Canadian Small Business Videos
Review: Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo
We have reviewed Dymo LabelWriter 450 turbo - a stand-alone and PC driven label maker.
Review: Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo Transcript
There has been a lot of talk about the need for innovation. At CanadaOne, we are going to start looking at practical, simple ways that small companies can use technology to be more innovative and more productive in their operations. Along those lines, we are going to introduce you to the Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo.
The labelwriter may not seem like the most obvious place to start off for innovation. The reason we picked this is because of some of the creative and interesting things you can do with this product. So to get started, the device itself is quite simple. We can open it up and put in a roll of labels – the labels go to some different widths. We have a simple indicator light which tells us whether the labels are loaded or not. And it plugs into our computer using a USB connection. Just a quick tip – you must install the software before the first time you connect this product to your computer so please make sure to do that.
The software is really the heart of what makes this an interesting product. So let’s take a look at the software that comes with the actual printer because we think this is where the label writer stands apart. There is the standard thing that you would expect which is the ability to come in here and adjust the label and to change the font style and the centering and the positioning of the label. Over on the left, you will see that you not only have the ability to select from a large range of different preset label styles, but we can also come in to “designer” and assign objects, so let’s take a look at that. Some of the label style we have is the traditional label. We can scroll down and you will see that there is a variety of shipping labels and we can even design things like checklists so we can make sure that people are taking care of everything that is needed when the shipment goes out. We can scroll down a little further and you can see that there are name badges, if you are holding events. There are CD Covers. There are business cards even and price tags.
Let’s go ahead and use a standardized shipping label. We are going to come over in the designer mode. When I select something that has an address on it, it is already recognizing that this is my address. It is smart enough to know that I typed an address in there, so this is going to be reflected regardless of what label I pick. If I pick a standard label that has no design, it will not appear because it is not trying to put it on. But we can actually go assign those objects using the designer mode. To add an object to a label we simply double click it. So if we want our address to appear, we just put it in there. We might want to position it a little differently and change the size of it. But we can also add some other really interesting smart objects like a counter that will increase in number as more labels are increased. And the date and time so that we are not having to change physically the actual date and time that is in the software when we go to use it.
What I really like is the barcode feature. The barcode feature allows you to put in intelligent mailing label barcodes. If you double click on it, there are actually a large number of standards that you can select from so that you can hopefully integrate this with the software that you have. Again, talking about productivity, if you are going to purchase this on the basis of needing to use the barcodes, you are going to want to make sure that the standards in here match the standards of other software that you’ve already bought. Or, if you don’t already have software in place, you will want to make sure the other software you buy can work with these standards. So there you go, you have designed a very simple shipping label. We can even throw some clip art on there if you’d like.
So what is the next step? Obviously you want to be putting the address information in and the important stuff that needs to be printed on the label coming from the data base. So let’s increase this address size and take a look at how that works. We aren’t going to look at the address book first, we will get to that in a minute. The other option is simply to go “file”, and we can “emerge, print” from a database. We can select that option and as you can see, I’ve already got a sample data sheet here. Because I’ve opened the sheet, when I say next, it will automatically pull up the list of the people so I am not going to have to reset everything when I pull up the software. Again, what we like about this product is that it has some really nice simple user workflows. So I might say that I don’t want to see Jane Doe’s address print but I want to see John Smith’s, and I click print and then away we go. In this case, let’s say I want to put some different information on. I just click the “back” button, and now that lets me really easily again decide what fields I want to use. I can use “auto” to pull them all over, and then I can also just use the “back space” key to make the spacing a little more appropriate. And perhaps we don’t want that phone number; I just have to delete it. You can see that in a matter of a few seconds, I have actually been able to take my own custom excel document, you can also use comma separated files and appropriately set up text files. I have been able to say what fields from that document I want included on my label. Then I would just say “next”, I would print those off and I’d be done.
There you have it. It is a pretty simple place of software. The final thing that you might want to do if you were to look at using this is to go ahead and develop an address book within the actual software and you can use your outlook contacts if that is something you are using already or you can use one of the Dymo address books. So let’s switch back to the actual hardware and take a look at how it prints.
As you can see, we have two labels printed out in the blink of an eye. The printing quality is extremely crisp. The speed is fast but what we like best about this particular machine is how we can see so many ways to enhance productivity. Whether it is book keepers preparing invoices, or sending out mailings, doing pricing labels – you can also add some quality control features and work a little bit less ad hoc in places like the shipping department by adding check lists and different things with this label printer.
The Dymo Labelwriter 450 Turbo is an interesting piece of equipment, it is not very expensive and what we really like about it is the opportunity for it to make you more productive in your day to day business.