Way back when Zebra launched the GX range of plastic label printers, the original brochure promised the inclusion of an RFID version. This quickly disappeared from the sales literature and the RFID flavour of the printer never materialized.
Until now! Zebra has recently announced a new model with the (not easy to remember) name, ZD500R. This is finally the long awaited RFID GX printer!
While we won’t be seeing the new printer until sometime later in the year (let’s hope it is a little quicker in arriving than the GX version) and details are sparse so far, it is confirmed that the ZD500R is designed to encode UHF tags and Zebra claims it can handle the narrow labels used in retail applications. The ZD500R will come with Zebra’s new Link-OS firmware that offers a bunch of apps for managing devices.
When the original GX model was announced, I thought it would be a good RFID option for some of our defense contractor clients – people that need to have the ability to print and encode RFID labels, but often in small volumes, making a more industrial RFID printer hard to justify. Maybe the ZD500R will fit this need.
Indeed, the ZD500R could be a good fit for anyone looking for a compact UHF enabled RFID label printer. We’ll certainly be looking out for more info as it becomes available and we’ll be pestering our friends at Zebra for a demo unit to review as well.
In the meantime, we’ll be happy to help you with any RFID printing and encoding needs you might have – just give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237.
Update 1 – 06/24/2013
Information on this new model is still sparse, but Zebra has at least posted a basic brochure online. Check it out here
Update 2 – 09/26/2013
It is a very nice little printer and includes a similar RFID encoder to the Xi4 range (a smaller version to fit the small form factor) which allows it to print and encode small labels without needing to space them wide apart on the label roll.
This means it would be perfect for retail organizations needing to print small quantities of unit level RFID tags and I can also see it being used by defense companies needing to produce small volumes of MIL-STD-129 labels – using our BarTender label templates, of course.
The printer comes with the ability to handle both thermal transfer and direct thermal labels and has adapters to allow it to handle 3 inch diameter cores. Standard connectivity is serial, parallel, USB and Ethernet (thanks, Zebra!) and wireless is optional.
It would appear that the ZD500R is just about ready to be released to the market and I understand that the pricing is going to be super competitive – I would rather like one of these for myself!
The ZD500R will start shipping the middle of October 2013,.
We will be selling this new model as soon as it is available, so call me at 603-598-1553 x237, if this kind of low cost, small foot footprint RFID printer would fit into your plans.