Unitech MS910 Cordless Scanner

September 20, 2012

We have had the Unitech MS910 barcode scanner up on our site for a few months, but I finally got my hands on a real actual unit to test out. So far, it’s a pretty easy to use and really affordable option for bluetooth scanning for iPhones, Android phones, or any tablet or laptop.

Unitech advertises the scanner as being as small as a pack of gum, and it definitely feels about the same size as those small packs of Wrigley’s. It’s remarkably lightweight and easy to carry, and the shiny trigger feels responsive when scanning.

Pairing the MS910 with my iPhone did take a bit longer than with comparable products, but is incredibly straightforward. An included Quick Guide has the configuration barcodes necessary for pairing, and after scanning a passcode provided on the iPhone’s screen, I was able to send data to any open text field.

The MS910 reads most 1D barcodes with ease, including retail barcodes and even 1D shipping barcodes. There is a little bit of a learning curve to find the sweet spot, as the depth of field is about half a foot for standard UPC barcodes. I wonder how many times I can write barcode in one paragraph. Barcode. We were even able to read barcodes off LCD screens, including cell phones.

In terms of durability, the MS910 is built for retail use. It has a drop spec of 5 feet, so maybe if you’re a little clumsy or knock it off a shelf it should be fine. But there’s also an included wrist strap, eliminating the risk of drops entirely, and making the scanner feel a bit like a Wiimote.

I think the MS910 is a great fit for plenty of mobile scanning applications. From general inventory management to shipping receiving, the scanner reads 1D barcodes quickly and pairs with most any device on the market. And with the ability to scan on LCD screens, the MS910 becomes a great option for ticketing applications. Rather than have a giant mobile computer, venues can use the MS910 and a smaller mobile computer or even a paired PC nearby to scan both paper tickets and etickets. I know Amtrak is using mobile computers to scan passenger tickets, so this could be a viable option.

Motorola/Symbol’s rocking their blockbuster scan engine into all of their 2D scanners nowadays and so I’m working to get them all on the site. Their industrial cordless scanner, the DS3578, is a pretty burly addition to their lineup and goes great with Carharts & Red Wings.

They have two flavors available for this scanner, High Density and Standard Range, and I prefer that. For a while companies would offer four or five different tweaks on the same scan engine, and it’d just be a headache for customers trying to figure out which one they need. That being said, they do have a DPM scanner, DPM being Direct Parts Marking, or etching barcodes onto materials for scanning. But that’s a very specific market so we’ll avoid that style scanner.

The High Density scanner can read barcodes as dense as 3 mil, which is verging on pretty packed for most applications, but definitely exists on parts used during the manufacturing process. Scanning tiny barcodes does squash the depth of field, so you get about 6″ of scan range on standard 13 mil UPC barcodes, with some variance depending on the density of the barcode you want to read.

Standard Range scanning will probably be what most people need. 4 mil is the smallest barcode it can read, which is still pretty tiny for 95% of everyone out there. You get a lot more play on the depth of field, going out to about 15″ on 13 mil UPC barcodes.

And because Bluetooth is pretty silly with only 40 feet of range, especially in a warehouse, Motorymbol put a beefier radio in these scanners. You get up to 300 feet of radio range, line of sight, which is pretty awesome. I can’t imagine too many circumstances that require a scanner to be that far from the host, but it’s still awesome to have the capability. Or you can pair the scanner to a coworker’s mobile computer and randomly fire data at him/her. Workplace mischief is great when you have a 300 foot head start.

Burliness is a key feature of the DS3578, allowing it to operate in all sorts of inhumane conditions. The scanner is sealed to IP65 specifications, meaning that no dust can get in and harm the internal components, nor can low pressure jets of water. I’d feel bad for the person who has to work in those conditions, but I guess if you left it out in a storm it would be okay.

To further complement the durability of the DS3578, it was built to hold up to temperatures from -4° to 120° Fahrenheit, so keeping track of frozen stuff, like dairy princess butter sculptures, is no big deal. I’ve wanted to reference butter sculptures for a while, it feels great to finally get the opportunity.

The scanner is also built to take a beating, holding up to 6.5-foot drops to concrete and still running strong.

Metrologic Voyager Review

October 22, 2008

Look at this, we’re starting to get a decent flow on cranking out this videos. This time it’s a trifecta again, involving the Metrologic Voyager, VoyagerPDF, and VoyagerBT.

For the unitiated, these scanners are retail-oriented, with a 10-12″ maximum scan range. The VoyagerPDF can scan PDF417 barcodes, which are 2-dimensional. You do have to move the scanner across the barocde to get it to read, but it gives off geiger counter noises to let you know it’s reading. The VoyagerBT is the BlueTooth cordless model and has a 120 foot radio range.

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