How to tag a laptop computer with RFID

Because laptop computers include many different types of materials there is no one specific recommendation for tagging them. Manufacturers should choose to build RFID into the casing of a laptop. IT personnel may decide to apply RFID labels to the inside of a battery case, while many may need to use a metal-mount tag on the outside of a case. 

Most plastic areas of a laptop can be tagged, provided that the contents behind the plastic are not metallic. Plastic will not impede the read range of an RFID tag by much. Laptops with metal cases should be tagged with metal-mount RFID tags.

Plastic areas of the laptop can be tagged covertly by installing RFID tags on the interior of the cases. RFID tag placement should be carefully considered when tagging a laptop. Be sure to thoroughly test the placement of your tags to ensure the best read quality. A 4"x1" Gen2 RFID tag works best when placed on a plastic area that is clear of other metal backing. The top of a lid is usually a bad place to tag a laptop as the lid is typically insulated with a metal coating. 

Many laptops will require a metal-mount RFID tag to ensure a quality read rate. Many metal-mount tags may be mounted directly to the security lock connection of a laptop; however, standard adhesive on a metal mount tag should provide enough durability for a typical tracking application.

  • Expected RFID Read Ranges
    • 4"x1" Gen2 RFID - 10' minimum, 15' average, may only work on some laptops.
    • Gen2 metal-mount RFID - 5' minimum 10' average.
  • Expected Costs of RFID Tag
    • Costs for a blank RFID tag for laptops can range from $0.20 each to $0.30 each depending on the tag inlay and label material. Pre-programmed RFID tags range from $0.99 on quantity 1, to $0.59 for large quantities (5,000+). 
    • Non-programmed Metal-Mount RFID tags can cost as much as $3.74 each on quantity 1 and as little as $1.67 each on quantities over 1000.
    • Pre-programmed Metal-Mount RFID tags cost approximately $2 each on quantities over 1000.
  • What RFID tag sizes are there?
    • Sizes for a complete RFID label designed for tagging a laptop can be as small as 4"x3/4".
    • Metal-Mount RFID tags are as small as 38mm x10mm x2.8mm
  • Metal-mount RFID tags can be affixed to a laptop permanently.
Tag Recommendations
The NOX-TM4 is the recommended tag for tagging a laptop computer. It is small, durable, and has an average read range of 15'. The NOX-TM4 can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees F and is encased in a durable material designed to withstand impact and intense heat. 
A more affordable, but less durable tagging option is the NOX-1 4"x3/4" RFID tag. The NOX-1 includes a 4"x1" peel-off traveler label that can be placed on a document for record keeping. 

Other recommendations:
  • NOX-TM15 (Large sized tag for larger read distances.)