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The Importance of the Zebra Barcode Scanner to the Biz Tech Sphere

barcode scanner

A Zebra barcode scanner is basically a scanner capable of reading information, using a laser. Normally, these devices are limited to reading the information, which they send to a computer through a cable or a wireless connection. It will be this device that decodes the reading made by the scanner.

Barcode readers are mainly used in logistics companies, shops and offices. However, in recent years, its use has spread to homes. With a barcode scanner and the right software we will be able to catalog and organize our collection of books, CDs, DVDs or any other item.


Zebra Barcode scanner has the function of reading the information contained in said codes and transmitting it to a computer. Since the first date from the 70s, the barcode have evolved to become indispensable in sectors such as industry, administration, transport or retail.

Today there is a wide range of barcode readers, capable of satisfying any need and reading multiple formats. They provide numerous advantages, but they also generate certain problems that must be taken into account, such as the training or the choice of quality equipment, which is more expensive but more durable.

We can find readers in a wide range of prices, however, scanners for professional use are the ones that require a greater investment. Therefore, certain factors must be considered, such as the type and frequency of use, environmental conditions, connectivity or the types of barcodes used in the company.

The zebra barcode scanner: best for its versatility

This barcode reader Capture barcodes from mobile devices, 1D and 2D Paper barcodes on items for sale, coupons, loyalty cards and more. Its unique battery indicator shows the remaining power level. It has an ergonomic design with a curved, elongated and thickened handle, plus a flat and smooth trigger specially developed for a better grip.

Built to be used reliably all day long while reducing employee fatigue allowing this scanner to be used in a wide variety of business situations. It is going for $191.49 on Amazon at the moment.

Editorial evaluation:  This model provides long continuous performance and an ergonomic design for a comfortable grip. It has a good electrical transmission range and a great reading capacity.

Zebra DS9308 Handheld Scanner

Zebra DS9308 Handheld Scanner
Zebra DS9308 Handheld Scanner

This barcode scanner is fast and accurate. Its 32-bit decoding ability can reach a speed of 600/s. It supports 1D, 2D, QR codes on digital screen and paper. The zebra barcode scanner is compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows systems. Its USB cable allows easy pairing. 

Editorial Review: This reader stands out for its speed and accuracy. It allows to use it in manual or automatic mode, and it is compatible with different types of digital or paper codes.

What you should know about barcode scanners

Currently, there are a wide variety of barcode readers on the market. However, and precisely due to the extensive range of existing models, it is necessary to clarify a series of concepts and doubts about these useful devices. Next, we are going to shed some light on its operation, the types that exist, as well as its most common uses.

When did the first barcode scanner come into use?

The first barcode was developed by an American science student in the late 1940s. The idea came from overhearing a conversation between two businessmen who were complaining about slow inventories and charging customers on checkout lines. cash register. The system was patented in 1948, but the first reader would still take a few years to arrive.


It is not until 1974 when the Symbol Technologies company manufactures the first bar code reader. The first reading of a barcode by a scanner was carried out in a supermarket in the town of Troy, Ohio, specifically a pack of gum. In 1980, this same company would develop the first handheld laser scanner.

How many types of barcode scanners are there?

There are several types of barcode scanners, designed for different uses and with different functions and features. In the following table we will compare the most common readers, from the almost obsolete light pens to the most powerful industrial scanners. We will compare its uses, its functions and its connectivity, among other parameters.

Optical pencilFew features, difficult use, fragile, unreliable.Cable.
CCD-readerReliable, fast, some types require contact with the code.Cables.
gun laser scannerReliable, resistant, read even uneven surfaces, easy to use.Cable, Bluetooth, radio frequency, Wi-Fi.
omnidirectional laser scannerReliable, fast, accurate, read in any position.Cable.
stand-alone laser scannerFast and precise.Cable.
2D laser scannerRead 2D codes, which contain much more information.Cable, bluetooth, wifi, radio frequency.

How is the Zebra barcode scanner connected to the computer?

Almost all zebra barcode scanner usually incorporate a USB connection, the fastest and most reliable. In this case, to use the scanner, it will be enough to connect it to the USB port of our computer, without the need for additional software . However, many models include Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which avoids having to use cables that can sometimes be uncomfortable.

Radiofrequency readers are the most used in logistics companies and department stores. Because they do not require a cable and their range is greater than that of Bluetooth readers. They are the most recommended devices for professional use. These readers are usually rugged, that is, manufactured to withstand drops, bumps and outdoor use.

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How many formats can barcode scanners read?

UPC/EAN: The most common barcode is the UPC/EAN. They are the ones that incorporate the majority of consumer items, since their use is mandatory in retail and food. Code 39, unlike the previous one, includes numbers and letters and is the format used mostly by the non-food industry.

Code 128: Used by logistics companies, code 128 is more compact than code 39, but allows a greater number of characters to be included. The code that appears on the boxes used to pack goods for transport is called interlocking 2 of 5. The DUN14 is usually used for sets of product units and is characterized by the black frame that surrounds the bars.

PDF417: Among the two-dimensional codes, the most widespread is PDF417. It consists of a rectangle formed by a cloud of small squares capable of encoding not only alphanumeric data, but even images. The QR code is another widely used 2D format for advertising campaigns, as it can be decoded by most smartphones with a simple app .

What advantages and disadvantages do zebra barcode scanner have?

In the following table we list the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the use of these devices at home or in companies. Although the benefits of zebra barcode scanner wins by a landslide, it is also worth keeping in mind their drawbacks, since these will tell us what factors or elements of our business we will have to change or update.


  • Speed ​​of customer service
  • Errors when entering prices and/or quantities are avoided
  • Increased staff performance
  • Faster and more reliable inventories
  • Possibility to encode any item
  • Productivity increase
  • Cost reduction


  • Important initial investment
  • Reading errors due to damaged labels
  • Investment in employee training
  • Inventory imbalance due to incorrect use of the scanner

How can I generate barcodes that can be recognized by a scanner?

Investing in a good barcode reader like the zebra barcode scanner is important, as is taking care that the labels that are going to be scanned have a minimum of quality. To generate your own codes you can use Excel or some free online program. In the latter case, you will have to make sure that you choose the type of barcode that best suits your needs.

If you are going to use the barcode scanner for professional use, we recommend that you purchase a laser printer or a label maker. In this way, you will not have problems when capturing the data with your scanner. The quality of the paper or labels is also a key factor in avoiding misreads.

latest generation readers usually incorporate a USB connection
latest generation readers usually incorporate a USB connection

There is no problem choosing the numbering you want for your business barcodes, as long as they are for internal use. On the other hand, if you need to legally identify your products, you should go to the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC), they will be in charge of providing you with the barcodes you need.

Why is a barcode scanner preferable to a mobile app?

For some years now, applications for smartphones capable of reading barcodes have been becoming popular. These apps , many of them free, are capable of scanning some of the most common codes, including the popular QR code, widely used in advertising. These are, however, applications for occasional use and, in no case, professional.

Many applications, such as those that help us catalog our books or CDs, integrate barcode readers. It is, therefore, a recreational use and limited to the home, very far from the benefits that a barcode scanner like the zebra barcode scanner can offer us, even those of the most economical range.

Wired or wireless connection

All barcode readers need to be connected to a computer that receives the data, either via USB cable or wirelessly. USB-connected scanners are generally cheaper than cordless scanners. In addition, they are very reliable, since the information flows from the reader to the PC without any type of interference.

Wireless zebra barcode scanner, although they are more comfortable to use, can suffer from interference that makes data transmission difficult, such as that produced by other equipment or due to the presence of walls. The distance that wireless readers can reach is, however, considerably greater than that reached by USB type readers.

Types of barcodes used

Most barcode scanners can read both linear (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) barcodes. Among the former are the majority of barcodes used in industry, commerce and logistics. 2D codes, although capable of storing more information, are not as widespread and therefore some readers cannot read them.

However, the scanners prepared to read 2D codes are the ones that are becoming more popular, since these devices are capable of capturing the codes regardless of their orientation. Consequently, data scanning is faster than readers that only read linear codes, even on uneven surfaces.

Using the Zebra Barcode scanner

Before considering the purchase of a certain scanner model, you must keep in mind the use that you are going to give it. Pistol-type handheld devices are very useful for taking inventories or recording inputs and outputs. On the other hand, the omnidirectional fixed ones are the most suitable for supermarkets and retail stores, given their efficiency and reliability.

If you are going to use the zebra barcode scanner at home, in an office or in a small business, it will not be necessary to acquire a very expensive one, a mid-range one will suffice. On the other hand, if you are going to give it intensive professional use, we recommend that you invest in equipment specially designed for this function, more expensive, but much more durable than the mid-range ones.

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Since their appearance in the mid-1970s, barcode scanners have become essential devices in companies of all kinds. Even its use has spread to homes. In this article we have selected five of the best sellers this year, from equipment for occasional use to readers designed for small businesses.

We have also tried to clarify certain questions related to the zebra barcode scanner, such as the existing types, how they connect to a computer or what their advantages and disadvantages are. Like any important investment, buying equipment with these characteristics requires asking yourself a series of questions.

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