In-Depth Comparison of the OTC Encore vs. Autel MaxiSys Elite

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Professional mechanics often evaluate the OTC Encore vs. Autel MaxiSys Elite tools to figure out which is the best OBD2 code scanner.

The MaxiSys Elite has consistently made it on our top 10 lists over the years, but the OTC Encore is an interesting alternative specially given how much cheaper it is.

Each of these units has a lot to offer busy shops and is worth the investment, but which one is the ideal piece of equipment to have in your service center? We put them head-to-head to pick a winner.

OTC Encore or Autel MaxiSys Elite: Which One is Best?

Despite being exceptionally higher in price than the OTC Encore, it’s clear that the Autel MaxiSys Elite is the best of the two.

It provides fast, accurate diagnostics and has many advanced functions. If you can afford to invest in this model, you will have everything you need to diagnose most late-model vehicles. 

OTC Encore Overview

Professionals that need a lower cost scan tool will be happy with the OTC Encore. It allows you to diagnose most advanced codes and comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. The machine is already linked to Google Search so you can verify the DTCs.

There is also a deep link indexical direct hit that permits you to receive repair data quickly. You will also find the embedded videos, code-assist and repair-track features allow you to complete proper repairs. With most functions available, this scanner is an all-in-one tool. It even supports ABS and SRS functions as well as ESP. The auto-detect technology identifies your vehicle so you can proceed with diagnostics faster.

The OTC Encore diagnoses most OBD2 US, Asian and European model vehicles. The company also offers a lifetime hardware warranty if you maintain an active diagnostics subscription. While this machine does feature an easy to read 10.4-inch screen, it is on the heavier side. You won’t want to hold it for longer than you need to.

On a final note, the OTC Encore comes complete with Freeze Frame capability and you can export data to your PC for future reference or to print out. All of these functions allow the Encore to be a great all-around scanner for smaller shops.

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Autel MaxiSys Elite Overview

Mechanics that desire a top of the line OBD2 scanner naturally choose the Autel MaxiSys Elite. It makes multitasking seamless and simple.  It handles advanced OBD2 diagnostics as well as ECU coding and programming. If you’ve added an intercooler, exhaust or turbocharger, you will be able to perform the reprogramming needed.

In addition to that, it also allows key coding. Not all mechanics have the ability to code your new car keys, so this is something that would set you apart from the competition. The scanner is compatible with more than 80 US, Asian and European car models.

Just like the OTC Encore, this machine does read most common codes such as the Check Engine Light, ABS, SRS and ESP. You also receive Freeze Frame and the ability to export data to your PC. It does have a smaller screen size at 9.7-inches but is just as heavy and bulky. For a tablet-type scanner, this is to be expected.

What sets this machine apart is the speed. It’s equipped with a 1.8 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad-Core Processor. Boot up time only takes 20 seconds and diagnostics is just as quick. You can’t get a performance like that from a lower priced machine. When time is money, you need to perform diagnostics as quickly as you can. The only downside to this system is that you need to pay the extra yearly fees for updates.

Comparison of the Key Features Between an OTC Encore & Autel MaxiSys Elite

To find the best OBD2 scanner between the OTC Encore vs. Autel MaxiSys Elite, it’s imperative that we take a closer look at some of the key features.

Performance

The biggest perk to the Autel MaxiSys Elite is the speed. You won’t have to wait for anything, from boot up to diagnostics. You will be able to finish your work faster than ever before which helps you to make more money in the long run.

Price

You are going to pay a premium price for either of these models. With that said, the Autel MaxiSys Elite is significantly higher. The advanced features it offers make it worth every penny. Because of the speed and the capability, you will be able to earn more money with this machine, making it an excellent value.

Size

Both OBD2 code scanners are comparable in size and feel. They are both tablet-style tools that aren’t meant to be held for long time periods. The OTC Encore has the larger screen size at 10.4-inches, but it’s hard to notice the difference compared to the Autel’s 9.7-inch screen.

Advanced Functions

The Autel MaxiSys Elite offers some advanced functions that are hard to find elsewhere. The ECU coding, programming and key coding ability help make this unit the best value. Not only will it perform most all advanced functions, it does it in lightning fast speed to keep your work moving smoothly.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Both machines offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility. This allows you to get free of the cords and move around your shop freely. There have been some noted issues with the connection quality on the OTC Encore by some customers, so it’s not as reliable as the Autel device.

Final Verdict: OTC Encore or Autel MaxiSys Elite?

It’s clear to see after this in-depth evaluation that the Autel MaxiSys Elite has a lot more to offer than the OTC Encore.

Yes, it does come with a higher price tag, but we feel it’s worth every penny for the busy professional shop. It provides all the advanced diagnostics you could need and does it at blazing fast speeds. With a tool like this, you can work on more cars in a shorter time frame, which earns you more money in the long run.

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