Top 5 Barcode Scanners Under $500

Symbol_LS4208_barcode_scannerWhen it comes to barcode scanners, there are many options. Scanners vary in color, size, scan engine, form factor, and many other ways. Most people, especially in today’s economy, just want a good, reliable scanner at a great price. To facilitate such a decision, we offer our picks for the Top 5 Barcode Scanners Under $500.

5) Motorola Symbol LS4278- The only cordless scanner on this list, the LS4278 scans all linear bar codes at 200 decodes per second. Featuring batch mode operation, multi point-to-point use, and a Bluetooth radio range of over 33 feet, it is no wonder as to why it is in the top five. Street Price: $480

4) Metrologic MS9540 Voyager- If all the Voyagers ever sold were stretched out from end to end, the distance covered would exceed 3 million feet or 1 million football fields. That being said, the Voyager has done pretty well for itself. The M9540 has both a handheld and presentation mode, CodeGate data transmission, and a standard 5-year warranty. Street Price: $150

3) Symbol LS4208- The LS4208 (pictured top-left) is one of the most dependable laser scanner you will find on the market. It features a multi-line rastering scan pattern, has superior motion tolerance, and is great at reading all 1D bar codes, even those that are poorly printed. Great for retail, healthcare, and the office, the LS4208 almost as good as it gets for the price. Street Price: $230

2) Hand Held Products 3800G- The only linear imager on this list, the 3800G features a read range up to 18” away, almost unheard of in the handheld imager market. Multiple interface options, sleek ergonomic design, and blazing scan speed (270 scans per second), are just a few of the reasons the 3800G is number two on this list. This scanner has been recently replaced by the Honeywell Hyperion 1300G, but the only difference is the cables. Street Price: $150

1) Symbol LS2208- One of the fastest selling scanners, the LS2208 is durable, reliable, and easy to use. We chose the LS2208 as first place on this list for its low price, wide working range (up to 17”), and industry-leading five year warranty. Street Price: $140


Symbol LS4278

Metrologic MS9540 Voyager

Symbol LS4208

Hand Held Products 3800G

Symbol LS2208


Cradle supports vertical or horizontal positions.

Adjustable Stand .

Intellistand™ with adjustable height and adjustable angle. Desktop and wall-mount holders also available


Hands-Free Intellistand™: 20-61019-01 or 20-61019-02

Interface Options:

RS-232C; IBM 468x/469x; Keyboard wedge; USB; Laser/wand emulation; Synapse adaptive connectivity.

RS232, PC Keyboard Wedge, Stand-Alone Keyboard, OCIA, IBM 468X/469X, Light Pen Emulation


IBM 468x/469x; Keyboard Wedge; USB; Laser/Wand Emulation; Synapse Adaptive Connectivity.

USB, RS232, Keyboard Wedge, and IBM 46xx interfaces

IBM, Keyboard wedge, RS-232, Synapse, USB, Wand


Scanner: 7.3”H x 3.85”L x 2.7”W

7.8”H x 1.6”D x 3.1”W

6.7” H x 3.7” L x 2.7” W

5.9˝ x 4.4˝ x 3.1˝

6” H x 2.5” W x 3.34” D

Weight (Scanner only without cable):

~8.4 oz.

~5.25 oz.

~6.4 oz.

5.6 oz

5.15 oz

Drop Testing:

Withstands multiple 5 ft./1.5 m drops to concrete


Withstands repeated 6-ft. (1.8-m) drops to concrete

Withstands multiple 5' drops to concrete

Withstands multiple 5 ft./1.5 m drops to concrete

Scan Method:

Single scan line

Single scan line

Multi-line rastering scan pattern

Linear Imager Barcode Scanner

Single line

Scan Speed:

72 ± 2 scan lines per second

72 ± 2 scan lines per second


Up to 270 scans per second

100 scans per second typical

Scan Distance






Code 39 - 5 mil

1.5” – 5.5”


1.5 to 5.5 in.

2.0˝ - 8.0˝

2-50” - 6.00”

Code 39 – 10 mil

0” – 14.0”


0 to 14 in.

1.0˝ - 15˝

1.00” - 14.25”

100% UPC – 13 mil

0” – 19.0”


0 to 19 in.

0.5˝ - 18˝

0” - 17.0”

Code 39 - 20 mil

0” – 29.0”


0 to 29 in.

1.0˝ - 26˝

0” - 23.00”








3 years from the date of shipment. See full warranty for details.


5 years from the date of shipment.

5 year factory warranty

5 years (60 months) from date of shipment. See full warranty for details.

Honorable Mention: Symbol DS6707 2D- While this scanner didn't quite make our top five, it does meet the pricing criteria and is the top selling 2D barcode scanner on the market. 2D scanners are growing at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 18% in North America, compared to about 8% for 1D scanners, primarily due to the fact that 2D barcodes can hold much greater amounts of data. With the exploding popularity of QR codes, 2D scanning technology is becoming mainstream and is one of the best ways to future-proof your business.

About the Author

System ID is a full service provider for cost-effective barcode and RFID-enabled solutions. Focusing on improving efficiency and operation savings for their customers, System ID has turned their expertise into the largest customer base in the industry. They can be found online at or by phone at 888-648-4452.

Related articles:

1D Barcode Scanners: A User-based Review

Barcode Scanner Listings

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