Zebra LS2208 Review

Product: LS2208
Manufacturer: Zebra
Type: Retail & Light Industrial
Capture Method: Laser
Support: 5 Year support, lifetime warranty on scan engine through Zebra;
Lifetime support through POSGUYS.com

The LS2208 is Zebra’s entry into the mid-level retail class. A laser-based scanner; it comes equipped with cabling and auto-sense stand. Please note, while we are calling this scanner the Zebra LS2208, we are also referring to the Symbol LS2208 as Zebra acquired Motorola, the parent company of Symbol Solutions.

Typical uses and environments:

The Zebra LS2208 features an aggressive laser-based scanner. Though there is a stigma that laser-based scanners aren’t as durable as their CCD counterparts, Zebra has gone to great lengths to eliminate this discrepancy. The LS2208’s durability and aggressive scan engine make it ideal for medium to high volume scanning environments, such as retail, industrial, and health care.

Standard Features & Advantages:

The LS2208 comes with everything you need to get started right out of the box. Though the interface cable is not attached, no additional configuration is required to send the barcode data to the system. If further configuration is required, the LS2208 comes with a quick start guide to change some basic functionality of the unit. A full configuration guide as well as scanner configuration software are available both at POSGuys.com and Zebra.com.

Rubberized edges around the beam hood, boot, and head unit of the scanner prevent the LS2208 from being damaged by products or damaging the products. It also acts as a shock dampener, absorbing the damage that could occur if it were to fall off a counter or ladder.

Unique Advantages:

While most scanners come with just the interface cable, most of the the Zebra LS2208 options also ship with the goose-neck auto-sense stand. This allows the scanner to be set up in retail environments as a hands-free scanner with no additional purchases. The LS2208 utilizes a magnetic switch in the handle to activate auto-sense mode, meaning it can switch between handheld and hands free mode with no configuration.


The only drawback we’ve encountered when using the LS2208 is that, like all Zebra scanners, a carriage return is not sent at the end of a scan by default. This can easily be remedied with the included quick start guide, but it does create one extra step to get the scanner fully ready to implement.

Performance Testing:

In testing the performance of the Zebra LS2208, we ran it through a battery of tests, including scan range testing, barcode density, barcode width, light resistance, and durability. Our testing determined the scanner performs as well if not better than the other scanners in its class. The effective scan range of the LS2208 is from contact to about 17” back, confirming Zebra’s advertised range. This falls in line with standard use in retail environments as well as within the class. Accurately scanning while in contact with a barcode provides the LS2208 a slight edge, as the flex-neck stand may put the scanner much closer to a barcode. When testing the durability, the LS2208 passed our 3’ and 6’ drop tests, but received damage to the auto-sense mechanism on the second 13’ drop. After the second drop, the top of the head unit popped loose and the scanner stayed in auto-sense mode. It was at this point we determined the damage to be sufficient enough to “fail,” as the usability of the scanner was significantly altered. Zebra’s drop specification lists the LS2208 as surviving multiple 5.5’ drops to concrete, and our scanner far exceeded those specifications.

The greatest strength of the LS2208 lies in the scan engine designed by Symbol. In testing wide barcodes, we were able to get it to read barcodes 7” wide, with about 50 characters encoded. For density, our LS2208 was capable of reading barcodes as small as 4.9 mil, excellent for retail use. This scanning robustness means the LS2208 will easily scan any barcode you will encounter in general use, and has the capability of scanning more complicated linear barcodes as needed. Light resistance is the bane of a barcode scanner’s existence, and the LS2208 is no exception. When scanning from a standard range of 4 inches, the scanner could not easily read barcodes in direct sunlight or with our 250w spotlight within 12”. The LS2208 does act as a contact scanner, which can eliminate the problem, but only for barcodes about 1.5” wide.

A breakdown of the Zebra LS2208’s capabilities is listed in table and graph form below.

Performance Chart

1D Results

Smallest Density Barcode Scanned 4.9mil Good
Largest Barcode Scanned 187.9mm Excellent
Shortest Barcode Scanned 38 mm Good
Range Ideal Conditions (Standard 100% UPC-A) 0 inches – 17 inches Great
Multiple Barcodes in close proximity Relatively accurate, but can have problems with densely populate barcodes Average
Scan through plastic layers 2 Layers Good
Multicolored Barcodes Successfully Scanned Blue, Grey, B & W Inverse Good
Multicolored Barcodes Not Scanned Red, Yellow, Black on Dark Grey Average
Simulated Sunlight Test Correct scans until spotlight was at 12” Average


The Zebra LS2208 provides excellent features out of the box at a competitive price within its class. It would fit in excellently at any retail, hospitality, or light industrial location given the aggressive scan engine and standard durability.

To Purchase This Product, go to Zebra LS2208

For Additional Reviews, visit our Product Reviews page.

To see our complete line of barcode scanners, visit our Barcode Scanners section.

Similar Products From Zebra Ideal Setting Description

All Retail, Light Industrial, Medium to High Volume Scanning Excellent features for its price. Aggressive scan engine ensures accurate scans for all types of linear barcodes

Light to Medium Industrial, Rough Retail, High Volume Scanning More aggressive scan engine than LS2208, able to enter raster mode to scan damaged barcodes. IP54 seal protects it from dust & water.

Heavy Industrial, Harsh Environments Cordless barcode scanner has extended range or fuzzy logic scan engine to increase scanning ability. IP64 seal protects it from the elements.

Testing and evaluation results for the Zebra LS2208

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