Epson Saves Midterms

It is an inevitable part of every student’s curriculum at some point: the family tree genealogy project. The only students who manage to dodge the full force of this whirlwind are those whose older siblings completed it in years before, but in every family, it comes due sooner or later.

Research begins and the family tree starts to take shape, and many, many boxes of old family photographs are pulled from closets, basements, and attics. What would have been a quick project of scanning a few old photos becomes a major undertaking in preserving family memories that will slowly fade as the photos degrade. Our rescue comes from the Epson FastFoto FF-680W Photo Scanner (Amazon Affiliate link), letting us scan whole collections of old family photos and automatically enhance them.

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Photo Scanner
Image Credit: Epson

The new FastFoto can scan photos as fast as one per second at 300 dpi through the “SafeTouch” document feeder that will handle all the weird sized photos (even postcards and Polaroid-type instant photos or those that have been trimmed to remove anything, or anyone, that is not wanted in the image). The feeder has “single-step” technology for two-sided scanning, making sure that the handwritten notes on the back of the photos get saved along with the image.

All scans can be sent directly to the second-generation Epson FastFoto software that includes auto-enhancement and color restoration, plus all the expected features including red-eye reduction, de-skew, crop, rotate, and a particularly excellent set of smart file organization tools.

After taking the scanned and retouched images and creating a beautiful report, the last step in the family tree project is, like most school projects, printing a great full-color presentation. This is where a family with multiple children needs to call in something especially powerful, because aren’t they just as demanding as any small office? The Epson WorkForce ET-4750 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer (Amazon Affiliate link) is the perfect choice thanks to the EcoTank system that holds ink that is equivalent to about 30 ink cartridge sets (enough to print up to 14,000 pages black/11,200 color), all without having to refill.

WorkForce ET-4750 Business Edition EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer
Image Credit: Epson

The EcoTank system can save users up to 80% on ink because of the low-cost replacement bottles that fill the onboard ink tanks instead of small ink cartridges that require frequent, and expensive, replacement. The WorkForce printer comes with a full set of bottles in the box, providing up to two years of ink before a user would need to purchase more. The large paper tray also makes refilling less frequent, with a 250-sheet capacity.

We were able to work on homework projects with review units of the FastFoto FF-680W and the WorkForce ET-4750 that were provided by Epson for this review; all opinions are my own.

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This post was last modified on January 25, 2019 3:08 pm

Michael Kaufman: Michael Kaufman draws on fifteen years of professional expertise as an Architect and a passion for cutting-edge technology to publish the Architechnologist – an online magazine dedicated to exploring the emerging technology that affects how we experience the world around us. Michael was recognized as one of the "Top Tech Writers To Watch In 2016" by Data2GoWireless. He also serves as a judge for the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. He regularly participates in roundtables and speaking engagements as a thought-leader and influencer.