When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there’s one I’ve never had to consider: being organized. By nature, I’ve always been one who believed in “a place for everything and everything in its place.” My wife? Not so much. So our household organization tends to be a bit of a back and forth battle. We’ve tried various systems over the years, but one of the near constants has been the label maker. These lovely little devices certainly play a helpful role in organizing everything from binders to computer and A/V cables, but they’ve always seemed very similar to each other. That is, until I tried out the Epson LabelWorks LW-400, which really stands out among other label makers.
The first sign of a great label maker is its flexibility for use. The LW-400 has 14 fonts and 10 font styles, allowing you to really diversify your labels. And, since a picture is worth 1,000 words, it also comes with more than 300 symbols (that includes accented letters and punctuation marks) and 75 different frames for customizing your organization. You can squeeze up to four lines of text on a label and the LW-400 can store up to 50 different files for items you might frequently print. With a backlit display and a preview of your label, you should never be surprised by what you print.
The LW-400 especially shines in its output. Printouts look very good and the label maker can accommodate 6 mm- 18 mm tape and will print on a huge variety of tape colors, including glow-in-the-dark and iron-on labels. What I really liked about the LW-400′s labels was that, unlike many label makers, the amount of extra tape on the right and left borders has been reduced, meaning less waste and more labels per cartridge. Output can be printed in several configurations: the standard flat label, as an index tab to be used in a catalog or notebook, as a flag on a cable, wrapped tightly around a cable, or even as a barcode.
The unit is a size that sits well in the hands. It’s about 6 1/2 inches long, 4 1/2 inches wide, and about 2 inches tall. (See image below for a size comparison to the iPhone 4S.) Six AA batteries power the LW-400 and, while I don’t have an exact lifetime of the batteries in this unit, they do last quite a long time. It can also be powered by an optional AC adapter.
Like all label makers, there’s a bit of a learning curve to figuring out how all of the formatting and functionality work. However, if you’re lost, there is a user’s guide that is short enough that you can quickly find your solution and the back of the LW-400 has some quick tips printed on the case for the most common formatting options. There’s also a printed guide to quickly browse the LW-400′s many symbols.
The LW-400 is very quiet and a great choice to help you get organized – whether it’s diodes and LEDs, nails and screws, or rat swarms and goblin archers you’re looking to keep separated and make easy to find. If getting organized is on your list of New Years resolutions, give the Epson LabelWorks LW-400 a look.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a unit for review purposes.