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Zebra MC9190-Z

Rugged pistol-grip mobile long-range RFID reader
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

The Zebra MC9190-Z is a special RFID-reader version of the long-running MC9000/9100 handheld platform, one of the industry's single best-selling rugged mobile computers. Designed for medium- to long-range RFID read applications, the MC9190-Z provides speed, range and accuracy in an ergonomic, integrated device.

Note that unlike the general-purpose MC9200 version of this very practical and versatile handheld, as of late 2015 the MC9190-Z is still built on the prior generation hardware and software. That's perfectly acceptable for the jobs the platform was built for, but we want the reader to be aware of it.

This means that on the technology side, the MC9190-Z still uses what at the time of its introduction was the top-of-the-line 806MHz version of Marvell's XScale PXA320 processor. There are 256MB of RAM and 1GB Flash, and a SD Card slot for memory expansion by up to 32GB. There is onboard dual-band 802.11a/b/g WiFi, PAN connectivity via Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, and 28-, 43-, and 53-key keypad options to suit a wide range of applications. For an operating system, the MC9190-Z uses Microsoft's by now very dated but still widely usesd Windows Mobile 6.5.

As a mobile computer specialized for RFID reading/writing deployments, the MC9190-Z offers high RF sensitivity for accuracy, high throughput and longer distance reads. That means that tasks such as inventory counts can be accomplished more often, more quickly and accurately and, unlike scanning with bar codes, without line of sight.

Since this RFID handheld can be used in demanding environments, it offers IP64 sealing — which means it's totally dustproof and can also handle water spray from all directions — and an impressive 6-foot drop specification. In testing, the device proved it can survive 2,000 3-foot tumbles. An operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degree Fahrenheit facilitates use in just about any environment. The powerful 15.8 watt-hour battery delivers full-shift operation.

Specifications Zebra MC9190-Z
Added/changed Added 12/2015
Form-factor Rugged RFID reader
CPU Speed Marvell PXA320/806 MHz
OS Windows Windows Mobile 6.5
RAM/ROM 256MB/1GB
Card slots 1 x SD/MMC Card (up to 32GB)
Display type TFT color
Display size/res 3.7"/480 x 640 pixel
Digitizer/pens Resistive touch/1
Keyboard/keys 28/43/53-key numeric and alpha keypads
Navigation Directional control, triggers
Housing Impact-resistant plastic
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP64
Shock Multiple 6-foot drops to concrete
Tumble 2,000 one-meter tumbles at room temperature (4,000 hits)
Size (WxHxD) 4.7 x 10.8 x 7.7 inches (119 x 273 x 195 mm)
Weight 2.15 lbs incl. battery (974 grams)
Power Li-Ion 7.2V, 2200mAh 15.8 watt-houts
RFID EPC Gen 2 DRM, up to 30 ft read, up to 4 feet write, 902-928MHz
Interface Dock
Wireless 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
List price Inquire
Web MC9190-Z web page
Brochure Zebra MC9190-Z specs