Barcode Scanners

For barcode reading, the Zebra/Symbol DS4308 scanner is our recommendation — it plugs into your computer via USB, behaves as a keyboard (e.g., no special drivers are required), and as of this writing the scanner plus the correct USB cable are available for around $300 from multiple vendors (scannercable, see part numbers below if you're going to search on your own).

The part number for the current DS4308 high-def version of the scanner is DS4308-HD7U2100AZW.

Note that you need to order the scanner with the correct USB cable! You can get scanners with all sorts of connectors; you specifically want the one with USB connectivity.

We have a programming cheat sheet for this line of Symbol/Motorola scanners, which configures the scanner to always add a carriage return at the end of the scanned data.

Barcode Printers

Our primary recommendation for a barcode printer is the Zebra ZT410, specifically Zebra part number ZT41043-T010000Z. (This part number includes the correct 300-dpi print head and the network interface.) At the time of this writing, the printer is approximately $1,500 via several vendors on

If you specifically don't need smaller labels or labels that withstand all the extreme storage conditions in the lab, you might be OK with our recommended smaller desktop printer, the Zebra GX430t (Zebra part number GX43-102410-000 which includes the correct 305-dpi print head and network interface). At the time of this writing, it's just over $600 via several vendors. It's good for paper labels, and can probably do OK with alternate-material labels that aren't too small — the Zebra desktop-level printers aren't great about label alignment, which is where using smaller labels gets into trouble.

For Labmatrix to be able to print labels for you, your barcode printer must be networked — meaning that it needs to have a network interface, be plugged into the network, be set up correctly on the network by CBIIT, and then be configured on our Labmatrix label print server. We're happy to work with you to make this all happen and to debug issues as they arise. But Labmatrix cannot print to label printers which are only connected to one of your desktop computers; at a minimum, your label printer(s) must be networked.


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