How to choose a Barcode Scanner

The time has come for you to replace your old Barcode Scanner or you need to purchase a scanner for your POS system. You might be needing a Barcode Scanner to automate some data capture to make life easier.

You look on the net and get bombarded with sites selling all types of barcode scanners, so how do you choose a model?

If you need a simple handheld scanner that you will use occasionally to scan simple 1D Barcodes, it makes no sense to purchase a heavy duty model costing thousands of Rands.

Lets first look at how barcode scanners are classified:

  1. Handheld barcode scanners for general use. These are ideal for low volume scanning in an office or small convenience store.
  2. Wireless handheld barcode scanners. This type of scanner gives the user freedom of movement with no cable attached to the scanner. The unit communicates with its dock via a radio frequency or Bluetooth. The dock is plugged into the PC normally with a USB cable. The range between the scanner and its dock varies from 10m to 100m depending on the make and model.
  3. Industrial or heavy duty barcode scanners. These scanners are designed and built to withstand harsh environments and can take abuse. Most of them carry an IP rating against moisture and dust making them ideal for factories and warehouses. Or anyplace that you need a tough unit.
  4. Vertical or fixed mount barcode scanners. These scanners are generally used in supermarkets for high volume scanning. The items are passed in front of or presented to the scanner. Fixed mount scanners can also be used in production lines or to read barcodes passing by on a conveyor belt.

General Use Handheld Scanner

Wireless Handheld Scanner

Industrial Handheld Scanner

Vertical Fixed Mount Scanner

Once you have looked and decided which category barcode scanner will best suit your application, you need to determine what type of Barcode you will be scanning and decoding.

1D and 2D Barcodes

There are two main classifications of barcode types available. The older and still the most popular 1D barcodes are made up of lines with various widths and spaces. These 1D barcodes are on most retail goods. The disadvantage of these codes is the amount of data they can contain but are still the most widely used code where not much data is needed.

The 2D type code is becoming more and more popular and can be found on the reverse side of the SA drivers license and vehicle license. The 2D code is generally made up of blocks of various sizes and spaces. These codes can hold quite a lot of data. The popular QR code is also a 2D type barcode and can be read and decoded with 2D barcode scanners.

1D Barcode

2D Barcode

Barcode Scanner Warranties

Now that we determined what category of Barcode Scanner we need and what type of Barcode we need to scan, we can look at the various warranty period offered on the models.

Most of the lower end or entry level scanners come with a 1 year factory warranty. The midrange models carry a 3 year warranty and the higher end models have 5 year factory warranty. These warranties are honoured by the suppliers in South Africa.

Having a Barcode Scanner with a 5 year warranty puts you at ease knowing that your scanner will be repaired at no cost for all factory or component failures. The warranties do not cover units that have been dropped, abused, opened or modified.

Selecting a Barcode Scanner amongst the popular models

Argox AS8050
The AS8050 is a new Barcode Scanner from Argox. It reads all the popular 1D barcodes and is available in USB interface only. The unit has a new technology CCD scan engine boasting high performance reading. The AS8050 reads high density barcodes quite easily. It also reads barcodes on mobile phone and tablet screens.

1 Year Warranty

Technical Specs

The price of the AS8050 in January 2018 is R660.00 (Pricing may fluctuate in following months)

Datalogic QM2131 Wireless
The QM2131 from Datalogic is an ideal Wireless Barcode Scanner for reading and decoding 1D barcodes.The QM2131 uses Datalogics Star 2.0 433MHz Cordless system. The handheld scanner uses a rechargeable battery for power which is charged when inserted in its dock. The range between scanner and dock is 25m. If the scanner is moved out of range it will store the scanned data in its internal memory and transmit this data when it moves back into range.

3 Year Warranty

Technical Specifications

The price of the Datalogic QM2131 in January 2018 is R3 452.00  (Pricing may fluctuate in following months)

Contact for more information and sales

All the above information comes from the sales people at JNS Technologies. Contact them for all your Barcode Scanner, Barcode Label Printer, Brother Labellers, Epson Receipt Printer, Mobile Computers and Portable Data Terminals needs.