Top 5 Bluetooth Barcode Scanners for iPads


Bluetooth barcode scanners are becoming more and more popular here.  We’re not talking about the £400+ rugged retail style barcode scanners, but the HID compatible little batch style scanners that will connect up to a multitude of standard Bluetooth enabled devices.

 7 Million iPads were sold over christmas in the UK according to official statistics.  That’s on top of what they already sold and with the normal Apple Spring refresh already being widely talked about it’s clear that 2011 will be “the year of the Tablet” that everyone else is talking about.  Bluetooth Scanners For iPads are going to come next!

We get about 1 query now every 2 weeks about iPad, iPhone or some kind of Android tablet EPOS system and so what we thought we’d do is look at a few barcode scanners that work with any smartphone or tablet.

In fact when it comes to the iPad there’s not that much difference to any other BT device so as long as the bluetooth scanner is HID compliant it’ll work.

Here’s our top 5 list of best Bluetooth scanners:

5. Baracode DFly and RoadRunners- from £250-£350

Baracoda make innovative, unique barcode scanning products specifically designed for the rugged market.  The DFly is a non rugged variant but the Roadrunners is a rugged version of this scanner.  Barcode scan performance is OK, it’s not on a par with the Cipherlab, Motorola, Opticon or Pidion scanners here.  However where they score is in their innovative approach and SDK’s.  Really nice to work with and would pip the Motorola if they were cheaper.

4. Motorola cs3000 £155

Motorola’s new cs3000 has a great scan engine, but in this company only comes in at number 4.  Why, because it has some flaws including not working live in tethered or charging mode, having no batch facility in BT mode and it is slightly larger than our top 3 scanners too.  A good effort but misses the mark.

3. Pidion BI300 – £130

Growing in popularity is Pidions Bluetooth BI300 scanner offering.  Its powerful with a Linux OS and the Arm9 CPU found in older smartphones, has a great battery, tried and tested scanner and it’s number 3 here only pipped by cipherlab due to the better service you’ll get from them after the sale.

2. Cipherlab 1660 – £140

We love this scanner here.  Cipherlab are a great manufacturer, they’re a scanning business and the Ciperlab 1660 is no exception to being a great product.  It uses AA batteries that can be easily replaced, has a decent 30M BT range and Ciperlabs products just do not go wrong, but when they do they’re fixed in the UK very quickly.

1. Opticon OPN2002 – £165

This tiny bluetooth scanner is the one to beat at the moment.  It works in USB mode, has a great battery life and is so light you’ll hardly notice it round your neck.  The OPN 2002 barcode scanner is excellent, the best here and it sells in the 1000’s.  The icing on the top of the cake are the accessories, like a 10 bay charger option and lanyards/USB cable in the box so you hit the ground running.  We also like the config tool which has just the right balance of complexity in an easy to learn piece of software.

It’s also silver and black for all you iPad lovers out there as you can see in the photo below!

We’ll take a closer look at some of these scanners very soon, but in the meantime if you have any questions then just come and talk to us here.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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