Zebra Introduces Two New Handheld RFID Readers

The company's MC3330R and MC3390R mobile computers are loaded with features and are designed to cover most common business applications.
Published: January 28, 2019

Zebra Technologies has introduced two new handheld RFID readers, the MC3330R and MC3390, which run on the Android operating system and feature integrated bar-code scanning engines. The ergonomic, ruggedized devices, which have a drop specification of 5 feet to concrete, are each designed for retail, manufacturing and logistics applications.

“Both units have a 4-inch touch-screen display made out of Gorilla Glass,” says Mike Poldino, Zebra’s VP of product management for data-capture solutions. “They have a 1.8 GHz processor, are IP54-rated and have scalable, software-defined radios. They come with a common software development kit and a common toolset, and run on a common management platform—they have all the things you would want from an enterprise solution.”

Zebra’s new MC3330R (left) and MC3390R mobile computers

The MC3330R has a circular-polarized RFID antenna designed to enable the device to quickly read passive UHF RFID transponders in random orientation, such as those in hangtags on apparel items. The unit weighs 23.4 ounces (663 grams), the company reports, making it lightweight enough for workers to use for several hours without tiring.

The MC3390R is designed for applications for which a longer read range is required, such as warehouse applications, in which workers need to take inventory counts of items located on high shelves. The unit comes with a Yagi antenna. “With a standard 1-inch by 4-inch label,” Poldino says, “we are achieving read ranges of up to 60 feet with the Yagi antenna.”

Zebra developed its own reader chip for the two units. The company says its new radio technology provides greater sensitivity and read accuracy, delivering a read rate that is more than 25 percent faster and more than 40 percent more accurate than other devices in its class, based on the company’s internal tests.

Both units come with a high-capacity, field-replaceable PowerPrecision+ battery, which Zebra says can last for more than five hours with typical use. An LED indicator lets users know when to change the battery. The devices run on the Android 7 operating system, and Zebra will offer free upgrades as new versions of the Android OS are released. What’s more, the units can connect directly to Wi-Fi networks, support encrypted communication and feature an embedded Bluetooth module.

The list price for each model varies based on the configuration required, but a spokesperson for Zebra Technologies says the range is between $3,000 and $4,000 per unit. Both handheld computers are available immediately.