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It’s really very hard to be pushing the bar ever higher, releasing another top model each next year. This time, regrettably, I cannot say the innovations are revolutionary. On the contrary, the innovations are so insignificant that it probably doesn’t make sense to base a new scanner model on them. Well, see for yourself: they have extended the optical densities range, and that’s fine, of course. Next, they have put in more holders for scanning transparent originals. Good again. Next, they have added a bar indicator for the process of digitization of transparent originals on the lid. Well, that’s not a crucial innovation, because the scanner is yet rather noisy as to require such indication. These things have been packed into a new case and presented as a replacement of the previous top model. But it’s clear the Perfection 4990 had been planned long ago, and they just couldn’t but release it.

Due to the same minor innovations in the scanner, I didn’t repeat some tests I had made on the Perfection 4870. So, if you don’t find all the answers to your question in this review, take a look at our previous article called EPSON Perfection 4870 PHOTO Scanner Review: There Is No Limit to Perfection!.

The EPSON Perfection 4990 is a nice product on the whole. Its price also appears quite to be reasonable and appealing. You know, this machine is a full-featured alternative and replacement to slide-scanners which are not popular among home users mostly because of their very high price. More than that, the EPSON Perfection 4990 can digitize not only slides but also sheet originals, and it hardly has any competitors among the narrowly specialized slide-scanners in this respect.

This scanner can be recommended as a good buy, but you are likely to find it familiar if you have met the previous top-model. It’s just d?j? vu.


  • Excellent design
  • Highest scanning quality with originals of any complexity
  • Digital ICE technology
  • High reliability
  • Handy holders for film and slides of all the necessary (and even of not very necessary) formats
  • Highly functional unified software
  • Reasonable price


  • Very harsh hardware requirements, particularly for Digital ICE to work
  • Rather low speed when scanning film
  • FireWire cable is not included
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