Epson RR-600W Scanner Review: A Wired Workhorse with Wireless Challenges
Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W
A compact, workhorse of a scanner that is sold with a wireless promise that it doesn’t fulfill on complex dual-band networks. Scans to indexed PDFs, images, and to various accounting formats like Quickbooks or Excel. If used in USB-direct connect mode, it will eat up receipts and documents and just keep going. If you find what works and keep doing it, all will be well. The on-device, and client software (wireless device and desktop) needs significant refinement.
Epson RR-600W RapidReceipt Review
It took a long time to write this review. My set-up experience with Epson’s RapidReceipt RR-600W scanner was anything but painless. Most of the issues revolved around the unit’s Wi-Fi as it struggled to connect, and remain connected, to my network. A wired wireless scanner instantly becomes less useful, more importantly, less universal, than it should be. The scanner now sits tethered to my Mac mini via a USB cable (or to a PC, if I move the cable).
I live on an Xfinity Wi-fi network with a mesh of pods to extend its reach. Pods force the network to blend, meaning that 2.4 and 5 GHz networks merge. Devices that prefer, or only work on 2.4 GHz networks may refuse to connect as they seek a pure 2.4 GHz network. Or like the Epson scanner, they connect then misbehave.
Even on the occasions when I could get the scanner online, it would work for a while, and then the next morning, I would be notified that the Epson SmartScan app was no longer able to communicate with the scanner, despite the scanner in some cases, even showing “excellent” connectivity.
The scanner will connect occasionally if turned off and turned back on. What makes it move from connected to disconnected remains a mystery.
But complaints about connectivity aside, the Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W contributes to me living my best digital life and makes for a greatly improved work experience. Mounds of paper become searchable bits as PDFs. I only retain paper records required for legal purposes, but even those are scanned for backup and swiftly removed from my desk and filed.
I want to live a paperless life. I take notes with a pen on my iPad. I scan anything scannable to PDFs. I screen capture articles. I conduct research and store PDFs and links in TheBrain. I download hardware manuals and recycle their paper counterparts. The Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W plays a key role in that workflow—a role for which it is still auditioning.
What we like
On the good side, the Epson RR-600W is a workhorse. I have scanned thousands of pages into the device, plowing through much of my historical archives of articles and writing to create scanned and indexed versions, and recycling the originals. That I may not read or use the scans any more effectively, is an information overload problem, not a scanning issue. With the exception of the occasional jam, usually caused by uneven paper, glue remnants, or an overlooked staple, the scanner works tirelessly against everything thing I feed into its voracious maw.
To reinforce the home office workhorseness of this scanner, its automatic document feeder (ADF) holds 100 sheets (and sometimes more) and does a pretty good job with mixed widths, though I don’t recommend full-sized documents and thin receipts in the same run.
Unlike the Neat scanner, the Epson RR-600W recovers from paper jams with elegance. Simply open the cover, remove the offending pages, fixed them, return them to the input tray, and continue.
I reached nowhere near the scanner’s 4,000 a day scanning capacity, but the effortless scanning and performance of the device suggest it should have no issue achieving that daily milestone.
The scanner claims to capture files up to 240 inches/20 feet long. I ran an old high school panoramic class photo into the scanner and unfortunately that runs 24-inches, and it scanned without a hitch. Now I get to restore the faded 40-year old colors.
Based on the branding, the Epson RR-600W was designed for receipt management. Because of that, it includes software to perform optical character recognition, and field identification and mapping for accounting packages like Quicken Quickbooks, and Turbo tax.
The app also supports CSV files for those of us who still use Microsoft Excel to manage expenses. If you manage expenses via Excel, I suggest you keep scanning documents into the Invoices/Receipts app and export them at reconciliation time, as the app does not support adding rows to an existing spreadsheet. The accounting features works relatively well if managed precisely, but do note the caveats in the “What could be improved” section of this post.
The RR-600W also scans directly to an attached USB drive, and to Cloud services. Cloud service requires set-up via the EpsonConnect website. Presets for a service and scan parameters can be stored locally on the scanner.
What could be improved
Although I reached out to Epson for some troubleshooting help, their suggestions did not solve the wireless issues I continue to face. The scanner connected but will not remain connected. Devices, from PCs to Macs, to iPads, spins for minutes in search of a scanner then eventually reports being unable to see the scanner.
The scanner sits less than six feet from the Wi-Fi source, yet the signal strength often reports as poor. Restarting the router does nothing except take my very connected home off-line. Restarting the scanner works for awhile.
The most frustrating aspect of my Wi-Fi issues derives from the Epson RR-600W’s cousin, an Epson 4760 printer, which works perfectly on the network—wirelessly sitting in the printer bay patiently waiting for a print command.
Beyond Wi-Fi, Epson could also improve its software experience generally. I was not a fan of the software download process, which went smoother on the PC than the Mac, but neither was ideal. I would prefer easy downloads where I don’t need to guess what I’m downloading.
I just set up a new computer and downloaded the Epson SmartScan app. That download did not install all required files. I then had to guess at which of the two remaining downloads to get. The one I chose ran set-up as though the scanner was new.
It should be easy to connect to the scanner already on the network with one download (or none) and it should work with the Epson software or any other scanner software. This installation (taking place in early October 2021) failed to find the scanner on the network, even though it could see it, it could not communicate with it.
I checked on the Mac as well. Yesterday I could see the scanner. This morning it can be “seen” but not communicated with. Back goes the USB cable. And that means, because the 600W can’t USB and Wi-Fi at the same time, it becomes a dedicated desktop scanner, not a network scanner.
Apps included with the scanner include the Nuance Power/Kofax PDF (different versions for Mac and PC), Presto! BizCard, and ScanSmart Accounting Edition. I already have an Adobe subscription so the PDF product was superfluous, and I only scan business cards on my phone—and even pre-COVID that was an activity moving toward its waning years (and post-COVID I haven’t seen a business card since CES 2020). Most users will likely need the Epson apps, and not the third-party ones.
As noted above, the Invoice and Receipt Management does a serviceable job of recognizing figures on receipts and invoices. It is often less good at recognizing vendor names, sometimes choosing that last portion of an obscure support URL rather than the bolded name at the top of a receipt. The Invoice/Receipt app supports full editing, though, along with the image of the document, so errors can be caught and corrected before being saved or passed on to accounting software.
The bigger issue with the Invoice and Receipt app is the handoff from SmartScan. I recently scanned in 80 some pages of magazine articles I wrote. I accidentally hit the Export and Save to Manage/Invoices and Receipt rather than PDF. I had to force quit the application as it loaded each scanned article in as an accounting document and attempted to discover its accounting data (which of course, did not exist). There was no way to cancel this process save force quitting the app. The force quit also resulted in the loss of the scan batch, which meant rescanning those 80 pages.
The Invoice/Receipt app will output an Excel-compatible or a file for import to an accounting package. Multiple scans can accumulate, but they are only stored locally, which means only a local backup. If you have accounting software, good practice suggests sending data off to it immediately.
The accounting export app does not support adding records to an existing file, a feature that would prove very useful for those of us who don’t use more formal accounting practices and want to back up our data regularly. Data can be exported and imported as well in native Epson Invoice/Receipt format for backup, but it requires a manual act. I would encourage Epson’s engineers to allow users to choose the location of the working file so that it can be placed in a synchronized cloud folder during installation (or at least include file location change as a configuration option).
While the scanning experience was relatively good, it was not perfect. Documents load upside down and backward but do end up right-side-up after the scan. The scanner handles double-sided scans effectively, so I understand the need for order when scanning—less clear is the need for orientation. My old Neat scanner recognized orientation on the device and usually fixed it automatically before sending the scan on to storage. With the RR-600W, once the images arrive on the host device, reorientation remains manual. This is an issue for a device that ships with “smart scan” software. Orientation filps can be set for a scan series, but revert. It would be better to auto-detect orientation, even if a few pages end up needing to be flipped in the end.
The Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W would benefit from easier management of connections to cloud storage, including the ability to add services on the device. Ideally, the scanner would be WI-Fi first with no need for a client for set-up. Note the scanner is not as fast when scanning to the cloud. When I was able to connect and test, the RR-600W hesitated often during the scan feed. In wired mode, it just keeps pulling in pages unless it hit a snag.
The engineers need to increase onboard cache so the scanner can manage scanning locally without worrying about the connection. This would also solve any issues of a lost connection during scanning, as the scanned documents would be stored locally ahead of sending them to the cloud (eliminating the need to rescan after a network failure). I also experience an error scanning to the cloud that the “attachment” was too large, at which point it stopped scanning and instructed me to change the scan quality or the attachment size. I could not find changing the cloud attachment size setting.
That USB cable that acts as the consistent data portal to the scanner should be a USB-C cable. This scanner now sits as the only remaining device in my office that requires a USB-B connector.
Finally, Epson connect adds a layer of complexity that would be better handled through a more comprehensive app. Rather than managing cloud services via EpsonConnect, I would prefer to have those managed via the app.
Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W: The Bottom Line
I hate collecting paper. I hate decollecting it even more. Scanning can be onerous in bulk, which is why I try to keep ahead of it for new documents. The RapidReceipt RR-600W makes scanning almost anything pretty easy, as long as it is connected directly to a device. It just keeps running. And while the software isn’t as automated as I would like, it saves documents in the necessary formats. It does its job, with some notable constraints.
When Epson offered the scanner for review, I was looking to replace my Neat scanner, which was not only discontinued but no longer friendly with several cloud-based services. The Epson RapidReceipt RR-600W did end up replacing that scanner, but it didn’t replace its wireless functionality. Now I have to turn on a computer to scan rather than scanning to a designated folder in the cloud. I can’t count on connectivity. Had Wi-Fi support been more robust, I could be more forgiving, as my iPhone or iPad could serve to scan on the fly. As it is, I have had no luck getting either of those devices to consistently connect with the RR-600W.
I will submit the caveat that my Wi-F I could originate from. my Xfinity mesh network. And if I made some router-side tweaks I might be able to get my scanner to work. I could do that, but I choose not to. In 2021 no device should ship to businesses or consumers that require modification of network settings beyond sharing a Wi-Fi password with the device or using WPS to connect it.
I return periodically to the scanner as Wi-Fi, as I did yesterday. I reconnected it to WPS and had high hopes. I scanned a receipt wirelessly. This morning my Mac can’t communicate. I upgraded my HP x360 to Windows 11. I downloaded all of the new drivers (see that bit of drama above), and even though Windows 11 could see the scanner on the network, it could not communicate with it.
So I reconnected via USB to my Mac mini which immediately notified me that I had a scanner ready to scan. Now that I’m back on my paperless horse (does that metaphor make sense?) I will slog through a giant folder of early 2000s articles and scan the ones that remain relevant. The slogging will come from the paper, not the scanner. The scanner will do its job, even if relegated to a old-fashioned USB to push its data across.
Epson built a solid small office device, but one that doesn’t deliver well on its design promises.
Epson provided the RapidReceipt RR-600W for review. Images courtesy of Epson except where noted.
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Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.
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