Product Reviews

In Brief

Not only can you print postage at your desktop, but with the Dymo Desktop Mailing Solution you can even weigh the mail and calculate the exact amount of postage required. A fee-free account for purchasing postage and a label printer using special electronic-postage label stock completes this well thought-out solution that's perfect for home offices.


Price

$239.99
 

Dymo
Stanford, Conn.

Competition

Pitney Bowes is the 800-lb. gorilla when it comes to postage meters. It's focus, though, is on larger companies.

 

Key Specs

4Scale: 6.25” x 7.25” x 1.5”

4Printer: 8.5” W x 7” D x 5.25” H

4Print speed: Up to 55 labels per minute, able to print bar codes

 

 

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Printers

Dymo Desktop Mailing Solution

Rating:

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.

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Installation

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 hub.

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 charm.

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.<

 
Yeas & Nays

Yea:

4Easy installation

4No monthly fee

4Purchase only the postage you need

4Supports Mac and Windows

4Good fit for home offices
 

Nay:

4Labels cost more
than inkjet or laser sheets

4Requires two USB ports

 

 
In The Box

Twin printer

Scale

Getting Started guide

CD containing software and drivers

Power cord, adapter and USB cable for printer; scale includes integral USB cord


 


   

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