Dymo Desktop Mailing Solution
By Joel Shore
October 15, 2007
One of my least favorite places to go is the post
office. That’s why I like what Dymo has done.
The Dymo Desktop Mailing Solution is an all-in one
kit that provides everything I need to address, weigh and even apply
postage to my mail. If only I could get the mailman to come inside the
lab, I’d never have think about sending mail again.
The Desktop Mailing Solution includes everything
that you need to get started:
- A Dymo LabelWriter Twin Turbo printer, that
holds two rolls of labels at the same time. I can load address
labels on one side and special label stock for printing postage on
the other. This is so much easier than other solutions that make you
print labels first, switch rolls and then print postage labels.
- A battery-powered scale that weighs items up to five pounds.
The beauty of the whole Desktop Mailing Solution is how the scale
works. It connects to the computer through a USB port, so when you
weigh a letter or parcel, the info is passed back to the Dymo
software. After you select the mail type, class of postal service
(Express, First, etc.) and weigh the item, the software indicates
exactly how much postage is required. With another click, the
electronic stamp prints in a jiffy.
- Dymo Stamps software, which is easy to use
and, very refreshingly, supports both Windows and Macintosh.
- One roll each of 130 white address labels and
200 special Dymo postage labels are included. If there’s a downside, it’s the
expense of label stock. You’ll pay more you would for sheets of
inkjet or laser address labels, but with them, printing a single
label from Microsoft Word is, well, good luck to you if you’ve
figured it out.
- An included quick-start guide leads you
through the set up of the hardware and software.
A problem with other electronic postage products
that I’ve seen is the monthly service charge you have to pay. That may
be acceptable for businesses that do a lot of mailing, but for the small
offices and home offices that are the market Dymo is aiming at, fees are a showstopper. The fee-free
account is a major plus.
Fortunately, the Dymo (they insist on "DYMO," but I
won't do that) people recognized this and
eliminated the monthly fee. You pay only for actual postage purchased and the
labels. I really like that. The Dymo Stamps service is provided by
Endicia, one of the two companies that pioneered print-it-yourself
electronic postage (the other company is Stamps.com). You do have to
sign up for a Dymo Stamps account, but that’s free. It’s through this
account that you purchase postage and your computer receives the
authorization to print the actual electronic stamps.
Dymo’s software, now in its seventh generation. supports several different kinds of
postal services, including envelopes, small packages, postcards, Flat
Rate Priority Mail, Express Mail, and International Mail. The scale
isn’t required to purchase and print postage, but, of course, it adds a
whole lot of convenience and eliminates guesswork.
Of course, you're not limited to printing postage.
The Twin Turbo label writer supports dozens of Dymo label types. You can
even use the Dymo software to print bar codes on labels.
If you want to simply purchase postage and not
weigh your mail, anyone can download the Dymo Stamps software and set up
an account. Unfortunately, owners of older Dymo printers,
including the LabelWriter XL, EL, or any 300 series printer, or a
LabelWriter 400, are out of luck. You’ll need to upgrade to a
LabelWriter 400 Turbo, Twin Turbo or Duo printer.
Set-up was very easy on our Windows PC. It took about eight minutes to
install the hardware, get the cables connected, and get the software up
and running. Another few minutes was spent signing up for the free
online Dymo Stamps account.
Unfortunately, you'll need two available USB ports on your computer.
It would be nice if you could plug the printer into the computer and
then plug the scale into the printer, but that's not the way it works.
That's a missed opportunity, but it would involve Dymo to build USB hub
functionality into the printer, which would probably raise its cost. If
you're computer is out of USB ports, you'll have to buy your own USB
The scale uses a 9-volt battery for its power, so the only cable is
the USB connection. Weight can be display in either pounds/ounces or
kilograms/grams by pressing a front-panel button. Another button is for
tare, which lets you zero out the scale even when there is a load.
That's not really useful for postal use, but it's essential when
weighing ingredients in the kitchen. Why not? Just unplug the USB cable
and bring the scale into the kitchen when necessary; it works like a
With e-mail so pervasive, I don't send nearly as much snail mail as I
did years ago. And through the Web, I can do much more. That said, we'll
always have a need to send signed documents and greeting cards through
the postal service. Instead of keeping a book of stamps that I won't be
able to find when needed, I can turn to the Dymo Desktop Mailing
Solution. It's is a real time saver.<