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As with most electronic devices, barcode scanners and mobile computers will eventually become outdated and incompatible with new technology.

For some devices, it’s not always easy to tell when they are near their end of life. Here are some signs to look out for that suggest it’s time to upgrade.

You’re experiencing device downtime

Outdated barcode scanners can cause issues such as slow start-up and lagging. Slowly this will affect the efficiency and accuracy of your scanning operations.

Workers may be spending unnecessary time troubleshooting lagging devices or glitches instead of focusing on their tasks, which has a significant impact on productivity.

If your team are experiencing this now, you may want to investigate before you have a situation where devices won’t scan – or turn on at all.

Your devices are well worn

As well as what’s going on inside the devices, there may be cracks, chips and other physical signs they could be due for an upgrade.

While many manufacturers offer repairs, it can’t be promised that specific parts will be immediately available. Your workforce may need to go without the devices for days or weeks at a time while they are being fixed.

Plus, you need to be realistic about whether the fix being put in place is temporary. Could it reoccur and cost more long-term? Sometimes it makes more sense to upgrade to new hardware instead of making repairs.

Keep an eye out for savings through manufacturer trade-in programs. Go Zebra allows you to trade in current devices and earn a rebate to put towards a newer model.

Devices use legacy software

When you have an operating system that is no longer actively supported or operating efficiently, the costs associated with this are incredibly high. Not only are you hindering productivity when your devices can’t support the applications you need, but you are creating unnecessary frustration for your workers. Many outdated devices will not be compatible with the apps you want to use.

Devices which have reached their End of Service Live (EOSL) after often no longer supported with security updates by the manufacturer. Where your operating system may no longer be up to date this makes your device more susceptible to viruses, security breaches and hackers.

This handy article from Zebra shows you how to check if your Zebra product has been discontinued and when service and support for it will end.

Zebra devices are built to last

Many of Zebra Technology’s barcode scanners, mobile computers and printers have a minimum operational lifespan of five to 10 years. Zebra extends the life of its products by making them reliable, serviceable, repairable and able to undergo frequent software updates.

Thinking about an upgrade? Here are three top-of-the-range Zebra devices that will help you keep up with the demands of your workforce and customers.

Zebra TC72 and TC22 mobile computers are built with durability in mind. They are waterproof, dustproof and drop-proof, and are built with a 10% thinner surface than previous models so that they are more comfortable to be held by workers all day.

With Zebra’s own Mobility DNA Professional packaged in as standard, featuring everything from device tracking and diagnostics tools to simultaneous scanning capabilities, the devices are kept secure, optimised and performing to the best of their ability at every stage of their ‘lifecycle’.

The DS3600 ultra-rugged barcode scanner series are designed for the unique challenges of manufacturing and warehouse tasks. These scanners stand up to harsh conditions, read at astonishing lengths and speeds and give workers nonstop, full power.

The devices are the only in Zebra’s range that are dust-tight, spray proof and waterproofed to IP68.

Built into every Zebra barcode scanner is Zebra’s DataCapture DNA, a suite of software tools to evolve with your business. Your scanners can be optimised to support your specific workflow to give your teams a great user experience over the scanners’ lifetime.

If you’d like to understand which Zebra device is best suited to your business’s needs, please get in touch with our experts at