A Printer for Labels 

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Rather than a range of print facilities, this next product concentrates its functionality on the production of labels.

Leitz Icon Smart Label Printer
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The Leitz Icon is a label printer that certainly did not get off to the best of starts when I began to review the product.  Unpacking the kit revealed the printer unit, decked out in white and dark grey, a two-piece power lead and adapter, a micro-to-standard USB lead, label cartridge, a Quick Start Guide plus a Warranty and Disposal document. 

The printer unit was of a rather unusual shape.  It reminded me a little of the K9 robotic dog, which appears in several Dr Who episodes of a several years ago, when it was standing in a head butting position.  Less impressive was the label cartridge which looked as if it was encased within an egg box covering.

As well as its unusual shape, this printer has no need of an ink or laser cartridge.  It is, in fact, a printer that uses thermal technology to create its printed output.  Although this type of printer does do away with the need for ink or laser consumables, it still requires a cartridge.  But in this case the cartridge contains the special paper on which the labels will be printed

While you could have this printer facing directly towards you, I tended to position it in profile so that the head was on the right and the rear end on the left.  The front of the printer features a slot from which the printed labels appear.  Just above this slot are a couple of LED lights for power and Wi-Fi plus buttons to feed and cut a label.  Situated on top of the printer is a concealed compartment into which you slot the label cartridge.  This compartment has its own release button also positioned on the top of the unit.

The rear of the printer, or in my case the left side, houses the connection sockets for power and USB.  Both of these sockets were covered by a label indicating that you should download and install the necessary software before attempting to connect the printer to a computer.  This message was re-enforced by a similar message in the Quick Start Guide.  In both cases you are provided with a URL to facilitate this task.  However the URLs were slightly different and neither offered a direct link to the software.  Some drilling down will be necessary to find the software and begin the downloading process.  Message to Leitz, “If you expect users to download software to make use of your hardware then the least you can do is to provide the exact URL needed for this task.”

Connecting power to the printer appeared straightforward although I was a little confused by the flashing blue power LED while the green Wi-Fi LED gave off a steady glow.  Actually, as I discovered later, the power light flickers until a label cartridge is detected in position while the Wi-Fi light was giving a false reading which I will return to a little later.

Inserting the supplied label cartridge is best tackled after you have taken time to study the illustrated diagrams in the Quick Start Guide.  The label cartridge slots into the compartment on the top of the printer.  In order to carry out this task you will need to lift a label guide latch that forms part of the compartment and open the folding guide on the label cartridge.  This is not too complicated an operation if you have checked the illustrations but it might otherwise cause a little frustration.

As mentioned you need to connect the printer to a computer using either the USB or Wi-Fi option with the latter offering WPS connectivity if it is supported by your router.  When taking the WPS path you need to press the WPS button on the rear of the printer.  For some reason the illustrations in the Quick Start Guide place the WPS button in two different places.  Fortunately only one of the indicated places features a button.  While I had no problem in setting up the printer via USB, it took several attempts before I was able to establish a Wi-Fi connection.

Compared to setting up this printer, using the software was a more enjoyable task.  This sof6tware will refuse to run unless it detects the presence of a Leitz printer.  While rather basic in its appearance, the Leitz software gives you access to a range of features from its main interface.  Taking up a central position is the label area where you can view the current label style and carry out the creation and/or editing of labels.  You can use any of your font collection with their attributes and alignment settings.  As well as text you can make use of images such as the supplied clip art collection or any of your own content.

Running down the left of the screen is a pane listing the various label formats that are categorised as Address, Shipping, Filing, Multi-purpose, Name & Visitor Badge and Continuous.  There are also options to use Dropbox and view saved labels.  Situated on the right is the Address Book pane.  A sample address book is provided but you will probably want to create your own or import an existing one.

Labels can be printed individually or in specified groups with each label being automatically cut as it is ejected.  Speeds of up to 200 labels per minute are claimed for this printer and I have no reason to doubt this figure.  As well as working from the mains, Leitz has also developed a portable 2405 mAh battery pack that can be attached to the back of the printer for use when on the move.  However as this printer does not have an on/off switch, you need to remove the battery pack after use in order not to drain its power.  While not the easiest device to set up, this label printer is capable of producing labels at a fast rate.

The Leitz Icon printer, supplied with a single label cartridge is currently listed at £110.28 with replacement label cartridges priced at £13 upwards depending on the size of label.

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