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I have a weird little crush on label printers. There's just something cool about a machine that spits out custom self-adhesive strips of text.
I mean, yeah, you can print labels on a regular inkjet, but not one-offs -- not easily, anyway. Sometimes you just need the right tool for the right job.
Especially when that tool is cheap: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Staples has the Brother QL-800 High-Speed Professional Label Printer for $39.99 shipped (plus tax). It's currently the same price at Amazon.
The QL-800 lists for $99.99 and typically sells for around $80; it's been this price only once before. So this is a deal with a capital 'D.'
Compatible with about two dozen different Brother label sizes and styles, the QL-800 is notable for both its speed and its dual-color printing capabilities.
According to Brother, it can spit out as many as 93 address labels (standard size, black text) in a minute. But it can also add red printing to the mix: Depending on the label you choose, the QL-800 will output black, black and red or just red.
Why does the label dictate the color? Because this is a thermal printer, meaning there's no ink to buy. That's awesome, but of course you're beholden to the specialty labels. (One way or another, the consumables are gonna get ya.)
In case it's not abundantly clear, you could use this for everything from file-folder labels to barcodes to custom name tags for trade-show attendees. A built-in cutter will automatically chop the continuous-feed rolls into your preferred length.
I haven't used the QL-800 myself, but I'm sorely tempted to buy one. My only reservation is its lack of wireless connectivity: You have to plug it into your PC (or your Android phone, using a microUSB-to-printer cable).
Meanwhile, the customer reviews at both Amazon and Staples average out to exactly four stars -- very good, to be sure, but some users found it overcomplicated.
ZDNet hasn't reviewed it, so allow me to steer you to this PCMag review. Verdict: "An excellent value for its relatively low price" -- and that was based on the $100 price tag.
For $40, this seems too good to pass up. Your thoughts?