DS4800 Video Coverage

January 9, 2014

Hey isn’t this great? We’ve made a video of the DS4800 so you can see it in all its glory. And what a lot of glory.

 

Behold!

We did a video a couple years ago covering the Epson TM-T88V and Epson ReadyPrint T20 receipt printers, including the difference in print speeds. Receipt printer speeds are always kind of nebulous. You can read all these data sheets and product descriptions and come to the conclusion that the TM-T88V is 6 better than the ReadyPrint T20, or maybe twice as fast, but until you see them side-by-side, it’s difficult to grasp what 6 better really entails.

So we have video now of the scanner we’ll still not name going up against Symbol’s LS2208. As you can see, while the knockoff scanner costs tremendously less than the LS2208, it is also a lot cheaper. Totally not worth it.

Quick answer: No

Long answer:

From time to time we hear of companies selling barcode scanners that look close enough to the major players, but at unbeatable prices. Like $40 for a Symbol LS2208 knockoff. But like Ninolta cameras and Mokia phones, these knockoffs are going to cost you a lot more in the long run in terms of lost productivity and frustration.

We recently picked up one of these scanners, available on Amazon and through their own site, for not much. The manufacturer, who I’ll refuse to name, also sells car rear view cameras, TV antennas, and outdoor LED strip lights. You know they’re making major moves for the data capture market when they also sell a tape to MP3 converter.

Though the scanner looks sort-of like a Symbol LS2208, the performance pales in comparison. The trigger mechanism merely activates the autosense in the scanner, similar to waving your hand or a barcode in front of the scanner. This does make the scanner act like an actual barcode scanner but doesn’t give the common experience of holding the trigger until a barcode is scanned. It also means that products moved near the scanner activates the laser, which can cause bad reads on products with multiple barcodes.

The included stand is thin plastic and doesn’t actually need an autosense activator, as the scanner is always autosense. The boot of the stand clamps around the scanner, so you have to physically hold down the stand to remove the scanner. Or you can just swing it around like it’s an extension to the scanner. Either way. And the plastic screw that holds the stand at a proper angle loosens easily and on its own, making it difficult to keep a consistent scanning area.

I looked into the warranty on this product. It’s up to 12 months, which isn’t too bad compared to other $40 scanners. However, the manufacturer requires the reseller to handle any warranty coverage for that time period. I doubt Amazon or Ebay are going to handle warranty calls for this product.

In comparison, our top selling barcode scanners come with a 5-year warranty. 5 Years of coverage for manufacturer defects and performance degradation, with optional comprehensive coverage for just a few bucks. You pay a little more and you can run your scanner over with a forklift, send it to the manufacturer, and they’ll give you a replacement.

If you read over my other product review/announcement posts, I give pretty glowing reviews of the products we sell. And that’s because those products are purpose built for our industry. Even if they’re not the best for everyone, they’re great for specific applications, and I do my best to point it out. Further, we only list products that are going to work well for you.

TL;DR – Knockoff scanners aren’t worth it.

We managed to get our hands on some Motorola LI4278 barcode scanners, and we decided the best plan was to break one on video. Somehow we failed. Aside from some superficial (and some less than superficial) damage, the scanner kept on scanning.

So after dropping it from about 80-feet to asphalt, kicking it down a road, spiking it off a wall, hitting it with a plank, standing on it, hosing it down, and driving over it a few times, we could only scuff up the housing and crack the head of the scanner. But it still runs like a champ.

Durability Tested LI4278

For a retail-priced scanner, we were amazed at the amount of abuse it survived. We really don’t recommend actually doing this to your scanner, but if you have remarkably clumsy employees or like to throw stuff to people, this is a great fit.

What happens when you run over an LI4278 with a car

We’ve got a full bullpen of video reviewers. It’s pretty amazing. This time Travis is dropping a knowledge bomb regarding MMF’s cash drawers, specifically the Advantage and Val-u Line drawers. The Advantage is a heavy duty drawer, with some extra security features and the ability to hold up to some gnarly environments. The Val-u line is not as heavy duty, but still pretty beefy. Cash drawers have to hold your money, so even the cheapest ones on the market are still strong and secure. Also I said duty twice up in there.

We’ve got a video up from Jessie, our grand new video reviewer. This time we’re taking the Honeywell Voyager 1200g for a spin, and trying our best to recreate the video they made of the scanner reading nasty and scratched out barcodes.

It’s been a while since the last update, we’ve been cranking out a new catalog to send out to customers and I haven’t had time to share the fanciness that’s been going on at POSGuys. Our fantastic video reviewer, Jaime, has returned to, well, do video reviews. She’s also helping with general site upkeep. Anyway, this is her first video since her return, covering some details on the Honeywell Dolphin 6100 mobile computer.

Motorola Mobile Computers

February 4, 2011

In the past couple years, Motorola’s moved from the very different MC50 and MC70 mobile computers, now offering the MC55, MC65, and MC75. And while they look relatively similar, there’s a bigger difference between them than one being ten more than the other.

MC55: The MC55 is kind of the entry level mobile computer in terms of features, but is still a great fit for inventory management or data collection “within the four walls.” I’m really feeling comfortable with corporate jargon, so to translate, the MC55 has WiFi and Bluetooth communications capabilities, but lacks cell phone radios.

You also get the option of the laser barcode scanner or the 2D imager, so you can trim down costs by getting a unit that just has what you need and that’s it. There’s also an optional camera if you happen upon the ultimate there I fixed it situation and must capture it.

MC65: Of the three, the MC65 is the most versatile. You get the Bluetooth, you get the WiFi, but you also get a soft-switch cellular radio in there. So you can switch between CDMA or GSM networks without having to swap cards or reboot the mobile computer. Now even if you’re in the boonies, you have a good chance of getting enough bars to order a pizza.

The MC65 is a little stronger than the MC55 as well, able to survive bigger drops and dirtier environments. You also get a faster processor and more RAM, so loading apps or searching databases is a little snappier.

These units all come with the Blockbuster 2D imager, which I’ve mentioned as being the bee’s knees previously. It’s a fast scanner, I can see why it’s going into most of Motorola’s new products.

MC75: As the beastly big brother of the lineup, the MC75 beats out the other two in terms in of raw performing power. You can get a cell phone radio in the MC75, but unlike the MC65 you have to choose a single network.

Like the MC55, the MC75 comes with either a 1D laser barcode scanner or blockbuster 2D imager built in, and the option of a camera. The wide variety of MC75 options lets you pick the model that has the features you need & little else, saving you some cash.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the major differences between the product lines.

Product MC55 MC65 MC75
Durability IP54, 5′ Drops IP64, 6′ drops IP54, 5′ drops
Cell Network None GSM and CDMA GSM or CDMA
Scanner Laser or Imager Imager Laser or Imager
RAM 128 MB 256 MB 256 MB
Processor 520 MHz 600 MHz 800 MHz

So not only is the MC75 twenty better than the MC55, it’s better suited for high demand computing, field mobility, and applications that have very specific requirements. The MC65 is the one-size-fits-all option for mobile computing, and the MC55 fits at home within your business for data capture.

Part of the fun of being a product manager is getting to know manufacturer reps. These guys & gals live and breathe their product line, and they’re more than happy to extol the virtues of their new fantastic product. I figure there’s either some kool aid involved, or the smell of new plastics has some sort of mind altering effect, because they exhibit a level of exuberance I’m more accustomed to seeing at a Disney theme park.

The reps seem to enjoy picking my brain about products as well. A few have said that often times we have a view of what our customers need that might not line up with other resellers or developers. Twelve cell phone radios might not be what our customers need. But sometimes a product comes out that so specifically hits our main user base that we know it’s going to be a knockout even when it’s just a 3D render and a few buzzwords.

The Motorola CS3070 barcode scanner is one such item. For the longest time, Motorola/Symbol (or Motorymbol if you dig synergy) had been manufacturing & shipping out the CS1504, a batch barcode scanner that ran on a few watch batteries and looked like something you’d find at the bottom of a toy chest. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t designed to take the market by storm, but it was a good and inexpensive way for businesses and consumers to scan a ton of barcodes and output them into a spreadsheet. We sold our share of them, and customers really liked the fact that you could perform basic inventory management for under $400.

But the scanner was pretty lacking and showing its age. The scan engine was an older model that seemed underpowered compared to its cabled brethren, 3 disposable watch batteries really doesn’t scream environmentally friendly, it was very much something that needed some refreshing. And whenever our rep came to visit, we’d mention that if they put together a newer unit, with a rechargeable battery, we could probably move a few. And so they did, and in a big way.

The Motorola CS3070 takes entry level batch scanning and makes it easier than you could imagine. Because people often imagine scanning tons of barcodes and exporting it to something else. They’ve built it with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges over USB no sweat. It’s available in two flavors, straight up batch data sending and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth model acts as a regular cordless scanner, or it can send batch data over USB like its radio-less partner.

What sets it apart from the Opticon OPN 2002 is that the CS3070 has 512 MB of flash memory. Motorola claims that’s enough memory to store over 1 million barcodes and timestamps, however the OPN 2002 can store around 20,000 with its 1 MB of memory. I did some a little math, because math is fun, and with a straight comparison, 512 MB could theoretically store 10.2 million barcodes. Possibly. I don’t know who has that many barcodes, but it’s a possibility.

TheĀ  CS3000 actually mounts as a USB device, so you can grab the barcodes manually and not have to install a bunch of drivers. And because the CS3070 mounts as a flash drive, you can install software onto it, and after setting up an autorun file on the unit, whenever you plug it in it’ll run the apps you need. So now instead of having one computer that syncs your devices, the device does all the work. I could see this being a fantastic solution for businesses who have gift registries and multiple checkstands. You don’t have to wait for the licensed computer to be open; the license travels with the device.

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