DYMO’s LabelWriter brand is traditionally associated with office label printers, but the LabelWriter 4XL breaks with the tradition. It’s DYMO’s first shipping label printer. It’s not meant to compete heads-on with Zebra printers, but is clearly targeting small to medium sized shipping departments.
The DYMO LabelWriter 4XL follows the same form factor and design as DYMO’s new line of office label printers, the 450 series. The main differences with the LabelWriter 450 series is the size of the label roll: that’s designed to accommodate DYMO’s new large shipping labels of 100 mm x 150 mm –more than large enough to print a FedEx or UPS label.
That is also what the LabelWriter 4XL will be used for the most. It prints up to 300 dpi, which is enough for sharp looking barcodes, and it will print 53 labels with 4 lines of text a minute. (actually, it prints at 82 mm per second).
There are 220 labels on a large label roll, which immediately sets the LabelWriter 4XL apart from manufacturers like Zebra which sells rolls with more than 500 labels on a roll, and were you can choose from a dazzling array of direct thermal and thermal transfer labels. Zebra’s market is the company that prints labels almost continuously, while the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL fills a gap in a market where Zebra is less strongly represented. Offices where parcels are sent perhaps half a dozen times a day are the niche the 4XL fits in.
I tested the 4XL and after having struggled with the large label roll — you must be careful the label is fed correctly or terrible things happen that can only be fixed using scissors — went on designing and printing a nice series of shipping labels. I must admit the LabelWriter 4XL is faster than I thought from reading its specifications. It doesn’t produce the “jet take-off” sounds I have heard from the LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo and its labels come out a bit slower, but it all goes effortlessly and the printing quality of 300 dpi is more than crisp enough.
In fact, I couldn’t find much difference between the 600 x 300 dpi output of the 450 Turbo at highest speed and the 4XL quality at the only speed it’s capable of.
The only thing that I regret is the poor support fo the LabelWriter 4XL by label design applications. Only DYMO’s own designer application correctly recognises the large labels, but to design multiple labels with DYMO’s application isn’t really a joy if you want to design something really nice…
Concluding this review: the LabelWriter 4XL is a great shipping labels printer, and it can handle all of the smaller label sizes as well. If you need to print on these large labels but not on a semi-continuous basis, I don’t think you can go wrong with this label printer.