I’ve had a hands on with a Leitz Icon label printer and I’m going to have a quick run down of it’s features and how it compares with it’s competition on the current market while also giving my personal unbiased opinion.
It claims to print up to 200 labels per minute which is very fast but I have yet to test this which I will explain why later.
You have two print qualities. Fast at 300x300dpi or better quality (slightly slower) of 300x600dpi.
It has a built-in fully automatic fast electric cutter. It’s about as fast as a Brother QL-700!
Prints paper and plastic labels up to 88mm wide.
Has USB and WiFi for connectivity.
Works on Windows, MAC and iOS.
Has an optional battery pack attachment to make it fully portable. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try this option.
First things first, how the print looks. It looks like a flatter version of the Brother TD-2020N (picture on the right). It has two long grippy feet on it’s underside plus one in the front handle.
This little unit will take up 22cm x 13cm of deskspace which is around the same as both a Brother QL-710W and a Dymo LW450 Turbo.
On the front (from right to left) there’s a bright blue power lamp, a bright green WiFi lamp a feed button and a cut button. The cut button will always feed a label through first before cutting which doesn’t make sense in my opinion but it will cut at the end of each label whether you like it or not. That’s right! You can’t set it not to cut!
Under these buttons and lamps is the 95mm wide slot where the labels exit.
On the top there’s a thumb-sized eject button which when pressed opens the lid to remove / insert the label cartridge.
There’s no power button so it’s always on. After leaving it alone for 90 minutes it doesn’t look like it goes into a standby mode either which might put off those of an energy conserving nature. There is also an unusual warmth coming from the front of the printer. Seems a little wasteful of energy if you ask me. On the back is a USB-B socket, the 24VDC power socket (switch off at the wall to prevent sparks (yes this happened to me)), a WPS button (see “Wireless” below for details) a couple little notches and a 9 pin linear socket. Both of the last items on the list I would guess are for the battery pack that I didn’t get to try.
Ironically, for a printer aimed at the business trade, the only way to connect the WiFi is using the insecure WPS option. Great if you’re a home user and don’t have much of a care in the world for security. Not great if you’re in an office or industrial environment where this convenience is removed by the risk of security vulnerabilities.
I have a feeling the software right now is still in some form of production as it’s proves to be slightly buggy. Upon choosing an address label type it crashed! I therefore cannot test the international address label (70120001)
No escape from Times New Roman. For some unfortunate reason Times New Roman is the default font in any field you create but this can be changed in the options menu (which by the way is very sparse).
Again with the WiFi. No chance to connect it and no Apple devices to use. The app is only available on an Apple device which is rather unfair seeing as Android is taking the market by storm so I therefore have nothing to say about it. From what I’ve read from other reviews the app is “clunky”.
What about the competition.
Should Brady worry? No.
Should Brother worry? Maybe.
Should Dymo worry? Maybe.
Is there a market for yet another desktop address label printer? Not really. When you look at our most popular brands (Brother, Dymo, Zebra, Seiko) there really is no room for improvement over these already great machines.
My overall rating
The printer itself has a very good built quality with the exception of the two buttons at the front that feel like they’re going to snap off at any moment, and the spring-loaded lid which will pop open easily. Is very appealing to look at despite it looking like a copy of a particular Brother Printer, and it’s performance is great. The portability function of Wifi and battery makes it great as an all-rounder.
The labels seem to be okay but the cartridges seem a little fiddly. Not sure why they insist on the user having to fiddle with a little flap which to my mind only adds to the cost of each cartridge. You also have to fiddle with a another flap inside the printer when inserting or removing a cartridge.
The software whilst trying to be user friendly is lacking in that special something. The fact that it knows what label you’ve inserted in the printer is a great feature, something that Brother and Brady are proud of, but it doesn’t automatically set it to that label size for you which is rather backwards. Like the Dymo software you still have to click the label type on the left, choose the size then decide on which template to use. Like I mentioned with my experience above I couldn’t choose any of the address labels without the software crashing.
I didn’t get a chance to try the mobile app as they’ve been a little bias and only made it for the one platform which we don’t use. Plus their poor choice to use a vulnerable WiFi connection made it impossible to test the wireless feature in our offices.
The build quality of the machine is really good and quality of the labels are great which gets a high score from me. The features and problems with the software was the backbreaker and sliced the overall score in half. Overall I give the Leitz Icon a 4.5 out of 10.