Boost Productivity with Zebra Mobile Printers & Tri-State Business Systems

The world – business and otherwise – is getting increasingly mobile. Stationary is a thing of the past. Mobile devices have made their way from popular culture into business. It’s not surprising, considering the vast number of applications and benefits they offer. Mobile connectivity is a must in today’s business world. Businesses who do not comply may find themselves left behind their competition. Mobile printing is an idea whose time has come. Mobile printing allows you to print from any mobile device to a web-enabled, networked printer. And it’s by your side, all day, printing on demand when and where you need it. This is a good thing.

But mobile is only the first name in the type of printer that will make your life – and productivity – better. The second, and very important name, is rugged. When you get into industries such as Transportation, Retail, Manufacturing, Warehousing, and any market that includes mobile workers, you going to face harsh and unpredictable environments that can really beat up on your compact but productive mobile printer. That’s why you need one that can hold its own. One that can take what the harsh environments have to offer and keep on printing. One such mobile printer that gets the Tri-State Business Systems seal of approval is the Zebra ZQ500 series.


Extreme environments and bangs and bumps are no match for these lightweight, compact receipt and label printers. Zebra’s ZQ510™ and ZQ520™ printers are among the most rugged printers available. Each features a patented military design that meets third-party-verified MIL-STD 810g military standards for shock, vibrations, and temperature exposure. These printers can withstand repeated drops to concrete from up to 6.6’ on multiple sides, and when paired with the optional exoskeleton case, can withstand drops from 10’.


The greatest machine in the world is not so great if your workers can’t figure it out. Fear not! ZQ500 printers are designed for intuitive, simple use, from the first shift to the last. The simplified user interface reduces the amount of accidentally changed printer settings, and the large buttons increase accuracy for gloved hands and fingers. Intuitive media loading reduces the time employees spend changing rolls. And with its sleep mode, the printer wakes up when a job is sent and conserves battery power when not in use.


There are a host of other features that make the ZQ500 series the ideal choice for mobile printing across the board. Not the least of which is the fact that the ZQ500 printers are the first Zebra products to support a secondary Bluetooth communication channel. This innovative feature allows one channel to send print jobs to the printer while the second channel performs additional functions such as device management. Just another way to help keep your employees on task, on schedule and more productive.

To get the full story on the Zebra ZQ500 Series of Mobile Rugged Printers, give your partners at Tri-State Business Systems a shout. We can see if they are the right fit for your mobile solution and how you gen benefit from their inclusion. or P:908-359-8001

Why Choose the Zebra ZT411 Industrial Label Printer?

First things first. Not every printer is right for every application. That’s why Zebra offers a full line of barcode printers to meet your specific needs. That’s also why you need Tri-State Business Systems as your partner to help you identify and differentiate your specific needs and get matched up with the right printer and more. That being said, allow us to introduce you to the Zebra ZT400 Series of barcode printers that addresses a broad array of applications throughout manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, and more. See for yourself how well it matches up to your requirements.


One thing is certain, and that’s the fact that you need an industrial strength printer that can face the rigors of a tough environment and come out smiling the other end. That’s a perfect introduction for the new 4-inch ZT411. With an all-metal frame and bi-fold door, it’s an evolution within the versatile and reliable ZT400 family of printers. It‘s engineered to meet your business needs today, and evolve to accommodate your needs well into the future. You can tailor it to your own preferences with field-upgradable RFID encoding options for either general purpose UHF RFID tags, or thicker on-metal tags.


The fact that you’re still reading this tells us that you like what you’ve read so far and you’re interested in hearing more. Good. Well, instead of listing out all the features, let us share with you the ZT411’s top customer benefits that we think will be of interest to you.


  • It Practically Sets Itself Up

Simply drop it in place, plug it in and use the free Android or Windows Printer setup utility to customize your printer configuration. The large color touch display features an intuitive interface to make quick setting changes, see printer status and create custom shortcuts.

  • It Speaks Your Language

The ZT411 supports EPL and ZPL for an easy migration from Zebra printers. And, Print DNA’s Virtual Device software is integrated into the ZT411 to emulate non-Zebra printers.

  • Changing Supplies? Easy as 1, 2, 3!

The ZT411’s side-loading print mechanism makes it extremely easy to load ribbons and labels – up to three times faster and easier than other printers!

  • It Keeps Going…

The ZT411 delivers proven 24/7 reliability even in the harshest conditions. The durable, all-metal design and expertly-built internal components ensure the longest and most reliable printer life.

  • Add What You Need, When You Need It

Set up the ZT411 with the features you need today, and simply add features right on site anytime you need to meet changing needs. Add a cutter or peeler in minutes. Two open slots let you add parallel Ethernet, an applicator interface card and more.

Like we said upfront, not every printer is meant for every application. But clearly, this printer is designed to grow with your business. So if it’s a good fit today, it will continue to be tomorrow. The good news is, you’re not on your own. If you have any questions about the Zebra ZT411 or any other part of your solution, please visit us online at or give us a call at 908.359.8001.




Printed Barcodes vs. Mobile Barcodes

It will shock absolutely no one to read that the rapid growth of smart phones along with mobile Internet access has changed the way we do business and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We shop, checkout, collect virtual tickets and coupons and much, much more with our smartphones. Many of these items are accompanied by, or are inclusive with, a barcode – a mobile barcode to be exact.


Now, while many retailers are turning to mobile barcodes in order to make shopping easier for their customers, managing that information on a smartphone’s LCD introduces new challenges as compared with its printed counterpart. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two cousins and where some challenges currently lie.


Printed VS PIXEL

So, the most obvious difference between printed barcodes and mobile barcodes is that one is printed and the other is, you know, mobile. But there’s a bit more behind that. Printed barcodes are typically designed once and printed multiple times. The quality of the barcode can be monitored and tested to international printing standards using commercial barcode verifiers to ensure readability. Pretty straight forward.


Mobile barcodes, on the other hand, are typically generated spontaneously and displayed on cell phones LCDs. And unlike printed barcodes that reflect and absorb light, mobile barcodes actively admit light. Plus, a single LCD pixel is typically constructed from three rectangular color sub pixels. Barcode readers may need to address additional noise resulting from the underlying pixel structure along with reflections and distortions exhibited by the display.



While printed barcodes adhere to international standards, mobile barcodes, well, let’s just say they are currently ahead of such standards and commercial verification equipment. The lack of standards combined with the dynamic nature of mobile barcodes displayed on an increasing variety of phones present an additional burden on developers and increase the possibility of errors that can make a barcode unreadable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating mobile barcodes.


              Barcode Quit Zones

In addition to the display area needed for the barcode itself, a “quiet zone” is required to promote robust reading. Think of this as white space that surrounds the perimeter of the barcode. Larger quite zones can increase the robustness of the barcode, while the lack of one can result in unreadability.


Element Distortions

It’s important that no distortions – such as bitmap stretching, scaling, and pixel round off – are introduced when the barcode is rendered onscreen. Distortions that seem acceptable to the human eye, can render a barcode unreadable.


Backlight Illumination

Because a mobile barcode are self-illuminating, any mobile barcode app must assure proper backlighting required by the reader. Phone model, user settings, display timeout settings and ambient light conditions can affect the backlight level. Generally, the maximum backlighting is recommended when displaying barcodes.


Of course there’s more to the story, such as 1D vs 2D barcodes, atmospheric lighting, and, as always, user error, but that’s all for another day. Leave it to say, that the simple barcode is just one part of the massive tracking and information machine that evolves on a seemingly daily basis. And at Tri-State Business Systems it’s our job to help you stay ahead of the curve. To learn more about how we can help you specifically, please visit us online at or give us a call at 908.359.8001.