Zebra ZQ520The Zebra ZQ520

The Zebra RW (Road Warrior) 420 Mobile Printer has a lot of miles under its belt and will be officially retired before the end of this year, being replaced by the ZQ520 that is available and shipping now. Both the RW and ZQ series have smaller width versions, but 4” is the standard for e-citation printers in compact form factor.

Design Features

Living up to the durability of the RW 420, the Zebra ZQ520 mobile printer:

  • boasts an operating temperature range of -4° to 131°F
  • holds a 2 meter (6.6’) drop spec
  • The 400MHz processor and 256MB RAM give the ZQ an impressive 5” per second print speed versus 3” per second on the RW.

[Video]: ZQ500 Series Product Overview

Zebra Technologies: ZQ500 Printer Series Recap


Built for e-CitationZebra ZQ520 mobile printer for ecitation

When I consider an e-citation printer, I consider it in the context of permanent vehicle installation. The first thing I noticed when inspecting the ZQ520 was the lack of a modular port for USB connectivity. The RW 420 had micro USB and modular USB ports, the modular port being preferable for vehicle installs to prevent accidental disconnection. It turns out that Zebra has addressed this with a locking connector that secures the micro USB connection, but you’ll probably opt to use Bluetooth instead, which come standard on the ZQ520.

Battery and/or Battery Eliminator is Required

Both the RW and ZQ printers require either a battery with external power supply or a battery eliminator that occupies the battery well and functions as the power supply. The battery eliminator is much better suited for a fixed vehicle printer, eliminating the need for periodic battery replacement. With the ZQ520, Zebra has finally made the battery optional. The RW 420 included an expensive battery with no option to purchase without it.

How to Mount this Printer

Zebra offers vehicle mounts for the ZQ that support the printer with battery or with battery eliminator. Both mounts are somewhat expensive. The standard battery powered printer mount makes a lot of sense when the printer needs to be removed from the vehicle on a regular basis but the design doesn’t lend itself well to a permanent install.

RW420 with Bracket

Havis offers a straightforward bracket for the RW 420 and is expected to have options for the ZQ520 in the very near future.
In summary, I think the ZQ520 is more than worthy as the Road Warrior successor for compact e-citation printing. With standard Bluetooth and without a battery, the ZQ520 is available at the same price as the USB-only RW 420. With Bluetooth as an asset and the battery a liability, Zebra has done an excellent job in addressing the needs of law enforcement users.

Want to get your hands on this printer or interested in learning more?

call Call (800)-830-9523  email Email info@L-Tron.com

Jason Culliton

Jason Culliton has 15+ years’ of experience and knowledge supporting our law enforcement clients with their mobile computing solutions; specifically electronic ticketing [eCitation] hardware for your patrol vehicle. Other areas Jason specializes in are computer, barcode related and POS equipment and solutions. In his spare time, Jason looks for any opportunity travel to scuba dive; and at the LTC we often benefit from his skills as "the BBQ pit master." jason.culliton@L-Tron.com; 585-383-0050 x120
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