Compare and contrast two E-Seek Windows-compatible ID scanners
The E-Seek M260 is an an extremely small, lightweight ID scanning device. It fits in the palm of the hand and was created to allow for reading barcodes and magstripes. In addition to 2D barcode reading the E-Seek M260 features magstripe reading. The magstripe reader can be used for reading the magstripe symbology on an ID (a format which has mostly fallen out of favor in 2023). Most credit cards also contain magstripes, meaning that the E-Seek M260 can be configured to read both IDs and scan credit cards, which makes it a nice all-purpose device for running POS software.
Because it is dual purpose, and so lightweight (measuring 2.13″ high x 2.28″ wide x 4.33″ deep) the ID reader is popular for mounting, connecting to Desktop computers, and using to cobble together machines that need multiple capabilities, or mounting in-vehicle, which makes it popular for law enforcement. The ID reader has two attachment points (Two #4-40 thread screw holes) on the bottom of the device and can be connected via the accessory CN8436 (Molex RS-232 serial port to USB-A) data cable.
Additional E-Seek M260 Specs
The ID scanner includes a 3 track MagStripe reader (ANSI, ISO, CDL, AAMVA) for quickly parsing data found on any government issued drivers license. A single LED provides confirmation at power on – the green LED and double beep tone also provides visual and audio confirmation of a good card read. It can also read PDF-417-Linear: Code 39 and Code 128 via the included CN8000 (RJ 45 Ethernet to USB-A) data cable.
Power is provided by either cable used. In the event that power can not be supplied from the USB attached computer, an available optional power supply barrel plug port.
About the E-Seek M280 Flatbed ID Scanner
The M280 also has the same 2D and 3 Track MagStripe features but adds full color image capture using the large 3.25″ wide x 2.25″ high window. Users can save an image of the ID (or any document) by pushing the image capture button (software driver required). Images are saved in the popular JPEG format for easy importation into most software applications. Data is transferred via the angled (USB-B to USB-A) included cable.
The larger M280 measures 2.8″ high x 7.2″ wide x 4.5″ deep. There are 3 color LEDs which indicate the status of the scanner. Scan status LED indicates barcode scanner status (Red – in use or processing; Green – awake and ready for use). Imager ready status LED (Green- capture image ready). Image capture status LED (Red – capture in progress). The M280 may also be mounted in a kiosk or on a desk using the screw attachment points (Four #4-40 thread screw holes) on the bottom of the scanner, however it is quite a bit larger, and mounting the device may make using the flatbed image window unwieldly.
What is the difference between the two ID scanners?
The E-Seek M260 is lightweight, extremely durable, small, and great for mounting. It can read both 2D barcodes (PDF417) and magstripes. It is very popular for kiosks and other machines which need an out-of-the-box ID scanner.
The E-Seek M280 is larger and can also read 2D barcodes and magstripes. However, it can also capture images which, with compatible software such as VeriScan, can be saved to a visitor profile, eliminating the need for photocopies. However, it is not suitable for mounting or use in kiosks because it requires multi-side access due to the flatbed screen.