Epson Perfection 1640SU

  • Editors' rating
    7.3 Very good


  • USB and SCSI interfaces;
  • 1,600dpi optical resolution;
  • fast.


  • Relatively expensive;
  • no SCSI card or transparency adapter supplied as standard;
  • no document management software.

Epson's Perfection 1640SU has little of the fancy detail of some of its rivals, featuring just a power switch and a single button at the front which starts a scan. At the back there are two sockets, one for a USB lead and the other for a SCSI cable, although Epson does not provide an accompanying SCSI controller for your PC.

There's no transparency adapter provided with the Perfection 1640SU as standard, but this and an auto-document feeder are available as optional extras. However, the cover does support itself vertically when you're positioning originals, which isn't the case with the Acer scanner.

Once you've installed Epson's scanning software, the scanner is recognised with either the USB or the SCSI connection. As well as the generally well-designed TWAIN 5 scanning applet, copies of Adobe's PhotoDeluxe (image editing) and ScanSoft's TextBridge (OCR) are supplied, covering a good cross-section of the tasks you're likely to want to put the scanner to. There's no document management software supplied, though, which Epson might consider adding to the mix.

The Perfection 1640SU has the highest optical specification in this group test, offering a horizontal resolution of 1,600dpi and a scanning motor that can resolve twice that at 3,200dpi. The differences are noticeable on some of our test samples. The line-pair samples, for example, normally show noise having an increasing effect on a scanner's ability to accurately resolve lines as they get thinner and closer together. Although the effect is still apparent on the Perfection 1640SU, it's less pronounced and even the top-level 180 line-pair per inch sample is easily recognisable.

On a more subjective level, the quality of colour scans was very good, with natural rendition of skin tones and good brightness with vivid colours. Blues were a little too subdued in some instances, but the scanner's overall colour balance needed little correction.

We ran speed tests using both USB and SCSI connections, and generally the Perfection 1640SU was slightly quicker using the SCSI cable. Scan speeds were as good as any in this group, and you won't be left waiting -- even for a full A4 scan.

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Although the Perfection 1640SU's £212 (ex. VAT) price is higher than most of the other products reviewed here, it has a higher resolution -- and a scanner's optical resolution is an important element (if by no means the only one) in defining its image quality. Quality is certainly not a problem with this Epson product.


Type Flatbed scanner - desktop
Max Supported Document Size A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)
Power Device
Voltage Required AC 100/120 V
Voltage Required Margin ± 10%
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Operational 20 Watt
Type internal power supply
Compliant Standards EPA Energy Star
Interface Provided
Type none
Media Handling
Max Document Size 8.5 in x 11.7 in
Supported Document Type Transparencies, plain paper, slides, bulk objects (such as books, magazines and other bound materials), film
Document Feeder Type Manual
Color white
Package Type retail
Color Category white
Software / System Requirements
Peripheral / Interface Devices SCSI card, USB port
Software Included Drivers & Utilities, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Adobe PhotoShop LE, ArcSoft PhotoMontage
Optical Resolution 1600 dpi x 3200 dpi
Interpolated Resolution 12800 dpi x 12800 dpi
Type flatbed scanner
Interface Type SCSI, USB
Form Factor desktop
Scan Mode single-pass
Input Type color
Scan Element Type CCD
Document Size Class A4
Max Supported Document Size A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)
Max H-Document Size 8.5 m
Scan Speed 8.7 ms/line (color)
Max V-Document Size 11.7 m
Grayscale Depth 14-bit gray
Color Depth 42-bit color
Max H-Optical Resolution 1600 dpi
Max V-Optical Resolution 3200 dpi
Max H-Interpolated Resolution 12800 dpi
Max V-Interpolated Resolution 12800 dpi
Lamp / Light Source Type cold cathode fluorescent lamp
Scan Density Range 3.2D
Supported Document Type bulk objects (such as books), film, plain paper, slides, transparencies
Document Feeder Type manual
Compliant Standards TWAIN
System Requirements
Min RAM Size 32 MB
Min Hard Drive Space 50 MB
OS Required Apple MacOS 8.5 or later, Microsoft Windows 98/2000, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Humidity Range Operating 10 - 80%
Brand Epson
Product Line Epson Perfection
Model 1640SU Photo
Localization English
Country Kits Canada, United States
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Interface Required
Connector Type 4 pin USB Type B
Gender female
Connector Qty 1
Total Qty 1
Cable Details
Type serial cable
Form Factor external
Included Qty 1
Dimensions & Weight
Width 11.4 in
Depth 17.4 in
Height 3.8 in
Weight 9.92 lbs
Type Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Adobe PhotoShop LE, ArcSoft PhotoMontage, Drivers & Utilities
Service & Support
Type 1 year warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Location carry-in
Full Contract Period 1 year

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