You may think one A4 flatbed scanner is much the same as the other, but Epson thinks it's rewritten the rulebook with the Epson Perfection V500.

Rather than using the more traditional lamp, the Epson Perfection V500 uses an LED for its CCD (charge-coupled device). The advantages of this are a warm-up time of just one second and very low energy consumption.

While precise energy requirements weren't given, in June, Epson launched a sibling to the Epson Perfection V500, the Perfection V700, with a power consumption of just 16W and only 7.5W in standby mode.

Epson says the 6,400dpi Epson Perfection V500 flatbed scanner is very fast and has christened its LED design ReadyScan, reflecting the near-instant startup of its LED scanners. By contrast, the scanners used in most homes and businesses need to be switched on for at least half a minute before they are ready to start scanning. This is because their lamps first needed to warm up and for the luminance (light signal) to be stable enough.

Epson says the Perfection V500 can scan items up to A4 in size and automatically remove any defects from the image such as dust or scratches. Photographic slides and film strips can be scanned, as can 6x12cm medium-format film gels.

A copy of Adobe's PhotoshopElements photo-editing software is included with both PC and Mac retail units. Customers also receive a copy of Abbyy FineReader Sprint 6.0 Plus optical-character recognition software for translating and digitising scanned in text documents. Dedicated buttons on the Perfection V500's casing offer one-touch scanning, copying and PDF creation.

Epson is also pushing the other environmentally-friendly aspects of its new Perfection V500 scanner: the LED is mercury-free and can be turned on and off when not in use, rather than needing to be kept in standby mode.

The Epson Perfection will be available from September and will cost £200 inc VAT.

Epson Perfection V500

Epson Perfection V500