• Shanghai Eastimage Equipment Co., Ltd
  • Address : NO.111, Zhiye Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai, P.R.China
  • Phone : +86-21-33909331
  • Email :

Barcode Scanners - How to Choose

The first question you need to ask is what type of barcode you will be scanning: 1D or 2D. This is important because a 1D scanner cannot scan 2D barcodes, although 2D scanners can scan 1D barcodes. A 1D barcode has black vertical lines.
1D barcodes have a range of symbologies: code39, code128 and UPC are typical. UPC (Universal Product Codes) barcodes are found on merchandise and store products, whereas the other symbologies are typically used for internal tracking such as manufacturer serial numbers, inventory locations, etc. Most scanners are configurable to filter out and read only the symbologies you specify. If you don't know the symbology you are using, you should check to confirm that the scanner can read it if you elect to use a 1D scanner.
2D barcodes store more information than 1D barcodes, but they require a 2D reader. Common examples of 2D include drivers license, FedEx and UPS package tracking. Benefits of 2D include being able to read the barcode even if a portion of the label is damaged or obscured, as well as storing much more information that a 1D barcode.
Most people will use 1D barcode scanners since that is the most popular.
Imager or Laser Barcode Scanner?
Laser barcode scanners read 1D barcodes. Most new handheld, PDA or mobile scanners have converted and use an imager. An imager allows you to read 1D or 2D, although when you purchase the scanner you should be careful to specify that you need to read 2D barcodes even if it says in includes an imager.
Laser scanners emit a thin red line of light (the laser) which reads the barcode. Many imagers also emit a red line of light, but this is just to help the user target what they are scanning. An imager takes a picture of the barcode and then decodes it, so imager can handle misaligned, damaged or dirty barcodes better than laser scanners.

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