The label maker has gone high tech — to some degree.
Joining a slew of consumer electronics, DYMO debuted its first standalone label maker with a touch screen in January. The LabelManager 500TS uses a full-size QWERTY keyboard and touch screen for on-the-go organization and can also be connected to a computer for more advanced features.
Since there are dedicated buttons for power, home, search, print and directions, the touch screen is useful for switching between functions on the home screen (new label, edit label, open label, download, settings, users), answering prompts (“The current label has not been saved. Do you want to save this label?”) and label formatting. Given the number of fields and options presented on the screen, it is easier to directly input instead of navigating to the proper fields on the omnidirectional pad. The touch sensitivity doesn’t parallel what’s found on mobile phones and tablets, but it gets the job done.
Aside from the touch screen, the LabelManager 500TS stands out from its predecessors with its vibrant full-color display. The output doesn’t parallel the screen though. The device comes with a cartridge for black-and-white labels, but there are a select number of color options for inks and labels available for purchase. This label maker is more sophisticated than your standard fare with 300 dpi resolution; printing speeds twice that of other DYMO label makers; the ability to customize fonts, sizes and graphics; and memory that can save up to 500 labels.
When you download the corresponding software and connect the label maker to a computer, a bigger world opens up, offering far more customization, such as the ability to output mailing labels and postage; download additional clipart; and print from other programs, including Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. The software interface (and clipart) rings back to Microsoft Word from a decade ago, meaning it can be clunky and cumbersome to navigate at times. My thought is: If the increased functionality is helpful, it’s worth using. If not, the machine’s core features are part of the standalone experience, which is my preferred way of using the label maker.
Discovery News highlighted the DYMO LabelManager 500TS as a useful spring cleaning gadget, but the features are better suited for an office where such advanced functionality (user profiles, higher-capacity memory) is practical; it’s also a setting that better justifies a $199.99 label maker and $20+ replacement cartridges.