Many of the scanners that I've reviewed have been in the $200 to $400 range because I had never found good quality and features in less expensive scanners - until now.
The Epson Perfection 1670 Photo Scanner ($129) awes with its simplicity of use and high quality output. In other words, it works better than some other manufacturer's $300 scanners from a year ago.
The Perfection 1670 will handle the more mundane tasks of black and white copying, but its specialty is photo work. The scanner is capable of a 1,600 dots per inch scan; image quality from photos that I scanned was pretty good.
The built-in 35 mm slide adapter doesn't offer the quality output of a dedicated slide scanner. But if scanning a few slides to make printouts, not doing a major slide-scanning job, the 1670 will do in a pinch.
The 1670's software offers three modes depending upon your comfort in scanning. Full Auto re-created crisp, colorful images that any entry-level user would be proud to have. Home mode was more to my liking, with a few recommended settings that I could fiddle around with to enhance a scan or two. Professional mode impressed a photographer friend of mine who likes to have complete control of the scanning process.
The software also offers some picture-fixing modes that can speed a job without sacrificing quality. You can restore color in some photos while taking out dust and scratches with the Dust Removal software. Anyone adept at using Adobe's series of PhotoShop programs may get more precision in their photo cleanup work, but Epson's Easy Photo Fix solution works well.
The 1670 works with USB 2.0 connections for fast scanning. It's compatible with Windows 98, ME, XP or 2000 and Macintosh OS 8.x to 9.x, 10.2 or later.
Information: 1-800-463-7766 or www.epson.com