How To Choose The Right Barcode Scanner

There are so many options. Here's what you need to know.

How To Choose The Right Barcode Scanner

Barcode scanners are now very simple to use. You won’t need any special training for these user-friendly devices. All you have to do is to connect these plug-and-play devices with your PC, and start using them right away.

There are a couple of things to consider before purchasing a barcode scanner:

• 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?

Choosing the right barcode scanner is imperative. In order to select the right barcode scanner for your needs, you should be aware of the different types that are available on the market. There are 3 main types of scan engines for a barcode scanner.


A barcode scanner utilizes lenses, a sensor and light to scan information on barcodes in order to capture it. During the early days when only 1D codes were used, only lasers could read these codes.

Laser scanners work by directing a laser beam onto the barcode and using rotating mirrors or prisms to read the reflected laser beam. A photodiode is mounted in these scanners to detect the strength of the reflected laser beam. Readings from the photodiode are then converted into digital signals.

Linear Imager

Linear imaging scanners are also known as CCD scanners. It is hence a kind of long distance CCD scanner. Due to their remote sensing capability, they can pick up barcode information located at a distance of 35 cm. These devices are quite rugged and durable and can usually withstand a drop from a height of 2 meters. The lack of moving parts is a key reason for their durability.

2D Area Imagers

Due to their versatile nature, 2D area images have a higher functionality than standard barcode scanners. They can scan all kinds of barcodes: composite barcodes, stacked, 2D and 1D. They can even gather data from LCD screens.

These scanners use both imaging technology and CCD to scan barcodes. Instead of using a laser beam to read the barcode, it takes an image of the barcode which it then analyzes. Unlike laser scanners, you do not need to orient it at the right angle to read the barcode. Hence, barcode scanning with these devices is a quick and simple process.

Barcode scanners are also categorized according to the form factor.


Handheld barcode scanners are the simplest to operate since you just have to hold them over the barcode and press the trigger. You can opt for a cordless model so that you can use this barcode scanner anywhere you like. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of cable clutter.

zebra tc8000


Since these are mounted on a counter top, you do not need to hold and aim them nor do you need to press the trigger. Since they can scan a wide area, you do not have to position the barcode very precisely. This makes barcode scanning quick and easy.

presentation barcode scanners

Mobile Computer

Mobile computer barcode scanners (or sometime called Smart Phone Barcode Scanners)are basically a scanner and PC integrated into one mobile device to give you full freedom of movement. Instead of connecting them to your PC with a cable, you can use their WiFi capability to relay scanned information. They are the ideal choice for quick and efficient inventory handling.

zebra tc70 mobile barcode scanner


In-counter barcode scanners are very similar to presentation barcode scanners. The difference is they are made to be embedded into a counter-top as you would see in a grocery store or any retail store.

in-counter barcode scanner

Fixed Mount

These scanners are designed to be easily mounted on a kiosk or conveyor belt. These automatic devices can scan barcodes without any manual input and are hence ideal for high-speed production lines.

fixed-mount imager barcode scanner


Wearable barcode scanners can free up the hands of an employee. They come in a ring scanner or the new innovative glove scanner and can greatly reduce worker injuries and increase productivity. They are made to connect via bluetooth to mobile computers or access points.

proglove mark 2 mid range

Here at MIDCOM we have specialists in barcode scanning technology and are ready to answer all your questions. Give us a call today at (800) 643-2664.

proglove wearable barcode scanners

Related Links:

Mobile Handheld Barcode Scanner Computers

EXPRESS Printer & Barcode Scanner Repair Centers℠

Barcode Scanner Maintenance Ebook

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