The Best Barcode Scanner

Barcodes are an extremely efficient way of identifying stock or collections of objects. A barcode is made up of an 11 or 12 digit number which has been encoded into a series of vertical lines. When you pass the barcode scanner over the barcode, it converts the barcode lines back into numbers and then essentially acts just like any other input device, transmitting this data to a computer or tablet.

Once this data has been read and transmitted, you can pull up relevant information about that item of stock, modify your inventory or prepare a check-out for a sale.

There is a wide selection of different brands and types of handheld barcode scanner on the market, which can make it quite difficult to work out which is the right one for you. You should take the time to establish what each barcode scanner can offer you and how suited it is to the environment you wish to use it in before making a purchase.

Handheld barcode scanning machines are used in a wide variety of industries for a range of different applications such as point-of-sale scanning in a retail environment, asset management in office settings and monitoring and repair systems in industrial environments.

When considering which type of barcode scanner you should purchase, you should consider many things. Do you need to be mobile when using the scanner?

If so, you should opt for a cordless battery powered scanner which can transmit information wirelessly as opposed to a corded and the fixed barcode scanners which are normally located at point-of-sale locations. Wireless Bluetooth barcode scanner can provide you with an easy and efficient method of entering or updating information onto a database system.

Below is a guide to 3 popular barcode laser scanners

Inateck 2.4GHz Wireless/USB Automatic Barcode Scanner

Features

  • USB 2.0 and wireless connections
  • Advanced 32-bit ARM+DSP digital signaling technology
  • 256Kb internal memory containing 2600 data strings
  • 1500mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Protective casing
  • Sounds and flashing LEDs report on battery life and condition

Pros

  • Accurate scanning with Fedex and USPS barcodes supported
  • Seven days of battery life and fast charging
  • Charging by USB 2.0 port
  • Can survive a fall from 5ft

Cons

  • Cannot checksum digits
  • Cannot read low-resolution barcodes

SmartOmni Wireless BarCode Scanner

Features

  • 3 millimetres of resolution
  • 500mAh battery
  • High scan rate of 150±2 per second
  • Plug-and-Play setup
  • Shock resistant cover

Pros

  • Compatible with Android/Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Easy setup Plug-and-Play and Easy Setup: Scanning the codes on the manual
  • Rugged Specs: 2 meters drops to concrete, provide shock resistance cover

Cons

  • Short battery life

Excelvan Bluetooth Wireless USB Handhold Laser Barcode Scanner

Features

  • USB 3.0 cable and wireless Bluetooth connections
  • Low energy use and quick USB charging
  • Compatible with Windows XP Vista and 7/Android/ Mac
  • 750mAh Lithium Battery

Pros

  • One-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Decoding function can read a wide range of barcodes
  • 30-minute battery charge time and long battery life
  • Plug and Play

Cons

  • No volume control or mute option

Verdict

The Inateck 2.4GHz Wireless/USB Automatic Barcode Scanner offers fast and accurate scanning of a range of barcodes, including those printed by Fedex and the USPS. This is invaluable if you plan to use the barcode scanner to scan mail as it is sent and received. Although this device only features a USB 2.0 port, it offers relatively fast data transfer and charging times.

The battery holds enough charge for up to 7 days of continuous operation, so the device will only require periodic charging. The Inateck is protected by a robust outer casing, which means it can be used in industrial and factory environments without fear of damage.

If the barcode scanner is accidentally dropped, it can survive a fall of up to 5 feet. The scanner will flash LED lights and emit sounds to warn the operator that the battery is running low or that there is some other issue.

However, this scanner may have trouble reading low-resolution barcodes. Another drawback is that the scanner cannot check sum digits, which results in an increased error rate compared to other handheld barcode scanners.

The SmartOmni Wireless Barcode Scanner features a laser which offers up to 3 millimetres of resolution when scanning barcodes. This means it can scan poorly printed or faded barcodes with ease. The high scan rate offered by the SmartOmni means more products can be scanned per hour and that the user does not need to point the laser directly at the barcode in order to successfully scan it.

The SmartOmni is set up to Plug and Play, which means you can begin to use it immediately with a Windows, Mac or Android operating system. The shock resistant cover which protects the barcode scanner means that it can survive a fall from 6.5 feet.

The major drawback of this barcode scanner is that it’s extremely short battery life of just 8 hours, which means this scanner is only worth considering if you do not intend to use the product intensively.

The Excelvan Bluetooth Wireless Barcode Scanner can be plugged directly into a USB 3.0 port, ensuring the fast transmission of data and a super fast charging time. Once charged, the battery holds enough power to continuously scan barcodes for up to 7 days, which means you will have peace of mind that your staff will not find themselves the victim of a dead battery while on the other side of their workplace.

This barcode scanner is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems and is also Plug and Play, which means you do not have to waste valuable time downloading drivers and configuring the scanner before you can use it.

The only drawback is that there is no way of muting or turning down the volume of the beeping sound which is emitted each time you scan a barcode sticker. This could prove annoying if you are planning to use the barcode scanner is a quiet environment such as a shop or a library. However, if this does not concern you, the Excelvan Bluetooth Wireless Barcode Scanner is the best option.

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