An integrated reader combines an RFID reader and an RFID antenna into a single device so that no external antenna is required. If extra antennas are needed, an integrated reader can support up to one additional external RFID antenna (making two in total).
Integrated RFID readers are great for a low-cost solution and ease of implementation. However, because integrated RFID readers can only support a maximum of two antennas, the coverage area for reading RFID tags is limited.
A non-integrated reader does not have an RFID antenna built in. Rather, it supports multiple external antennas (from 2 to 32) depending on the reader model and detection field required.
A solution requiring the use of a more traditional non-integrated reader will be relatively more expensive than one using integrated readers. However, the capability of having multiple antennas greatly increases the amount of area it can cover.
Additionally, because there is no antenna built-in, non-integrated readers give the user the flexibility to choose which antenna combinations will work best — from low gain proximity antennas to high gain far-field antennas.