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Epson invents a clever label printer that works with iOS

Epson was nice enough to send me a review unit of its new Labelworks LW-600P portable label printer (US$99.00). I didn't feel I had much personal need for labels around the home office, but that quickly changed when I got the printer up and running.

Specifications

The printer works with iOS or OS X. A free iOS app communicates via Bluetooth, while Mac owners can use the included USB cable. The printer can be powered by six AA batteries or the AC power supply.

Its maximum printing resolution is 180 DPI, and labels can be bought that measure 6, 9, 12, 18 or 24 mm. The labels are mostly peel off with adhesive backing. After your label is printed you can specify that it be automatically cut. There are a variety of colors and finishes available for the labels, even iron-on types. The printer itself is small, 6" H, 2" W, 5" D. It can go in a medium sized briefcase or laptop case.

Design and installation highlights

Set up was quite easy. Once the batteries were installed, a flashing blue light indicated it was waiting for pairing. I opened my iPhone and the printer showed in the Bluetooth menu, ready to pair. From there it was ready to print. Labels are easy to load and it was obvious how the label carrier needed to be inserted. I really didn't need a manual.

Using the Epson LW-600P

Bring up the Epson app, enter text, choose from a variety of fonts, and send your work to the printer. There are 400 label design templates, or you can choose plain text. It can also print barcodes or QR codes. The app also supports Apple's speech-to-text, so just talk to the app and the text for the label will appear. That's pretty cool.

Once I got started I found lots of uses for the printer. I was labeling cables behind my home theater system, folders, food containers and the drawers in my parts chest.

The only glitch I saw was that my iPhone doesn't always immediately recognize it, so I had to open the Bluetooth Menu and tap the printer name. Then it paired instantly.

Conclusions

The Epson LW-600P is just a really excellent portable printer. With an iOS device and the printer running on battery and Bluetooth you can be a printing demon around the house or office with no wires. Print cartridges that feature 30 feet of label average around $20.00, and that is a lot of labels. I was pretty neutral about this product until I used it. Give it a serious look if you have need of professional looking labels that are really easy to create.

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