Bar Code Direct & Zebra’s Printer Comparison Guide 2021

Before selecting a printing solution, you’ll need to know what type of printer is best for your business.

  • Industrial vs. Mobile: Industrial printers are designed for, well, industrial environments. Down and dirty spaces require a printer that can sustain a fair amount of wear and tear. These models stay in one place and print thousands of labels a day. Mobile printers, on the other hand, are not designed for the same volume. Depending on your business needs, a mix of industrial and mobile printers may be your best solution.
  • Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer: With barcode printers, you have two types of label options. Direct thermal labels are best for short-term application, as they do not maintain well in heat or sunlight. Thermal transfer labels last longer and are more durable, but cost more.
  • Wireless Communications: How you plan on communicating with your printer (hard-wired vs WiFi-enabled) will help determine the best solution for your needs.
  • Volume: Will you be printing thousands of labels per day or a handful per hour?
  • Features: What add-ons does your printer need? Peeler, Roll Rewind, Cutter, Wireless, Remote Management—all serve a purpose and may be beneficial to your business.



Zebra’s ZT line is the gold standard of industrial printers, built to withstand the most demanding environments. To help you select the best model for your business, our efficiency experts tested each series below, ranking them from starter to premium. Have a look:

  • ZT200 Series: ZT200’s compact design makes it ideal for constrained work areas. The entry-level printer boasts an effortless setup, intuitive user operation, and ease of maintenance. Because of its size, it cannot produce the same volume of labels as other ZT models. However, ZT200 is a solid choice for a beginner bar code operation.
  • ZT400 Series: ZT400 are our most popular printers, and for good reason—the mid-range models are built to last. The ZT411 was born out of Zebra’s extensive research on customer pain points, making it more user friendly than previous generations. Both ZT411 and ZT421 are designed for small spaces, but with a tolerance for higher speeds and resolutions. Increased processing power and grow-as-you-go features include RFID and media capabilities, plus Link-OS compatibility. These printers are made for small-label applications.
  • ZT510: This premium printer is designed for high-volume output within the most challenging industrial environments. The model can operate 24/7, making it ideal for companies who need a workhorse printer without a premium price tag.
  • ZT600 Series: If your business requires a high volume of labels and a high tolerance for industrial surroundings, the ZT600 is your best match. Precise registration and print line adjustment allow for labels as small as 3mm {think circuit boards and chips}. What’s more, compatibility with other printing systems makes for simplified integration and management within your barcode ecosystem.


  • ZQ600 Mobile Printers: Improve inventory management and customer service in your store with the ZQ600 Series mobile printer. Taking the popular QLn Series and making it even better, the ZQ600 Series delivers advanced technology and an innovative and portable design that drives productivity, ease-of-use and manageability to a new level.
  • ZQ600 Healthcare Series Mobile: With the ZQ600 Healthcare Series mobile printers you can improve accuracy, patient safety and staff productivity by completing specimen labeling at the point of care. Building on the popular QLn Healthcare Series, the ZQ600 Healthcare Series is designed specifically for healthcare to withstand constant disinfecting and delivers advanced technology in an innovative and portable design that drives productivity, ease-of-use and manageability to a new level.
  • ZQ630 RFID Mobile Printer: Print and encode RFID tags and labels when and where you need them. Premium features, advanced technology, industry-leading battery and innovative design—now with RFID. This mobile printer drives productivity, ease-of-use and manageability to a new level.
  • ZQ300 Series Mobile Printers:With class-leading battery power, versatility, durability and easy remote management at an affordable price, the ZQ300 Series mobile printer comes in two designs to meet your business needs.
  • ZQ110 Mobile Printer: Print receipts and tickets on demand and on the go with the ZQ110 mobile 2-inch receipt printer. As Zebra’s smallest and most affordable mobile receipt printer, the ZQ110 is equipped with key basic features and offers a selection of competitive accessories.


  • ZD510-HC Wristband Printing Solution: The ZD510-HC Wristband Printing Solution combines the reliable ZD510-HC direct thermal printer with easy-to-load cartridges containing the only antimicrobial-coated wristbands on the market – Zebra’s Z-Band® wristbands. Also capable of printing wristbands for amusement, water-park and entertainment applications, you get dependable wristband printing that increases patient safety and staff productivity.
  • ZD620 Series Desktop Printers: When print quality, productivity, application flexibility and management simplicity matter, the ZD620 Series delivers. Available in both direct thermal and thermal transfer models, the ZD620 desktop printer advances the legacy of the industry-leading GX Series printers. These premium models bring advanced industrial printing quality to a compact desktop printer — offering the fastest print speeds, print quality and manageability in its class.
  • ZD420 Series Desktop Printers: Building on the legacy of the industry-leading GK Series printers, the ZD420 Series delivers features and functionality that take deployment and management simplicity, ease-of-use and application flexibility and total cost of ownership to a new level. The ZD420 desktop printer is available in both direct thermal and thermal transfer models. And, the ZD420 ribbon cartridge version is the easiest thermal transfer printer to load, period.

Your business is unique, and so are your printing needs. At Bar Code Direct we’ll evaluate your current system, and customize a more efficient printing solution.

Email us at for FREE Printer evaluation or call us at 1.800.343.1750.



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Bar Code Direct Changes Name to Peak Technologies, LLC

Bar Code Direct is excited to announce that we are in the process of changing our name to Peak Technologies, LLC. 

Bar Code Direct joined the Peak Technologies portfolio one year ago, and over this time we have focused on leveraging the strengths and resources of Peak Technologies’ growing portfolio of companies to increase our solutions offering, geographic presence, and partner ecosystem to better serve our customers.  As we transition to the new Peak Technologies name, we will be updating our website to better reflect our collective end-to-end capabilities including an extensive portfolio of digital supply chain, mobility and retail solutions.