Choosing the Right Barcode Scanner
Barcode scanners have become easier to use than ever before. Long gone are the days of dealing with decoder boxes and multiple cables going everywhere. Simply plug the cable into the scanner and PC and you’re up and running!
While their operation has become easier, there are now more options and varieties of scanners to choose from. Picking the right one can be a challenge without understanding the various types and options.
The first step in finding the right scanner is identifying your specific needs:
• Where will the scanner be used? Is it a rugged environment?
• How often will it be used?
• What kind of barcodes will you be reading?
• How will the scanner be used?
• Can you stay connected to a PC?
Knowing how you’ll be using the scanner will help you decide what scanner type, form factor, and other options you’ll need. Understanding each of these factors will help you find the right scanner for your needs.
Barcode Scanner Types
One of the most important concerns when choosing a suitable scanner is the type of scan engine it has. This is ultimately dependent on the type of barcodes that you will be reading and how aggressive of a unit you’ll need. There are 3 main types of scan engines:
2D Area Imagers
Once you know what type of scanner you’ll need, the next big question is what form factor the scanner will be. Most of us are familiar with the basic gun-style and in-counter scanners from retail and grocery stores. There are 5 main form factors for scanners, and each has advantages depending on your application and how you’ll use the scanner.