What Are The 5 Form Factors Of Barcode Scanners?

With barcode scanners, inventory management has never been easier. However, have you ever wondered what the form factors of barcode scanners are? Or, do you know what a form factor is? This article is here to answer these questions for you!

Barcode scanners come in different types, but they also come in different form factors which refers to the size, shape, and physical specifications of the hardware – in this case, the barcode scanner.

In this article, we will be discussing the five main form factors of barcode scanners, namely: 

  • Handheld
  • Presentation
  • Mobile computer
  • In-counter
  • Fixed-mount scanners.

1). Handheld Barcode Scanners

Handheld barcode scanners are the most common and popular barcode scanners on the market because they are easy to operate. All you have to do is to aim the scanner at a barcode and pull the trigger.

Most handheld barcode scanner models are wired, but there are newer models that offer cordless scanners to avoid cable clutter and increase mobility.

Some handheld barcode scanners also come with stands for hands-free operation. They are commonly found in healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, and retail scenes.

 5 Form Factors Barcode Scanners

2). Presentation Barcode Scanners

Presentation barcode scanners are designed to be placed on a countertop and don’t need to be held or picked up like the handheld barcode scanners.

You simply need to face the barcode in front of the scanner and the scanner will automatically read the barcode. In essence, these scanners are stationary, offer hands-free scanning, and do not require to be triggered in order to read a barcode.

These scanners are often found in retail check-outs because they can scan items quickly and efficiently. Additionally, they have broad reading areas which make scanning multiple items easier. Because of this, presentation barcode scanners are often found in grocery or retail stores. 

3). Mobile Computer Barcode Scanners

Mobile computer scanners have more advanced features than handheld and barcode scanners because they are a PC and a scanner in one device. Some scanners need to be connected to a PC, but there are also scanners that can move around freely. 

These scanners are capable of storing pertinent information into their internal memory without needing wire scanning to a computer. They can also communicate via WiFi or Cellular (WAN) networks.

If you are looking for a scanner with proper mobility for inventory management and asset tracking, then these are the barcode scanners for you.

4). In-counter Barcode Scanners

In-counter barcode scanners are somewhat similar to presentation scanners because the barcode will need to be placed in front of the scanner to be read.

The only difference is that they are already embedded in the counter-top. These scanners are commonly found in grocery stores or self check-out lanes.

 5 Form Factors Barcode Scanners

5). Fixed Mount Barcode Scanners

Fixed scanners are slightly more specialised than the other barcode scanners. This is because they are integrated with a larger automated system.

You can find these scanners mounted on conveyor lines or in a kiosk and do not need to be triggered by a button in order to scan a barcode. Rather, these scanners are usually triggered by external sensors or controllers.

Additionally, fixed-mount scanners can come in various speeds for high-speed assembly lines without user intervention. As such, these scanners are the preferred options for conveyor lines or kiosks that work fast and deal with multiple items.


Barcode scanners come in different form factors – namely, handheld, presentation, mobile computer, in-counter, and fixed mount–that each come with different features to accommodate various settings and mobility requirements.

Therefore, in choosing the right barcode scanner it is important to weigh up each of their individual characteristics and determine whether their features are suitable for the place in which you plan to use your barcode scanner.

For more information about Bar Code scanners, particularly for stocktaking purposes, please visit our website.

If you would like to know more about the best stocktake software and how the right set of software and point of sale systems could help you, give us a call.

Our team would be happy to discuss your needs and to help you build new, more efficient workflows that will support the best operation of your warehouse or store.

We have the right tools for companies of all sizes and will work to accommodate your business, supplying you with technologies that are tailored to suit your business to help improve your efficiency and accountability.

We are the market leader when it comes to the development of customised and packaged solutions.

This includes Inventory Management, Portable Barcode Readers, Supply Chain Management, Time and Attendance and Asset Tracking to name but a few.

Please call us today on 03 9578 7600 or 1800 061 642 or leave us an enquiry.