OK, there, I said it. I no longer use a ScanSnap. I’ve used an Epson Workforce GT-S50 for over a year now, and it is a very good desktop scanner. Whew, it felt good to get that off my chest. This must be what its like to admit you are a Cubs fan. Empowering.

I’m proud of the fact that I am a paperless warrior. And a backbone of the paperless revolution is the ScanSnap iX500. Sam just reviewed its new wireless feature here. It is a great machine. I had the first model ScanSnap available for the Mac and used it for 6 or 7 years. It was a work horse. The only reason I replaced it was that, finally, after tens of thousands of pages, even replacing the rollers and pickups wouldn’t cure a propensity to pull two pages. When that happened a year or so ago, I went looking for a replacement. And I was about to buy the latest ScanSnap, I really was. But, you see … I’m frugal. Not cheap, but frugal. And I realized that a big reason why the ScanSnaps are such a good value is they come bundled with Adobe Acrobat. If you are buying a scanner and don’t have a copy of Adobe Acrobat, you should absolutely buy a ScanSnap. A copy of the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro will run you set you back almost $390. The ScanSnap iX500 runs about $420. Darn good value. But the Epson Workforce GT-S50 runs about $330. And I already had Acrobat, so … I gritted my teeth and gave the Epson a try.

And I like it. I really did. Its a solid machine. In the year plus I’ve been using it, I’ve had absolutely no complaints. It scans flawlessly. I can count the number of times I’ve jammed it on one hand, and most of those were due to staples I didn’t see. I’ve never found a skipped page.

The software interface looks a bit clunky. Well, actually, it looks like many Windows programs–it doesn’t have the clean look I’ve come to expect when using Apple products. But it is very versatile. It allows you to save multiple settings that you can completely customize: where the file is saved, resolution, color or black and white, double or single-sided, file name and on and on. The advantage is that this speeds up the every day scanning chores. At any given time I have 10 or 12 files that are taking the majority of my time. Naturally, that means I’m scanning more on those matters. With a saved setting named for that matter, I simply scan directly into the relevant file and I know where to find it. I can come back later and give it a specific name. I use it to create custom settings for common home and office scanning chores, like financial and medical information. Its a darn handy feature.

The bottom line is, if you don’t own a copy of Acrobat, then buy the ScanSnap, without question. But if you do, then consider the Epson Workforce GT-S50. Its a workhorse.