) on the DS-730N has two sensors so it can scan both sides of a two-sided page at once. It holds a generous 100 sheets. The iX1600 and the Brother ImageCenter ADS-3600W have 50-sheet ADFs. Fujitsu also makes the Image Scanner fi-800R, a sort of hybrid portable/desktop scanner with a 20-sheet ADF.You Can Trust Our ReviewsSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
Most scan management is performed via the excellent software bundle (which I’ll discuss in some detail momentarily), but you also get a full-featured control panel. The small, non-touch display is navigable via a handful of buttons on its right side. In addition to performing all the usual scanning functions, you can create and save your own workflow presets or edit and use the ones that come with the scanner. Three buttons on the left serve as one-touch shortcuts to your three most commonly used workflows.4.5Outstanding $1,176.76See Itat AmazonRead Our Brother ImageCenter ADS-3600W Review 4.5Outstanding $419.99See Itat AmazonRead Our Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 Review4.0Excellent $620.57See Itat AmazonRead Our Fujitsu Image Scanner fi-800R Review 4.0Excellent$619.70See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson DS-780N Network Color Document Scanner ReviewThe somewhat busy control panel lets you define up to three individual “one touch” predefined workflow profiles, or shortcuts.
The "Network" name might make you think of wireless networking, but the DS-730N's only network interface is Ethernet. It also supports USB 2.0 for connecting to a single computer. The ADS-3600W supports not only Ethernet and USB 3.0 but also Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and NFC.
The daily duty cycle of 4,500 scans is appropriate to the size and speed of the scanner, but a little on the low side: The ADS-3600W’s duty cycle is 5,000 scans, the iX1600 tops out at 6,000 scans per day, and the Epson DS-780N, the DS-730N's more powerful predecessor, is rated at a whopping 7,000 scans per day.
In addition to its somewhat elaborate control panel, the DS-730N ships with a comprehensive bundle of software, including TWAIN and ISIS drivers for connecting the scanner to third-party applications. The applications you'll use most often are Epson’s scanning utilities, Epson Scan 2 and Document Capture Pro.Epson Scan 2 lets your team set up scans according to their comfort levels.
Epson Scan 2 provides three individual scanning interfaces: Home, Office, and Professional. Home is, of course, somewhat basic and designed for users with minimal scanner experience. Office provides a wider range of configuration options, and Professional delivers the widest array of tweaks and settings for more advanced users. Even if you're in an office, your less tech-savvy colleagues may prefer to use the Home interface, which has everything needed for most straightforward scanning.
Document Capture Pro is a document-management and archiving program. From here, you can edit existing presets or create new ones, and configure naming conventions and other archiving procedures. Document Capture Pro also provides optical character recognition (OCR) and PDF extensions for converting scanned text to editable text and for creating and editing PDF files.
The bundle doesn't include more specialized software for tasks such as turning a pile of business cards into a contact database or gleaning financial data from receipts and invoices. But for everyday workplace document scanning, it's got everything you need.
Epson rates the DS-730N at 40 one-sided pages per minute (ppm) and 80 two-sided images per minute (ipm). To measure its speed, I connected it over USB to our standard Intel Core i5 PC running Windows 10 Professional.
For the first test, I timed the DS-730N as it scanned our 25-page text document and saved it as an image PDF. It scanned and saved our one-sided test document at the rate of 41.4ppm and our two-sided test document at 85.3ipm. Among the machines discussed here, this score is about average, with the ADS-3600DW, at 46.2ppm and 96.8ipm, leading the pack.
For the next test, I scanned the same text documents, but this time I had the software save the results as a searchable, editable PDF. This time, the DS-730N scanned and saved our two-sided 25-page text file in 40 seconds. Here again, overall, this is a fairly average score. The Epson DS-780N was 12ppm faster; the others were within 10 seconds of the DS-730N.
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Accuracy is at least as important as speed. Nowadays, though, most scanners and their software are more than capable of converting text accurately, requiring few corrections. The DS-730N scanned and saved our Arial font test page error-free down to 5 points, and our Times New Roman page error-free down to 6 points. Thanks to OCR advances over the years, most scanners, from little portables to high-volume enterprise machines, perform about equally well on this test.
I also scanned a few stacks of business cards into Document Capture Pro. As always, the fancier the cards and their fonts and decorations, the less likely the data will be captured correctly. When given relatively plain cards to process, Document Capture Pro capably put their data into the correct fields.
There's little to dislike about the Epson DS-730N. In addition to its ease of use and a relatively low purchase price, it scans accurately and at a reasonable pace. The software bundle provides everything you need for setting up and maintaining a document management and archiving system, and can handle several other scanning scenarios.
With so many good scanners to choose from, we often end up recommending particular models for very specific situations. The ADS-3600W, with its higher speed and abundance of connection options, remains our pick for a midsize-business scanner, and the impressively accurate, sturdy, and inexpensive iX1600 is well worth considering for small businesses with wireless networks. But if you need a price under $600, a lengthy warranty, Ethernet (but not Wi-Fi), and a 100-sheet ADF, the DS-730N is a perfectly good choice.3.5See It$447.40 at AmazonMSRP $549.00
The Epson DS-730N is a capable midrange sheetfed document scanner that scans well for its price but doesn't stand out from the crowd.
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