We often include a handheld RFID reader with our DoD labeling solutions.
Problem is that we have not had too many too choose from.
We started with offering the Symbol MC9060 which does a great job but is a huge overkill for the simple tasks most of our clients need to use it for. Looking for something lower in price, we tried the Intermec CK3, but this is poor solution for RFID – having two parts of the same device having to communicate over BlueToothis a horrible idea and there is no simple RFID capturing application included.
Our friends at Tharo helped a bit with a very low cost reader – you can see my review of it here The Tharo reader does do the simple job of making sure an RFID tag actually works and capturing the embedding number, but the build quality is poor and the ergonomics worse.
Enter the new MC3090Z Motorola. This is based on the popular MC3000 range of mobile computers and it looks to bring just about everything I would want into a handheld RFID reader.
The MC3090 has the ergonomics you’d expect in a Symbol/Motorola device as well as a level of robustness that means it won’t break when dropped. Unlike the Tharo reader, it has 802.11b/g wireless networking as well as an integrated barcode scanner. I believe this is a 1D laser scanner and I wish a 2D imager was available since most of our DOD clients are using Datamatrix or PDF417 barcode.
The MC3090Z should be ready to ship sometime in the 1st quarter of 2010 – I’m not sure on pricing yet, but hoping it will be quite a bit less than the current MC9090 RFID reader.
In any case, the MC3090Z looks to be the best fit for our client’s needs and we will certainly be adding it to our Winco ID RFID labeling solutions.
The Symborola guys have been working hard on their line of mobile computers and scanners of late – we have been buying some for our own use.