Having grown in popularity over the last 5-10 years, Zebra has launched the newest addition to their printer line: the Zebra ZQ630.
This Zebra label printer boasts improvements to inventory management, productivity, and efficiency with new advanced technology. It leads the way in printer wireless technology, taking the already popular Zebra QLn mobile series and upgrading it to a more evolved product.
So what exactly is a Zebra mobile printer?
Also called handheld printers and portable printers, Zebra mobile printers allow the use of label and receipt printing on the go in any setting. This ability creates a more proficient work area, especially in warehouses and factories.
Although small in size, these printers do come at a large price, similar to their desktop counterparts. The price can range anywhere from $800 to upwards of $1,000 or more, depending on the supplier.
Let’s see if the Zebra ZQ630 lives up to the hype.
What’s New with the ZQ630?
The ZQ630 is professed to be the better version of its former QLn predecessor. When comparing the overall looks and general specifications between the two, the ZQ630 doesn’t initially seem very different.
Printer specifications, like dpi and print speed, as well as printer characteristics, like overall size and weight, are relatively the exact same. Both have a screen display and operate using the same size labels, which print the same maximum and minimum label width and length.
So what truly separates this current Zebra mobile printer from the previous one?
The ZQ630 is part of the ZQ600 series, Zebra’s premium line of mobile printers meant for high volume work in the most demanding settings. Its technological features greatly set it apart from any other mobile printer on the market.
Color Display Screen
This Zebra printer model is built with an interface display that is both larger and colored, something the QLn model lacks. This makes the screen more user-friendly, allowing for easier set-up and maintenance of the ZQ630.
It holds more memory. While the QLn420 has 128 MB RAM and 256 MB Flash memory, the ZQ630 doubles that amount with 256 MB RAM and 512 MB Flash, allowing more space for fonts, graphics, as well as firmware upgrades and tools.
The technology for the newest version includes an instant wake-up feature, which automatically wakes up the printer from idle sleep mode the moment a print job is sent. This feature works over both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, ensuring immediate availability for maximum print efficiency.
One of the biggest differences is the addition of RFID technology.
Zebra offers the only mobile printer that is able to produce encoded labels and tags with advanced RFID technology. RFID allows for the fast tracking of merchandise throughout warehouses as well as managing materials for inventory and supply chain use. Labels printed with RFID tags reduce errors and loss prevention while increasing EDI transactions.
The ZQ630 RFID is powered by Zebra operating systems Link-OS and Print DNA, which helps easily integrate networked Zebra printers into existing device management systems. Print DNA adds more security to protect company data by blocking unauthorized printer access and constructing secure connections.
Multiple printers can be added and managed from anywhere, tasks and workflows can be streamlined, and diagnostics can be run on print-heads to ensure health visibility before productivity is impacted.
Pros & Cons
- A small and lightweight thermal label printer that can print from anywhere
- Easy setup with the ability to connect to a PC, smartphone, or tablet
- No ribbon necessary to print labels
- A durable thermal label printer capable of withstanding drops from 6ft onto concrete
- Includes a powerful battery with greater capacity for longer use time
- Expensive ($900-$1000)
- Charging cord is an additional cost
- Slower print speed compared to an industrial printer
Who Are Zebra Mobile Printers For?
Like the name suggests, mobile printers utilize the ability to print anywhere at any time, unlike desktop and industrial printers which must remain fixed in one location. As previously mentioned, Zebra mobile printers are typically found in warehouses and industrial settings. These locations are very large in terms of square footage, meaning workers must cover an extensive amount of space each day.
For this reason, the use of a mobile printer is extremely beneficial as workers can attach it to their belt or strap it along their shoulder to pick and pack on-the-go. They can also be placed on forklifts as a means to help mobilize barcoding efforts.
The newest Zebra addition is designed for high-volume printing of both labels and receipts. It can be used for labeling both raw materials and finished goods, as well as identifying items used in picking, staging, packing, and shipping.
The ZQ630 also acts as a barcode printer, perfect for printing labels needed for case identification and pallet identification. This makes it a great choice for transportation and logistics industries as well.
One industry that mobile printers have contributed to in more recent years is retail. Here they are essentially a retail label printer, printing point of sale receipts, return labels, as well as labels for shelf edges and markdowns.
Because this is a portable printer, it mobilizes retail workers, migrating them to the sales floor and transforming them into order pickers and shippers for e-commerce orders.
What Kind of Labels Do They Use?
The Zebra ZQ630 is a compact, direct thermal (DT) printer. Therefore it is only compatible with direct thermal labels. This means that the print-head uses heat to activate the ink embedded within the label paper and does not require the use of a ribbon.
This size also means that this printer can only work using labels with a .75″ core, the smallest size available for label printers.
Along with printing paper labels, the ZQ630 thermal printer can be used to print on polypropylene. This is a long-lasting tear and water-resistant material that is capable of enduring harsh weather conditions as well as chemicals and oil. This is useful for warehouses and factories where these circumstances are a common occurrence.
Zebra mobile printers are able to sustain labels that have either a black-timing mark or gap sensor. These are marks or gaps in-between each label to notify the printer when one label ends and the next begins. While the default setting is fixed for timing mark labels, gap sensor labels work equally as well and at a more affordable price. Users will simply need to re-set the media type from timing mark to gap sensor.
The ZQ630 model is capable of printing linerless labels. These are pressure-sensitive labels with no liner to dispose of, reducing waste for a greener product option and increasing productivity and efficiency.
|Print Technology||Direct Thermal – Black Mark or Gap Media||Direct Thermal – Black Mark or Gap Media|
|Core Size||0.75″ Core||0.75″ Core|
|Max. Media Width||4.1″||4.1″|
|Resolution||203 dpi||203 dpi|
|Battery Capacity||6800 mAh||4900 mAh|
|Media Compatibility||Apple IOS, Android & Windows||Apple IOS, Android & Windows|
|Connectivity||Wireless, WiFi, Bluetooth||Wireless, WiFi, Bluetooth|
|Capabilities||RFID||RFID Not Included|
|Memory||256 MB RAM & 512 MB Flash||128 MB RAM & 256 MB Flash|
|Operating System||Link-OS & Print DNA||Link-OS|
|Control Panel||Color Display- 288 x 240 Pixels||LCD- 240 x 128 Pixels|
|Shop||Compatible Labels||Compatible Labels|
If you’re looking for a top of the line mobile printer, the Zebra ZQ630 is a definite contender. This model has all the features of its predecessor with beneficial upgrades to make it effective in any warehouse environment.
Do I think it’s worth investing in the ZQ630?
If you’re searching the market for a mobile printer that’s durable and reliable for faster and high quality printing, and you don’t mind spending some money, I’d say yes.
The ZQ630 is a premium, top of the line printer for on-the-go tasks. It was built for tackling large scale environments thanks to additions like RFID technology, added memory, and a more user friendly interface display – all meant to boost management and efficiency.
Probably the biggest downside to the ZQ630 is its price. If you’re looking to upgrade your current mobile printer, be prepared to pay a chunk of change. But if your growing business needs a more proficient workspace, it’s a worthwhile investment built to last.
However, if you desire the attributes of the ZQ630 but can’t afford the price tag, I’d recommend looking for the older QLn420 model (it’s discontinued, so you’ll have to shop with 3rd party distributors). You won’t get all the bells and whistles, but it’ll help get the job done nonetheless.