Motorola MC3100

July 14, 2011

Motorola MC3100Hey so the Motorola MC3000 is toast. It’s been replaced by the MC3100 which is 100 better. There’s more to it than that, but I like to think that model numbers directly relate to the difference in capabilities of products.

The MC3100 sports the same build types as the older mobile computer: Straight Shooter Brick Thing, Rotating Laser Turret of Doom, and Traditional Gun-Style. You get your choice of Windows CE 6.0 Pro or Windows Mobile 6.5 Classic, so it should be compatible with most mobile inventory/sales apps. A 624 MHz Marvell PXA320 processor powers the device, along with 256 MB of RAM and either 512 MB or 1 GB of Flash memory. There’s also an SD card slot on it in case you want to load the scanner up with Starland Vocal Band. Or picking lists.

For scanning, you get your choice of Moto’s laser scan engine (SE950) or their blockbuster 2D scan engine (SE4500-HD). The Rotating Turret model only comes with the laser scanner, I guess rotating imager technology doesn’t exist yet. For scan range, the laser gives you 15″ of optimal scanning on 100% UPC barcodes, and the imager can read the same barcodes from almost a foot out. As always, your mileage may vary depending on the density of the barcode.

Motorola built the MC3100 to be pretty durable, giving you similar capabilities to their high-end industrial line while not breaking the bank. The operating temperature for the mobile computer is -4 to 122 F. -4 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just frigid. But the MC3100 will keep humming along at that temperature while you’re wondering who told you -4 isn’t that cold. It also sports an IP54 seal, so windblown dust won’t get inside the body, nor splashes of water from any angle. That combo could make it a good choice for cold storage inventory management, or maybe penguin tracking or something.

In all, the Motorola MC3100 offers similar durability to the high-end MC9000 while not costing nearly as much. Some bells & whistles are eliminated, such as long range scanning, cellular radios, or a heavier duty environmental seal, but you still get tremendous features for data management within the four walls.

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