POS System Review: The Simplest, The Lightest and The Cheapest

Anyone can find cheapest Point of Sale (POS) hardware environment recently in this world (including barcode printer, barcode scanner, CPU & display monitor)? Well, I can find it for US$ 493 with all brand new devices! No kidding but here's the truth. All things has passed for future consideration, including lower electricity cost, easier to use barcoding on your store around and simple custom-made software for checkout purposed.

This is without receipts printer since this POS focused on stocking intention. So, receipt coupon for customer is infrequently or even never used, hereby changed with manual hand written.

And, here's the secret:


Zotac ZBOX ID41
WTH is this? Weird branded CPU name born in (nearly) Hong Kong with core business on mini-ITX and mini-PC sinceā€¦ 2006. That's why I choose it apart from it best mixed hardware combination.


This mini PC is thinner but wider than Mac Mini G4.


See link below for detail information:

http://www.zotac.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_images-SRW.tpl&product_id=335&category_id=171&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100295&lang=un

Interesting?

Epson LabelWorks LW-400
This is an evolution for Epson to providing a low cost label printer. See the spoiler below:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=C51CB70010

The LW-400 is the minimum series to support barcode printing prior to LW-900.


The packing size slightly larger than Mac Mini G4.


A full qwerty printer at notebook size but more a little thicker. Very handy and ergonomic when hands on and feels light weight too. Just like seeing a BlackBerry with monster size :D


There're also 12mm black-on-white LC sample tape cassette including in the box, with easy way to setting-up on the printer. First press lid button to open the back cap and pull it.


Place the tape in proper way (green box) with outer ribbon attached on small slot (red circle).


Next, close the back cap slowly until it show as normal.


This series operated with dual mode; 6AA battery and power cable. You'll find a power cable included in the box. Make a power connection and press power button.


To switch to barcode printing, press ALT+barcode key as shown as picture above. Then pick one from several built-in barcode font available and specify the size. Sorry, can't tell you what else barcode font built-in included since I'm not an Epson salesman :)


Type-in some digits of numerical code to test. If you like to print copies, press copier button (red circle) several times until it displayed how much copy you want to print out. Ended with print button (green box) to start to print.


This LW-400 series also equipped with manual cutter. So, after print stopped, just press green button in right side to cut-off the paper. Simple and easy.

CipherLab 1070
Finally found a low cost scanner with fairly well-known brand name: CipherLab.


See below spoiler:

http://www.cipherlab.com/catalog.asp?CatID=8&SubcatID=10&ProdID=354

Not too worry, it can read Epson barcode print out result (by using EAN-13 small 5cm size :)


Conclusion
Building recently POS (hardware & software) system much easier than couple years ago. From above specification, there's no need to create an add-in module to print the barcode from application.


It's separate anyway. So it takes shorter time to developing the software. What you need is to mix and match everything. That's it! Thank's for reading and see you on next article...

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Sincerelly,

Eko Wahyudiharto
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