Review – Leitz Icon Smart Labeling System
Organization is mandatory for making sure we stay on task. You can’t exactly file your paperwork if it has been stuffed in four different drawers. The same holds true for any aspect of our lives. This is why we enjoy things that are simple, seamless, and streamlined. We like our phones, tablets and computers to sync up wirelessly with no more than a push of a button. We see more and more smart devices that can jump into the mix with little to no hassle, making our lives easier than we ever could have guessed. The Leitz Icon printer is a smart labeling system that is both portable and versatile, making it the perfect addition for professionals who are constantly on the go.
This was far smaller than I was expecting. It only takes up about a square foot of space on my desk, and even with a cartridge in place it didn’t weigh more than a couple of pounds. Made of plastic through and through, this printer is white on the front, top, and back, with gray panels flush on the sides which discreetly show the logo. There is a more noticeable grey logo on the white front located on the bottom right corner. Rather than being a whole rounded-edge rectangle, it has an overhang in the front that dips down to about an inch above whatever surface it’s sitting on. This makes for a perfect handle for traveling from room to room.
The spring-loaded door on the top is easily snapped open by the lone button nearby. It takes a considerable amount of pressure compared with the two buttons on the front for paper feed and cutting. They can take the lightest touch and will spring the printer into action. There are indicator lights on the opposing side of the cut and feed buttons shining a bright green light for WiFi, and blue for power. Neither of these will ever turn off so long as this is connected to a power source. While I do wish there was a standby mode so it’s not constantly sucking up power, it’s not a deal-breaker.
The initial setup only took about fifteen minutes, requiring you to plug it in, load in a cartridge, and download software and firmware updates to begin printing. Seeing that the big draw for this labeling system is that it can print at break-neck speeds, boasting 200 labels a minute, I wanted to see how it could hold out. There are two options for resolution to choose from, being 300×300 and 300×600 dpi. The quality of the former, while not bad, is not particularly clear cut. If it is something more solid than lettering, make sure you do a test print, as I got a few prints that were not the quality I was expecting. What I’m talking about here is not serious bleed, merely a few escaped dots and dashes around the edges, but it is still worthy of note. Leaving it at the lower resolution likely could have gotten the 200 labels a minute out of it. However, I instead picked the higher resolution which is what I would actually use to send out mail for business, and chose a 3 ½ x 1 1/8” label. Printing a small army of these yielded around 40 after the minute mark had passed when I was printing 99 of them (there isn’t an option to print above 99 at once). I did fear that it might overheat or jam with so many coming out at once, but it held its ground well and the quality of the thermal printing stayed the same throughout.
While the printer is great, I was understandably skeptical about what the software can do. For obvious reasons software can make or break a product pretty quickly. The interface was clean and easy to understand, though it was a bit annoying that there is no option for custom sizes. However, there are a myriad of templates to choose from, and I never found myself in want. While some templates appear to have rounded edges, keep in mind what the type of cartridge you currently have in is capable of. If you have the continuous adhesive backing version that I did, you’re only ever going to get things printed on rectangles. You can quickly access DropBox or import your address book from your phone easily, meaning you can print shipping labels or use this for addresses on cards to friends and family anywhere you have access to WiFi. This will play nicely with your PC, Mac, and iDevices, but currently has no Android support.
This is a great labeling system that would be a dream come true for small business owners as you never need to buy ink; only the cartridges. The thermal printing is a bit spotty at times, but it’s not illegible by any means. It could still use some tweaking for the software as you can’t go all out with customization, but it’s not too shabby either. Upkeep is very limited, but if you don’t spring for the extra battery pack which will give you four hours of print time, you’ll need to be near a wall outlet. This is reasonably priced for what it can do, and the cost it will incur over time will be minimal.
Leitz Icon Labeling System – $92-150
Replacement Cartridges – $25
Battery Pack – $65+