Which barcode/RFID rugged handheld is best for you?

Supply chains, warehouses, and asset management all rely on organization and tracking of goods. To accomplish this, the use of a reliable barcode/RFID system is a must. The environments using barcode or RIFD tracking vary greatly – from store shelves to hazardous materials transport. Learn which RFID- or barcode-reading rugged handheld works best for your industry.

Juniper Systems offers a wide range of rugged handhelds. From operating system platforms to form factors to barcode and RFID tag reading functions. Whether it’s a large warehouse or a hazardous location, Juniper Systems’ product line is built rugged for any environment. Manufacturing for Juniper Systems’ products is done in the United States.

It’s important to know what types of rugged tablets and handhelds are available. In situations where a device is in the hands of an employee all day, it’s important to note the importance of durability, ergonomics, battery life and versatility.

For over 25 years, Juniper Systems has created rugged and versatile handheld data collectors. This article will walk through the rugged handhelds made by Juniper Systems that feature barcode scanning capabilities and RFID readers/writers.

The Mesa 3 Rugged Tablet

The Mesa 3 Rugged Tablet is Juniper Systems’ highest performing tablet. The rugged tablet is available running on either Windows 10 or Android 9.0. Both versions of the device have a vibrant 7-inch high-resolution display. The Windows 10 version of the tablet is powered by an Intel® processor and 8 GB of RAM. This is a Windows 10 PC in a tablet form factor.

The Android version of the Mesa 3 runs on a Qualcomm® SoC (system on a chip). This is a powerful 7-inch Android tablet that allows easy access to the Google Play Store and all other Google Mobile Services.

All-day battery life means the Mesa 3 will get through a full shift with continuous use without needing to be charged. The Mesa 3 also has an IP68 rating and meets testing procedures for MIL-STD-810G. This means the Mesa 3 is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof.

The ergonomic design and included hand strap allow for all-day use without fatigue to the user. These ergonomic elements were designed into the device through development.

The Mesa 3 not only serves as a tool for data collection but as a full workstation. The Mesa 3 easily connects to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with the M 2/3 Dock. Easily take the Mesa 3 out on rounds or out of the office all day and return with reliable data.

Both the Windows 10 and Android versions of the Mesa 3 can be purchased with a barcode scanner built into the device as well as an RFID reader. A pistol grip attachment is also available. Both the barcode and RFID modules can be built into the same device giving flexibility for diverse supply chains or asset management situations that require both for data capture.  

Barcode Specs: Mesa 3 Windows 10 and Android 9.0

  • 1D/2D Imager Optional built-in barcode imager and decoder
  • Symbologies: all common 1D and 2D (PDF417, MicroPDF417, Composite, RSS, TLC-39, Data matrix, QR code, Micro QR code, Aztec, MaxiCode, Postal codes, etc.)
  • Programmable trigger buttons
  • Visible aiming bullseye with low-light illumination
  • Barcode Connector™ utility, wedge and configuration, SDK support available

RFID Specs: Mesa 3 Windows 10 and Android 9.0

  • Optional built-in UHF RFID module and internal antenna
  • Region-specific frequency configurations (859–873 MHz & 915–930 MHz)
  • EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) protocol support • Wide output range (0 dBm to +27 dBm)

Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet

The Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet offers a 7-inch display, Intel® processor, 4 GB of RAM, and runs on Windows 10. It also offers the same all-day battery life, rugged design, and versatility as the Mesa 3 running on Windows 10. The Mesa 2 also offers a great blend of performance, price, and functionality for barcode and RFID environments. A pistol grip is available for the Mesa 2 for added comfort and functionality.  

Barcode Specs: Mesa 2

  • 1D/2D Imager Optional built-in barcode imager and decoder
  • Symbologies: all common 1D and 2D (PDF417, MicroPDF417, Composite, RSS, TLC-39, Data matrix, QR code, Micro QR code, Aztec, MaxiCode, Postal codes, etc.)
  • Programmable trigger buttons
  • Visible aiming bullseye with low-light illumination
  • Barcode Connector™ utility, wedge and configuration, SDK support available

RFID Specs: Mesa 2

  • Optional built-in UHF RFID module and internal antenna
  • Region-specific frequency configurations (859–873 MHz & 915–930 MHz)
  • EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) protocol support • Wide output range (0 dBm to +27 dBm)
  • Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet in M2 Dock

Archer 3 Rugged Handheld

The Archer 3 Rugged Handheld is designed for frequent one-handed data entry. The narrow and ergonomic design of the device allows for long workdays with minimal strain on hands and arms. The device also features backlit physical buttons for quick data collection. The physical buttons include a full numerical keypad and six programable buttons.

The Archer 3 runs on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and is powered by a quad-core ARM processor. It also features a battery life of 20 hours. An IP68 and military standard rating ensures the Archer 3 will hold up in any condition. A pistol grip attachment adds further functionality to the Archer 3 with the inclusion of a programable trigger.

Barcode Specs: Archer 3

  • BARCODE 1D/2D Imager
  • Built-in barcode imager and decoder
  • Symbologies: all common 1D and 2D (PDF417, MicroPDF417, Composite, RSS, TLC39, Data matrix, QR code, Micro QR code, Aztec, MaxiCode, Postal codes, etc.)
  • Programmable trigger buttons
  • Visible aiming crosshair with low-light illumination
  • Barcode Connector™ Utility, wedge and configuration, SDK support available
  • Archer 3 Rugged Handheld

Allegro 3 Rugged Handheld

The Allegro 3 Rugged Handheld offers a unique design and continues the incredibly popular form factor the Allegro family is known for. Powered by the same processor as the Archer 3, the Allegro 3 offers quick data-capture features headlined by its backlit alphanumerical keyboard. The Allegro 3 offers easy one-handed use while using the barcode reader and offers fast typing for additional data entry needs.  

Barcode Specs: Allegro 3

  • BARCODE 1D/2D Imager
  • Built-in barcode imager and decoder
  • Symbologies: all common 1D and 2D (PDF417, MicroPDF417, Composite, RSS, TLC39, Data matrix, QR code, Micro QR code, Aztec, MaxiCode, Postal codes, etc.)
  • Programmable trigger buttons
  • Visible aiming crosshair with low-light illumination
  • Barcode Connector™ Utility, wedge and configuration, SDK support available
  • Allegro 3 Rugged Handheld

Cedar CT8 Rugged Tablet

The Cedar CT8 Rugged Tablet offers powerful rugged computing at a low cost. The CT8 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3 GB of RAM, and an 8- inch HD display.  Running on Android 8.1 the CT8 offers access to a vast array of applications on the Google Play Store. For barcode and RFID support on the CT8 attachment modules are available. These modules attach to the tablet via pins located on the back of the device. There are three different modules available a standalone 1D/2D barcode reader, standalone UHF RFID reader, or a module combining a barcode and RFID reader in one module.

1D/2D Barcode Reader

  • 1D/2D Barcode Pod houses Newland EM3296 Barcode Scan Engine
  • IP67 sealed
  • Pod supports PDF417, QR, Data Matrix, Code 128, UPC, Code 39, Code 91, Code 11, and more.

RFID Reader

  • UHF RFID Pod houses 1W Silion SLR5300 UHF RFID Reader
  • IP67 sealed
  • Pod reads EPC Gen2/ISO 18000-6C tags
  • Cedar CT8 Rugged Tablet
  • Cedar CT8 Rugged Tablet
  • Cedar CT8 Rugged Tablet

Juniper Systems offers a wide range of devices designed to fit the use cases and conditions of a variety of unique users.

Still have questions? Reach out to the Juniper Systems team to discuss the best fit for your barcode and RFID needs.


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