The Epson 2018 launch was chock full of goodies that fill specific market niches. A 20,000-lumen laser projector for digital signage and store décor, a high-speed mono inkjet printers because 90% of printing is black, large format plan printers, high-speed business printers, a FastFoto scanner and the new Moverio smart glasses.

GadgetGuy was at the Epson 2018 launch. Here is an overview of the most interesting devices.

FastFoto FF-680W scanner $799

 The FastFoto FF-680W scanner drew my attention. You see I have several large boxes of photos spanning most of my sexagenarian life. Yes, my Millennial friends, in my day we used good old Kodachrome and sent it off to get expensive prints. Vale Kodak. Thank goodness for low cost digital!

Epson claims it is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner. Indeed its auto document feeder can spit out a 300dpi scan of a postcard pint at the rate of one per second. What is more, you can mix different sizes, and it handles them with aplomb.

Epson 2018 launch

The software is pretty slick too. It can ‘fix’ old photos adding more contrast or bringing out details. The results were pretty impressive on old black and white shots.

General Manager – Sales & Marketing for Epson Australia’s Consumer Division Bruce Bealby said

There was a need for an ultra-fast and easy scanning solution that enabled people to digitise hard copy photos often stored in albums or boxes and vulnerable to many kinds of irreversible damage. The new FastFoto FF-680W not only saves these photos but also comes with a host of new features, making it easier to save and bring memories back to life using the latest digital technology.

It is also a document scanner, can scan in 600 and 1200dpi (slightly slower) and has Nuance Omni-page OCR for editable PDF, Word and Excel files. Technically it is capable of 90 inches per minute scanning rate – that is fast.

GadgetGuy’s take: I have one on order. Once I have used it, I will send it to my two siblings for their use. At last, a digital history of the Shaw clan. My take – it’s a tad expensive but it is fast, and the added software functionality adds value.

EcoTank Mono ET-M1100/ET-M1120   15ppm $339/349

According to Epson 90% of inkjets use is for mono -occasional colour only. If you have a niche like a small workgroup or an invoice printer, at .004 cents per page this is one of the lowest cost to run printers ever. The first page out is eight seconds, and replacement ink tanks are $24.99 for 6,000 pages. The ET-M1120 adds Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and iPrint to the standard USB connectivity.

Epson 2018 launch

Bealby said

The market for high capacity ink tank has been growing at a rapid rate in Australia. Mono EcoTank meets the needs of a sizeable section of the market that includes individuals, families, small businesses and home offices who want to print large volumes in black and white at an incredibly low cost per page.

GadgetGuy’s take: Cheap to run, not so cheap to buy. But let’s assume that a comparable ink-jet costs around 1 cent per page you will recoup the capital cost in a few reams of print.

Laser beating ultra-efficient inkjet business printers

Epson introduced two mono and two colour WorkForce printers. The monoprint up to 40,000 pages per replaceable eco tank and the colour print up to 50,000 mono and 20,000 pages for each colour. Epson’s precision core inkjet technology uses up to 87% less energy and is faster for the first page out and sustained print speeds.

Epson 2018 launch

They support Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Epson’s Print Admin and Device Admin software, PaperCut, and Epson Document Capture Pro6 – intelligent document management of scanned invoices, purchase orders, delivery dockets, contracts and other important business documentation.

Website and prices TBA

 General Manager of the Business Division at Epson Australia, Craig Heckenberg, said