Can a thermal label printer replace your inkjet or laser printer?
A while ago I ditched my inkjet printer in favor of a laser printer. Doing this was such a great life hack for this digital native who doesn’t print photos and really only needs the convenience of printing shipping labels and the occasional document for signatures. Instead of measuring ink cartridge life in months, the laser printer allowed me to measure toner life in literal years.
My next attempt to upgrade my printing game was to try a thermal label printer. If you’re unfamiliar, a thermal printer uses no ink at all; its process is akin to engraving on special paper. My job is unique in that I constantly ship products back and forth, so the majority of my printing needs revolve around shipping labels. But I’ve noticed that my wife’s printing needs over the past few years have also become mostly shipping labels. Anyone who buys the majority of their products online may also be in the same boat.
I decided to give the Rollo wireless printer a chance to see if it could meet all my shipping label needs and see if it was a viable option for others to consider as well. people. The end result is that this product category is not for casual consumers, at least not yet. The good news is that this Rollo Wireless label printer is great for anyone with a business, from new designers to established small businesses, and those who regularly ship goods.
- Excellent mobile app for iOS and Android
- Integrated Services for Commerce Platforms
- The wireless connection was fast and reliable
Buy from Rollo.
Rollo Wireless Printer Features
I scoured the internet for a user-friendly thermal label printer, but came up with very few options. These devices are primarily aimed at businesses, both small and large. There are inexpensive options, but they don’t have Wi-Fi and don’t support mobile devices well. There are others that have wireless connectivity but are expensive and still not really meant for full app use.
Rollo, on the other hand, is the most consumer-friendly thermal label printer I’ve seen. More and more creators and individuals are starting to run their own business, so it only makes sense that they need a convenient way to create and print shipping labels to send goods or other goods.
The Rollo wireless printer has Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, and can print natively from iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Windows and Mac. The printer can accept labels of various sizes between 1.57 inches and 4.1 inches wide, with no height restrictions. The Rollo wireless printer also works with any direct thermal label, so you don’t need to buy special labels from the company.
In terms of things missing, there’s no paper tray or label feeder. There are add-ons you can buy, but right out of the box you’ll need to find a way to set the labels behind the printer.
Rollo for professional use
The real benefit of using a label printer like this is that businesses can manage the shipping of outbound orders. This Rollo printer supports ShipStation, ShippingEasy, Shippo, and ShipWorks, among other software. It also has its own free software called Rollo Ship Manager.
Rollo Ship Manager will allow you to receive orders from well-established commerce platforms like Amazon, but it can also handle the payment of shipping charges and the scheduling of pickups.
To be more specific, there are currently 13 sales channels that you can connect to using Rollo Ship Manager. These include Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Etsy, Squarespace, Walmart, WooCommerce, Big Cartel, Wix and more. UPS and USPS are also the shipping options currently available in the app.
While testing the Rollo app on an iOS device, I was impressed with its build quality. Instead of software that felt old or sloppy, the Rollo app is modern and responsive. It’s easy to use and packed with convenient features, including the ability to schedule free USPS pickups right within the app. The free web-based ship manager is also well done, in my opinion.
Adapting a thermal label printer for personal use
I don’t run a business, but I ship a fair amount of boxes. The challenge for consumers who print shipping labels is that they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and even orientations. It would be nice if there was a way for consumers to easily crop and print return labels on these thermal printers, but that doesn’t seem to exist yet.
The easiest way to print a shipping label from your mobile phone is to take a screenshot of it. Many labels come on a page full of other text, so you’ll have to pinch and zoom with your fingers to position the label to remove all the excess. Tap the share icon and select Print to automatically fit this screenshot to the default 4-inch by 6-inch labels.
Sometimes you will need to save a PDF and then rotate it with your fingers before taking a screenshot. Again, none of this is particularly ideal, but it will work. Is it better than a cheap laser printer? Probably not for most people. I didn’t mind the hassle, as it meant I didn’t have to waste an 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper and lots of tape every time.
Worth noting: while thermal printers like this Rollo are designed for shipping labels, they can print anything sent to them.
Should you buy the Rollo printer?
Thermal label printers are a product category that seems ripe for modernization. Rollo seems to be the first product to really work and make the hardware and software experience easy to use with the devices people use regularly, primarily their cell phones and tablets.
The Rollo wireless printer is sleek and attractive, setup was easy, and its Wi-Fi connection was always reliable for me. Its Rollo Ship Manager software seems well maintained and pleasant to use. The price is more expensive than a standard wired thermal printer, but I think the Wi-Fi provided by this device is well worth the cost. (Rollo also offers a cheaper wired version if you really don’t need Wi-Fi.) Any entrepreneur and small business owner frustrated with outdated label printing should definitely take a look at the Rollo wireless printer.
For general consumers looking for an easy way to reduce wasted ink and paper when printing shipping labels, this probably isn’t the answer. But it can certainly be made to work if you really want it to.
Buy from Rollo for $279.99.
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