to install and use, the Brother QL-500 PC Label Printer makes
quick work of that most mundane of tasks, printing labels. It’s
not a "can’t do without," but it sure ranks high on our "really,
really useful" scale.
5.7" w x 7.7" d x 6" h
Normal, Bold, Italic, Underline, Special (Shadow Light, Shadow,
Horizontal, Outline, Surround, Frame Out, Invert)
dpi direct thermal printing
dpi direct thermal printing
Tech News From|
The New York Times
Brother QL-500 PC Label Printer
By Kate Newton
April 26, 2005
are wonderful. I'll stick them on just about anything that isn't
moving. File folders. Light switches. Even boxes of labels. The big
problem with them for me is that they are usually unreadable, thanks
to my ferociously bad handwriting. And, after all, what good is a
label you can't read?
That's not a problem anymore, thanks to the QL-500 label printer
from Brother. It connects to a USB port on your PC and will
cheerfully spit out all kinds of sizes and colors of labels, printed
in crisp black type. You can even print photos on your labels,
perfect for making ID tags. And if you're into keeping track of
inventory, the QL-500 can print bar codes. Believe it or not, I know
people who still keep a typewriter stashed in a closet just for
typing addresses on envelopes. Well, with the QL-500, the old Royal,
Remington, or Smith Corona can at last be given a proper retirement.
The QL-500 Quick prints address and shipping labels, up to 2.4"
wide, on easy-to-peel die-cut paper and continuous length film
labels. It also prints file folder, CD/DVD and visitor badge labels.
I like the idea of a label printer because there are no wasted
sheets to worry about. You know what a hassle it is to print one or
two labels with a sheet-fed inkjet or laser printer. And then what
do you with the partial sheet that's left over? More often than not,
it gets jammed when you try to use the remaining labels.
One of the cool things about the QL-500 is its ability to print on
rolls of continuous film, up to 3 feet long. That makes it an easy
way to create for custom signage or banners, although the text
prints only in black.
ink needed. Other than the labels themselves, the QL-500 needs
no supplies, a refreshing change from the outrage of paying $35 for
a typical inkjet cartridge. The printer uses direct thermal printing
technology, which, as its name suggests, “prints” by applying heat—not
pigment—to the label. It’s similar to an inkjet printer, but
instead of applying a pattern of ink dots, the QL-500 lays down an
array of what we'll call “heat dots.” As an element on the print
head is powered up, a thermal reaction causes the corresponding
point on the label to turn black. You can prove this to yourself
with a simple experiment: Heat up a label in your toaster oven and
it will turn completely black.
Highlight your text, click and print directly from Microsoft Word,
Excel, or Outlook applications. Or, you can use the included Brother
label creation software to customize your labels to include logos
and graphics. You can also use the software to generate labels from
lists and databases.
Wide label selection. Brother hasn't scrimped when it comes
to choosing the right labels for the QL-500. Standard address
labels, large shipping labels (also good as ID tags), file folder
labels, and others are available. In addition to white, some labels
are available in yellow. You can even get a continuous 50-foot roll
of clear label stock. But get ready to pay. These labels are
expensive: A roll of 400 standard-size address labels will set you
back $13.99. That's about three and-a-half cents per label. For
comparison, a box containing 1,400 labels measuring 1-1/3" x 4" (100
sheets with 14 labels per sheet) from Staples sells for $19.99.
That’s 1.425 cents per label, less than half the cost. But you can’t
knock the great convenience that the QL-500 provides. So, much of
what you save by not buying ink you give right back when you stock
up on labels.
If label width is important to you, the QL-500 prints the widest
label (2.4") you can get without moving up to an industrial printer.
The competing Dymo LabelWriter 300 Turbo (read
the Reference Guide review) prints to 2.3" and the Seiko Smart
Label Printer 240, prints a maximum label width of 2".
The QL-500 comes with Brother’s P-touch Editor label design
software. With it, you can print from just about any application
through standard Windows printer drivers. Systems integrators have
another tool at their disposal: Brother's
software development kit can be used to enhance custom-developed
applications and print data directly to pre-defined Brother label
Gotta have it. The Brother QL-500 is one of those
indispensable tools that help keep my office –
and my life – organized.<
Yeas & Nays
software add-ins for Word, Excel, Outlook mean no retyping to
.xls, .csv, .txt and .mdb file types
only, no color
QL-500 prints several bar codes: Code39, Code 128, Codabar, UPC
A/E, EAN 8/13/128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Postnet, Laser Bar Code,
ISBN2, ISBN5, PDF 417 QR Code, Data Matrix.
In The Box
• USB cable
• Power adapter, cord
• Quick Start Guide
• Software/Driver CD
• Roll of die-cut address