Test Drive: LabelMANAGER PC

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted November 06, 2002
Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

Far beyond those mechanical embossing labelmakers that DYMO is known for, the company's LabelMANAGER PC printer offers a simple way to create and print color labels of any length. If you can use a label printer that works off of a computer to quickly create permanent labels, the LabelMANAGER is definitely worth a look.

The system lets you create labels that may be used to organize file and presentation folders, disks, CDs, as well as mark file cabinet drawers, shelves, notebook computers, electrical and datacom panels and more. The printer can also create labels for commercial applications that can include those for warehouse shelving, price marking, bar codes and other applications. The labels are professional-looking and come with their own peel-back adhesive.

The accompanying PC software acts as a word processor for creating labels. It offers a single line to accept and edit text, and automatically adjusts a label's length to accommodate your words. Using the software, you can design labels using the fonts on your computers, vary the size of letters, select and apply symbols, add borders and patterns and create barcodes. The software also saves labels so you may later bring them up and print them again .

The software accepts text that you copy from Microsoft Word, ranges of cells copied from Microsoft Excel, or data from comma separated (CSV) files, and maintains text characteristics. While you can print labels from other Windows programs, the printer's software is really all you need.

In our testing, the printer installed without a hitch. Our test computer immediately recognized the printer after it was connected to the PC's USB port. And once the printer was installed, the program on the CD immediately installed the printer's software.

Installing tape cartridges is equally easy. Simply open the printer and drop in a cartridge. The printer itself uses a thermal technology that requires no ink cartridges-you simply replace the tapes. In all, the printer is a compact device that stands about five inches tall and three inches wide, and takes up little space on a desktop.

The LabelMANAGER PC uses DYMO tapes that are available in a variety of colors and the following widths: 1/4"(6 mm), 3/8"(9 mm), 1/2"(12 mm), 3/4"(19 mm) and 1"(24 mm). As you would expect, the cost of the tapes do add up. When you purchase cartridges from DYMO, you can buy 23 feet of tape for about $18.

The printer comes complete with a USB cable, power supply, software, manual and a starter tape. The LabelMANAGER PC works with Windows 98, 2000, Me and XP and is available at an estimated street price of $99.

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