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Review of the Brother P-Touch PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System

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Brother PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System

Brother PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System

Photo © Brother

The Bottom Line

The Brother PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System is a portable label maker that can work independently or be connected to a PC for advanced functionality. The machine can work on batteries or with the (included) AC power cord. Users can choose from eight fonts, 17 frames, and a wide array of type styles and symbols. It comes with an automatic tape cutter built in, and a library of more than 50 pre-formatted labels. I found it easy to use--particularly the P-touch Editor software that's included--but was unable to make it work properly with the Microsoft add-ins. Labels looked great and seemed very heavy duty.
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Pros

  • All-in-one unit with keyboard
  • No computer needed, but additional functions available when connected to a PC
  • Labels of various colors and sizes available separately
  • AC or battery power (AC power cable included)

Cons

  • Lacking documentation on how to use the Microsoft add-ins
  • Stiff keyboard

Description

  • Brother PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System
  • 16-character back-lit LCD screen
  • Eight fonts and 10 styles
  • Various size / usage tapes available
  • 2,800 character memory
  • 55 label templates
  • Can make barcodes

Guide Review - Review of the Brother P-Touch PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System

The Brother PT-2730 P-Touch PT-2730 electronic labeling system is bigger than some of its predecessors (such as the PT-1280 label maker) and it succeeds in overcoming the relatively minor issues that were a bit of a nuisance in those earlier models. It's a bit bigger, weighing in at nearly two pounds and measuring 7.0" x 9.4" x 2.8"; but with that extra space comes a nice size three-line graphical display that has space for 16 characters, is brightly back-lit, and very easy to read. The larger footprint also means the keys are well spaced and, while I found them a bit stiff, it was easy to type without fat-fingering keys too often.

This label maker can can create vertical or horizontal labels on six tape sizes (3.5mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 18mm, 24mm) and on many different kinds of tape (standard laminated, flexible for things like power cords or USB cables, extra-strength adhesive for harsh environments, non-laminated iron-on fabric labels, and acid free for use on photo-sensitive materials). The label maker works on AC power (and it comes with a power cord) or with eight AA batteries (not included).

There are multiple ways to print labels using the PT-2730. There's the on-board keyboard, which is fairly intuitive and easy to use; there's the P-touch Editor that comes with the machine and which I found most convenient to use; and then there are add-in functions that work with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Unfortunately there's no documentation about how to use these add-ins, and while the PT-2730 showed up on my list of printers, I never quite figured out how to make this work, and all I did was waste eight inches of printer tape. Brother certainly needs to add some documentation on making these functions work properly, as they'd likely be a big boon to small businesses.

That quibble aside, I found the PT-2730 easy to use and very fast. It will take some time to see how durable these samples are (printed on white, 24mm laminated tape); but I know from previous experience that they're likely to be long lasting, since I still have labels from more than a year ago on jars in the refrigerator that show no sign of peeling off. Perhaps best of all is that this label maker is quite inexpensive--suggested retail price on Brother's site is $99, but I've seen it much cheaper online. Check the Compare Prices below link for the best prices on this label printer. The various tapes are generally in the $10-$20 price range.
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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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