Epson last year vowed to put an end to printer ink refill woes with its EcoTank printers. Now, it has turned its attention to another peripheral whose glory days have long since come and gone - the digital scanner.

Epson's new FastFoto FF-640 is described as the world's fastest scanner (in its class), able to scan in an image in just one second. That's handy for one-off jobs and exponentially so if you've got multiple photo albums or shoeboxes full of images to work through.

Accompanying software can also restore old, faded images to their original glory with a single click thanks to its Smart Photo Fix (SPF) technology. Epson's software can also help with sorting scans and if there happens to be something like a handwritten note or a date on the back of your print, Single-step technology captures both sides simultaneously.

Mike Isgrig, vice president, North America Consumer Sales and Marketing, Epson, said there are billions of unscanned photos in the US and that every year, countless images are forever lost to fires, floods and other natural disasters. With FastFoto, he adds, families can protect their memories for generations to come in a matter of hours and days versus months and years with competing solutions.

Epson's FastFoto FF-640 is available as of writing priced at $649.99. That's no small investment for a peripheral that many of us probably haven't owned in a decade or more but again, if you've got a lot of print photos that haven't been converted to digital and perhaps don't have a lot of free time, it may be worth it. After all, you can't put a price on memories.