DYMO LabelManager 500TS Price: $199.99 Rating: Recommend* DYMO label makers have come a long way since the vintage 1970s models with the red tape and embossed letters. Taking advantage of touch screen technology, the company's new LabelManager 500TS makes it easy to add flair to labels with multiple fonts, styles, and symbols.
Equally useful in the home office and the kitchen, a label maker is one of our favorite tools for organizing everything from paperwork to cables, spice jars, and cleaning supplies. For those who want to customize the look of their labels, the DYMO LabelManager 500TS offers 10 fonts, 25 font sizes, 5 boxes, 32 text styles, and 325 symbols and clip art images. Labels can be formatted and edited using the color touch screen and QWERTY keyboard. It's a bit clunkier than using a smartphone or tablet, but overall very easy to use.
In addition to the customization options, we love how quickly this machine prints and automatically cuts labels. DYMO says this model prints labels twice as fast as its predecessors, which is useful if you're working on a big project (this would be great for making address labels or labeling dozens of jars of homemade preserves, for example). It prints at 300dpi and the company sells several different label colors and widths from 1/4-inch to 1-inch. Unfortunately, we did notice some inconsistency in print quality. Sometimes the labels came out clear and sharp; other times the ink was sketchy, as seen in the "sugar" label above.
If you want to return to particular labels or styles, it's possible to save settings and data for up to 5 different users. The label maker can also be connected to a Mac or PC for further label customization and printing from applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Mac Address Book, and QuickBooks. Bottom Line: If you print a lot of labels and want multiple customization options, the DYMO LabelManager 500TS is a useful machine. The touch screen makes it easy to format and edit labels and we loved the speedy printing and cutting. When not in use, the label maker screen displays a flip clock, which is a nice feature if you keep the machine out on your desk. Cons: We think it's a bit pricey and bulky for most home users, who might prefer a less expensive, handheld model like the DYMO LetraTag. In addition, we were disappointed by the inconsistency in printing, but we only tested it with one label cassette, so we cannot say whether it's a common problem. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend* Recommend Weak Recommend Don't Recommend Related: Epson LabelWorks LW-300 Label Printer Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by manufacturer for testing and review purposes. (Images: Emily Ho)