Symbol LS9208 Review Review

Symbol LS9208
Product: LS9208
Manufacturer: Symbol
Type: Multiline Omnidirectional Raster and Single Line Mode
Support: 30 month warranty from Symbol,
lifetime support from

The LS9208 is the premier omnidirectional barcode scanner from Symbol.

Typical uses and environments:
The Symbol LS9208 finds itself most at home in high-volume retail and grocery environments. The omnidirectional scan pattern’s robustness is increased with the use of a rasterizing scan pattern, enhancing the reliability when scanning damaged or difficult to read barcodes.

Unique Features & Advantages:
The standard rasterizing scan pattern provides the LS9208 with the ability to read even damaged, worn, or dirty barcodes, providing a great unique feature for retail locations that may receive barcodes in less than stellar condition. A button on the side allows the LS9208 to toggle to a secondary, non-autosense single line mode, creating ease of scanning when reading barcodes in a tightly packed area. The interface cable release is located on the bottom of the LS9208 and only requires thumb pressure to free the cable. This allows for much easier replacement of scanners or cabling, minimizing downtime as a result of equipment malfunction during work hours.

Symbol LS9208Standard Features:
The LS9208 comes with an interface cable and adjustable base out of the box. Once plugged in, the unit is ready to scan barcodes, making for an easy plug-and-play experience. A green LED on the top of the unit illuminates when powered up and flashes upon successful scans. If the device needs to be used in hand-held mode, the LS9208 features slightly indented sides that have a texture for ease of handling. Though the device is wider than a traditional hand-held scanner, it can still easily be held for the occasional scan of products too big to scan in hands-free mode. Once in hands-free mode, the adjustable base allows for tilting of the LS9208, putting the scan pattern in the most appropriate location for your needs.

Performance Testing:
In determining the scanning prowess of the Symbol LS9208, we ran it through a series of tests designed to show the optimal scan range, ability to scan dense, wide, and damaged barcodes, as well as determine its resistance to light. Our testing showed that, while the scanner does have some limitations, it covers the standard range of retail-based barcodes. We also determined the scanner to exceed the class in some features, creating a unique solution for many point of sale locations. The optimal scan range for the LS9208 is from contact to 12” away, providing a standard distance for scanning items in a grocery or retail environment. The rasterizing scan pattern allowed the unit to scan all but one of our worn barcodes properly, making it ideal for locations that may receive damage barcodes, such as nurseries or hardware stores.

Laser barcode scanners tend to have problems with bright light; however the LS9208 really outperforms the competition in these situations. The scan engine in the LS9208 is fully immune to the effects of light, allowing it to perform in full daylight or even with our portable light source nearly touching the barcode. This allows the scanner to work properly in locations that may get a lot of evening or morning light streaming directly into the scanning path. Wide barcodes gave our LS9208 the most trouble, causing it to fall short of the average scanner in its class. This occurs because in order to cover the width of the barcode with the beam, the scanner will be outside of the optimal scan range. Our LS9208 had problems with barcodes over 5 inches wide, either by density (27mil) or by raw data encoded (about 45 characters encoded). Fortunately, these barcodes tend to be far wider than those encountered in a standard retail or grocery environment.

A breakdown of the Symbol LS9208 capabilities is listed in table and graph form below.

1D Results

Highest Density Barcode Scanned 9 mil Average
Widest Barcode Scanned 133.35mm Average
Shortest Barcode Scanned 38 mm Good
Range Ideal Conditions (Standard 100% UPC-A) Contact – 12 inches Good
Scratched Barcode 3 of 3 Good
Worn Barcode 2 of 3 Good
Warped Barcode 2 of 2 Good
Curved Barcode> 2 of 2 Good
Multiple Barcodes in close proximity Relatively accurate, but dependent on distribution of barcodes relative to thickness of beam Average
Scan through plastic layers 2 Layers Good
Multicolored Barcodes Successfully Scanned Blue, Grey Good
Multicolored Barcodes Not Scanned Red, Yellow, Black on Dark Grey Average
Simulated Sunlight Test Full light immunity Excellent

The Symbol LS9208 omnidirectional scanner provides a tremendous amount of features for high-volume retail or grocery environments. Though it has difficulties with wide barcodes, it should be able to scan nearly every barcode one would encounter in a standard retail environment.

To Purchase this product, go to the Symbol LS9208 page.

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

For Additional Reviews, visit our Product Reviews page.

Other Symbol Products Ideal Setting Description

Grocery, high volume retail. Lower-cost counterpart to LS9208, also light immune. Only features one scan mode and lacks adjustable-tilt base.

Grocery, high volume retail. Two scan modes, adjustable-tilt base, light immune.

Grocery, high volume retail. Stationary scanner, designed for high
first-pass read rate.

Testing and evaluation results for the Symbol LS9208 Review - your single source for barcode scanners, POS software and POS equipment.

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