Best Barcode Scanner
POSMicro.com often get's asked what is the best barcode scanner? They all look so similar how do we decide which one would be best for my business, and at the same time what is the difference between a $60 scanner like the Econoscan and the $135 LS2208? In a way it's going to be very similar to buying a car. In essence any car will get you from point A to point B, but depending on how often that car is going to get used or what kind of style you need it to provide the price and features are going to vary.
Here are the main points that we ask customer's to consider before deciding on a scanner:
- Are you replacing a current scanner, often times customer's are the most comfortable sticking with a scanner that is a direct replacement for an existing scanner even though another brand of scanner would work equally well.
- What kind of volume are you going to do with the scanner. A grocery store trying to move lines of customers as fast as possible is well served spending more money on a very aggressive and very accurate barcode scanner, if not two, one for hands free use and a second for precision scanning. In these cases every extra second spent scanning has a direct cost associated with it in satisfied cusMotorola is now Symboltomers or even requiring additional employees to be hired. Lower volume specialty types of stores where the average ticket tends to be higher could go with a lower performing scanner but possibly one with more style.
- What kind of barcodes are you going to be scanning and what kind of shape are they going to be in. Perfect barcodes like ones printed on books are very easy to scan and just about any scanner will work. However if your barcodes are often damaged (garden center, clothing store) or poorly printed, very small, or printed along side multiple barcodes (cell phone box), then you will want to invest in different scanners. For damaged or poorly printed barcodes an imager with a wide field of view would be recommended as this type of scanner will look at the entire barcode and then piece together all the information to get a good read. For precise scanning a laser scanner is recommended a the aiming laser is tighter and brighter making it easier to line it up on exactly the barcode that you want. For even more accuracy get a scanner with code gate where the beam is displayed but the scanner does not send the information until you press the trigger.
- Style is also an important factor, a bright orange industrial scanner while a very good scanner and very durable, would not be a great fit for the decor of a salon where a smaller more polished looking scanner would fit better. Older style contact scanners also give the register a very dated look and while cheap it's worth the small additional cost to get a scanner that is much more up to date looking.
- Durability - If your going to be dropping the scanner, cleaning it with chemicals, scanning in the elements, or operate in a very dusty and dirty environment then spending more on an industrial grade scanner is well worth it. These scanners have an IP Rating setup for dust and water that indicates what kind of setting the scanner would be ok being used in. While a scanner may be a great performer if it can't get wet or it's optics will get damaged by dust then it wouldn't be good to use outdoors.