Great labeler - lousy label tape. We purchased the 5200 labeler hard case kit a couple weeks ago. I spent most of last week labeling cables in our datacenter. I'm an IT professional and work for an ISP level network service provider. So our datacenter is big and there are a million cables. Without labels it is next to impossible to figure out what is what. This is where the 5200 series labeler really shines. It has preconfigured label layouts for dozens of things. I almost always used the Cat X format, which is a simple label that wraps around a cable with your text repeated several times, so it is viewable from all angles. For labeling cables, I recommend the 3/4" label tape. Anything smaller, and you won't be able to read the labels nor fit on the label what it needs to say. In fact, if they made a 1" or larger label tape, I would use that instead. The wider the better. For the front panels of equipment (servers and routers and such) I recommend the 3/8" label tape. It is large enough to read (when you only use single lines of text) yet narrow enough to find places on the fronts of servers that are covered in ventilation holes and grilles. There are a couple different kinds of label tape. The first cartridge that I used was a laminated plastic, black print on white shiny tape. This make really great labels, which were easy to read, and the print did not rub off on my fingers while applying the label. However, I noticed that after a day or two of being stuck to a cable hanging behind a server blowing hot air on it 24/7, the labels would start to unwrap and peel off. That's no good! The second label tape type that I tried was more like a fabric material. I was a little bit stretchy and seems to stick to the cables better. BUT the printing on the fabric is much lighter and harder to read, and the print would rub off on my fingers while I applied the label, further reducing the readability. That's no good either! One good thing about the label tape is that the backing is split in two down the center. This makes getting the backing off the lab
Takes labeling to the next level. I've used several labelers in the past and was never quite satisfied. I'll be using this one for a long time. Fortunately, I do nearly all my labeling at my desk, so the lack of portability of this model is a drawback. That said, it requires no power source other than the USB cable. So it is lighter weight than battery-operated models. If you wanted to put it in your laptop bag, it is compact and light weight, but comes at the price of requiring a computer to use it. As a labeler, it is awesome. It prints faster than any other model I've used. I can use any font on my computer and can preview the label on-screen. The interface tells me the label length, so I know the label will fit before wasting tape only to find out it doesn't. A very promising but tricky feature is the ability to import images. It's easy to use, but hard to make useable. It is extremely low resolution, so photos are almost useless. (They look like a photo from a newspaper that's been xeroxed, then sent through a fax machine). The secret to making this feature useful is to select very simple, high-contrast images. Images that look like the dingbat characters available on most computers work well; things like hearts, diamonds, arrows, or bullet-point characters. Since you can use these special characters easily, try them first before importing an image that may not print well. The ability to use special characters is one way I've used to reduce the amount of tape I use. Combined with color-coding tape colors, special symbols are a highly recognizable shorthand for locating file folders that saves money too. Speaking of tape, this labeler uses the D1 line of tapes. While not stellar quality as a line, the High Performance (flexible and permanent) types of tape are excellent. The flexible tape is fantastic for labeling computer cables. The permanent tape does not (so far) suffer from the coming loose after a few months on some surfaces.
Super Mac Friendly - 4.5 Stars. I do a lot of research before I make most purchases, especially when I need them to work well with my Mac. This labeler was the perfect fit because: • it works beautifully with my Mac • does not require a power source • is lightweight, fast and quiet • variety of label material • able to use my favorite fonts I would like to see the ability to save different label settings in a future software update. Very happy!
I love this label maker! I have used this label maker for about a year. It's the best purchase I've made for the office. I recently purchased another one for home. Even though it's easily portable, I prefer to have one in each location. If you're thinking about purchasing a label maker - THIS IS THE ONE!
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