The Epson GT-20000 is an excellent large format scanner with competitive product features. Its price is high relative to other brands in the wide format scanner product category. Technical support is restricted to email, and free technical support ends when the one-year warranty expires. Epson claims that the main unit’s average reliability is 100,000 scan cycles between failures.
The Epson GT-20000 large format scanner has a flatbed that accepts documents up to 11.7” x 17” documents, so it will scan two 8.5” by 11” documents in a single scan. Some large format scanners that are similar in size are actually A3 size, 11.68” x 16.52”, but the Epson GT-20000 is actually 11.7” x 17”. Epson provides an optional 100-page automatic document feeder for this ENERGY STAR certified wide format scanner. It is possible to share scanning capabilities with a workgroup by adding an optional network card.
The scanning engine at the heart of the Epson GT-20000 large format scanner is a color charge-coupled device that can scan at densities up to 600 by 1,200 dots per inch. Epson’s charge-coupled device uses a Xenon gas cold cathode ray fluorescent lamp as a bright light source in combination with sensors and mirrors in order to capture images. The lamp achieves optimum brightness immediately upon startup, so there is no warm-up time.
Charge-coupled devices such as the Epson GT-20000 can scan with a depth of field as much as half of an inch, which means that they can somewhat scan objects in addition to documents. By way of contrast, a competing technology called contact image sensors has a depth of field measured in millimeters, so the item being scanned must be in close contact with the scanning bed. Therefore, for scrapbookers and scanographers, the Epson GT-20000 is a better product selection than the Mustak ScanExpress A3 USB 2400 Pro or the Canon imageFORMULA DR-3010c, which employ contact image sensor scanning engines.
The Epson software suite supports document management, Optical Character Recognition, and scanning to email and PDF. The included Epson Scan software is a TWAIN driver, an open interface designed by image-acquisition device manufacturers and software vendors to facilitate interoperability. Rather than write separate drivers for each unique hardware set, operating system and application, members of the TWAIN Consortium code to a common application programming interface. Users benefit by being able to mix and match TWAIN-compliant products without having to grapple with myriads of separate device drivers.
The Epson GT-20000 wide format scanner attaches to PCs or Macs. The warranty lasts for one year. Technical support is free by email during the warranty period.
The Epson GT-20000 is an excellent and feature-rich large format scanner that is built to last and designed to function well. The options to add an automatic document feeder and a network card provide users with flexibility in how to use and deploy the product.
Compared to the competition, unfortunately the technical support policy is austere and the price a bit dear.