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So this week we’re looking at bluetooth barcode scanners and in particular taking a look at our current leader, the Opticon OPN2002.
Bluetooth has become a lot more stable in the past couple of years and we’re seeing viable solutions for line of business applications in all but the most aggressive barcode scanning solutions. Personally I think small Bluetooth Barcode Scanners acceptance has been fuelled by 3 things. 1) The emergence of the tablet and using this for more and more EPOS and data capture reporting, instead of the usual web back-end, 2) The requirement for Android and iPhone solutions, which in turn has forced people from the classic rugged PDA, 3) RFID is proving, certainly to us here, that where Bluetooth accessories are the only option, it is proving itself as a viable option. In fact we’re seeing most queries from customers looking for iPhone bluetooth barcode scanners than anything else right now.
So lets look a little more closely at the OPN 2002.
There are actually 2 models. The OPN 2001 which has no bluetooth and the OPN 2002 which does. They look pretty much identical and can both scan live using USB. The 2002 also has greater RAM (1MB Vs 64KB) and greater ROM for storage (1MB Vs 512KB). This is enough for at least 10,000 or 20,000 barcode scans.
Accessories and in the Box
You have everything you need in the box, including a USB A to mini USB cable which will charge and sync the device and a lanyard to keep the small bluetooth scanner. There are also a fair few accessories including case, different lanyards/straps and reels, PDA attachments and a 10 device charge station. Not bad when most other scanners in this class have nothing!
The OPN 2002 is the smallest Bluetooth Barcode Scanner on the market. In fact it’s tiny at 32x62x16mm and only 29g in weight. In fact as you will see in the photo’s here, we stick these onto the bottom of PDA’s when using them for 1 handed PDA operation and they are so light and small this works really well.
We’ll cover this off in a video test later this week showing you the scan in various conditions but one of the reasons it’s our current leader in this class is due to its scan performance. At 100 scans per minute, it not only reads fast, but it scans with ease barcodes that other devices find awkward. Add to this it feels very “retail-like” in the way it scans. No delays, you press the button, it scans and its immediately ready for the next barcode. It’s very easy to live with.
The battery on the 2002 is a 240mmAh (150mAh on the 2001) and is a Li-Ion built-in affair, the benefits of this are that its light, you have no worries about missing batteries and 240mAh is a pretty good size for a small scanner. It’s good for about 7 hours of scanning but we’ve actually got more out of it when not using the bluetooth radio. Some scanners prefer to use AA batteries because this gives you the ability to change the batteries without a charge however the OPN 2002 is too small to house AAA let alone AA!
Software, Configuration and programmability
To round the OPN 2002 off it comes with a decent set of applications that give you just enough options to configure the barcode scanner aswell as the file structure it generates and there’s a pretty good Complier kit for those of you with C programming skills.
The Cons of the OPN 2002
Everything has a downside and the OPN’s is Opticon. They’re just not up to speed on serving and supporting their customers like other manufacturers are for us with a dire distribution channel for the UK but with scanners we cover this off here no problems.
Also the OPN 2002’s design is clearly aimed at the PDA or “Shiny” market with its chrome and black finish. We’ve found that this finish doesn’t last, so whilst the scanner keeps working the case looks worn quite quickly if used in anything like a rugged environment.
Lastly there’s no longer a USB port cover for the device so the USB port is left open to the elements. It’s not a massive problem but on a £150 barcode scanner maybe it would have been nice to know your USB port is being protected whilst in use. They suddenly started to be supplied with no warning like this which isn’t great (Refer to sentence above!).
Other than this there’s not much to fault and with its scan performance, size, functionality and price its easy to see why its our current class leader.
Tomorrow we’ll have a play and get some videos up for you showing the OPN 2002 in action.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.