Epson LabelWorks LW-PX900PCD Deluxe Kit Review
The largest label printer that Epson offers – and arguably as large as a portable printer can get – the company’s LabelWorks LW-PX900 is a step up from the Epson LabelWorks LW-PX700 which has won our Editors’ Choice Award for Moderate to Heavy Industrial Labeling. . The main difference between them, and why you might want to up your budget to $299 for the LW-PX900 alone or $379 for the LW-PX900PCD deluxe kit reviewed here, is their ability to handle tapes wider, up to 36 mm (1.42 inches). It’s also a bit faster, offers higher resolution, and supports die-cut tapes, making the LW-PX900 a more robust label maker than the LW-PX700 and outperforming the Brady BMP41 in as our Editors’ Choice Winner for Extreme Industrial Use. label printer.
The design: you’re going to need a handle
Like its smaller sibling, the LabelWorks LW-PX900 has a handle on one end that makes it easy to carry the 2.78-pound printer with you. In general shape, it’s a near-twin of the LW-PX700 and similar to the Brady BMP41 and BMP21-Plus, ie it varies in size depending on where you measure it.
I measured the depth (or length) of the Epson at around 11.6 inches at its maximum. It’s about 5.4 inches wide at its widest point near the top at the 3.2-inch LCD and 3.75 inches wide at the narrowest part of the grip. Its height or thickness is approximately 3.5 inches near the screen and an inch less at the end of the handle, so when sitting on a flat surface the top panel s tilts to make the screen easier to read and the QWERTY keyboard easier to type. Although you can hold the printer with two hands for thumb typing, I found it too heavy to hold comfortably for long.
The printer is mostly black with red highlights, plus white for a few function keys and lime green for the print key and the slot from which the labels emerge. Special features include options to change settings, define labels suitable for patch panels and flag labels (with a small flag sticking out of the cable), and save and load up to 100 label definitions to and from the built-in memory.
The physical setup is typical: just pop in a tape cartridge and install six AA batteries or the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which you can buy separately for $79 or get as part of the deluxe kit. The Kit version, which is the one we tested, also includes an AC adapter that charges the lithium-ion pack, which Epson says will last long enough to print just over four 30-foot label cartridges between charges. . For backup, you can carry a spare battery or AA batteries, or fall back on mains power. The AC adapter cord is just over 12 feet long.
Purchased alone, the printer comes with an AC adapter and a tape cartridge. For the price of the optional battery plus a dollar, the complete kit also gets you a hard-shell carrying case ($59.99 separately) plus a set of two industrial magnets ($21) that screw into the bottom of the printer so that it adheres to any convenient ferromagnetic surface.
Label everything: 150 strips to choose from
As of this writing, Epson offers 150 tape cartridges for the LW-PX900, adding approximately 30 choices to the types and widths available for the LW-PX700. About half of them are standard 30ft plastic (polyester) tapes in assorted combinations of print and background colors with widths from 4mm to 36mm (0.16 inch to 1.42 inch ). Cartridge prices are $20.85 for widths of 12 mm and under, $24.85 for widths of 18 mm and 24 mm (0.71 and 0.94 inches), and $34.50 for the 36mm. All are continuous rolls which means your cost per label will vary depending on label size.
The other half of your label choices are specialty ribbons, which include silver matte; strong adhesive tapes; magnetic tapes; vinyl, fluorescent and reflective tapes; heat-shrink tapes for cables; self-laminating overwrap tapes for cables with a clear, non-printable area to overlap printed text; and rolls with circular, oval and rectangular die-cut labels. For each type of specialty tape, the length, price, and number of choices vary.
Print on the fly or from a Windows PC
Like the LW-PX700, the LabelWorks LW-PX900 allows Windows laptop or desktop users to download and print from Epson’s Label Editor software (the latest version is 2.04), which also provides a driver that allows you to print from other Windows applications. As I’ve mentioned in other Epson label printer reviews, I find Label Editor to be both capable and easy to use. However, printing from macOS is not supported.
Printing without a PC attached is also virtually identical to the LW-PX700, except for options to use wider tapes and tapes with die-cut labels. Built-in features include the ability to store and retrieve up to 100 tag definitions; print barcodes and QR codes; print in vertical or horizontal orientation; print labels in mirror image; and use one of 859 industrial and professional symbols. A particularly nice touch is the Drop Stop option: turn it on and when printing multiple labels with a single command, the printer will stop after cutting each label to wait for you to remove it from the exit slot before printing. print the next one.
Epson rates the device’s print speed on AC power at 35mm or 1.38 inches per second (ips). That’s more than three times faster than the Brady BMP21-Plus’ 0.4 fps rating and slightly faster than the LW-PX700 (1.18 fps) and Brady BMP41 (1.3 fps).
In my tests, the LW-PX900 managed 1.2 ips when printing four copies of a 4.6-inch label with the text “PCMag Label Printer Test” and auto-cut turned off. When I set it for half-cuts between labels, which allows you to remove individual labels from a continuous strip of backing material after printing, the speed dropped to 0.89 ips (including the final cut at the end). My times were the same when testing on battery Where AC power.
Note that the unit’s 360dpi resolution is twice the typical sharpness for this class of printer and a bit more than the BMP41’s 300dpi. For most labels, the high resolution won’t make a difference, but when I printed five lines of text on a strip just under half an inch wide, it produced crisp, legible text. in 5 points.
Put it on your short list
Each of the label printers mentioned here offers great flexibility for its price, both in terms of content (from barcodes to symbols) and the types of labels it can use. The Brady BMP21-Plus is the cheapest of the bunch and offers an ABCD keyboard layout for those who prefer that to QWERTY. The BMP41 competes more directly with the LW-PX900 and also comes in specialist configurations that focus on different applications (such as the voice and data communications starter kit we tested), so you can find a suitable version to your needs.
One of the benefits of the LabelWorks LW-PX700 and LW-PX900 is that they offer lifetime warranties, including accidental breakage. The LW-PX900 also passed the MIL-STD-810 four-foot drop test. Both Epsons have identical Windows printing applications and nearly identical built-in options, but the LW-PX900 is the only printer in this group that supports printing on tape larger than 1 inch. If you’re sure you’ll never need labels up to 1.42 inches wide, the LW-PX700 is less expensive and remains our Editors’ Choice for all but the heaviest. But if you know or think you might need wider labels, the LW-PX900 is the printer you need and ranks as our top editor’s choice.
Epson LabelWorks LW-PX900PCD Deluxe Kit
Working as a portable printer or connected to a Windows PC, Epson’s rugged and capable LabelWorks LW-PX900 creates plastic, vinyl, fluorescent, reflective and cable labels up to 36 mm (1.42 in) in length. wide to meet most industrial labeling needs.
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