It’s rare for us to come across something that has the lowest ratings, mainly because we generally avoid talking about these products. Obviously, we want to share the most interesting news with you, highlighting exciting products in the tech space. So not everything that gets our hands on it will go on to be published. However, sometimes we come across something that requires a stern warning. Occasionally, we come across LabelManager PnP Label Maker by DYMO.
This is a USB Federal Tag manufacturer that has been on the market for over 10 years, launching in November 2010. This is a very promising compact label maker that takes what every handheld label maker at DYMO can do and turns it into a solution that can be designed through software and like using DYMO’s proprietary software sent to the same printer. Software that drives all of the company’s USB label makers/printers.
This is a great option when you’re typing out a lot of tabs quickly and don’t want to play with a manual push-button handheld with a tiny LCD screen. This is a great option when you want to save designs for reuse later and enjoy some other unique features that you either can’t do or are too annoying to do on a manual handheld. All are fine when they actually work.
This is the problem. The software itself is bad enough. Filled with a lot of background code, leading to various “out of memory” pop-ups that sometimes pop up one after the other indefinitely until you can find a way to end the program’s task via Windows’ Task Manager. This gets a little tricky because sometimes you have to hold down “ESC” long enough for those windows to all close, then quickly try to end the program’s task before the next window pops up.
Remember, nothing is forgotten. The system they are connected to is the same system that has been running CAD and large-scale video editing projects. However, they run into this problem when running a simple print management software (which usually happens when clicking on a saved template).
Of course, software can easily fix it over time (not that they spend a lot of time doing this). Hardware, on the other hand, is completely different. Often, when a product hits the market as a complete failure, the company recalls it or re-manufactures it with a modified design. Sadly, this never happened. Instead, the development process is more like how Ford handles bugs in its models — they don’t.
Our product experience includes about 5 years and 5 models, making it junk. The most recent one finally ended the reign of these models in the office. It started with three models, two of which were replaced. First we thought it was just a random event. The second makes us very tired.
After the third failed, they started throwing straight into the trash. Reviewing consumer reviews from retailers like Amazon, we see that none of these are random. This is a failed product that should have been pulled or reworked a long time ago. In fact, the product reviews are so bad that the product is combined with other DYMO models on the page so that the average rating of the reviews will be higher. However, click to see all the reviews, then filter them onto the product and all the light will come back to it.
There is a built-in rechargeable battery that doesn’t have enough power to drive the label maker when you plug it into an old USB port (i.e. USB 1.0). It charges (or should charge) when you plug it into a USB port that provides power and charging capability (i.e. usb2.0). In our case, ours is always connected to a USB3.0 port.
This type of battery will die over time, and the DYMO designed label maker will fail in this case because if the battery isn’t charged properly, it won’t work properly. Even if you don’t use the battery, and your USB port can power the device.
You cannot remove this battery, it will not work without it. DYMO does not offer any kind of adapter solution. DYMO has not issued any recall notices. Over the years, DYMO has also made no attempt to redesign the product to fix this flaw. Instead, DYMO’s solution is to sell “replacement” batteries that cost about half the manufacturer’s price or more.
If you buy a new battery manufacturer, after three years you throw it away. Either way, your options are expensive.
There are third-party (non-brand) options that have quietly exploited this. However, even these are around $20-30.
In the end, this label maker ended up being a complete failure. Again, not something we usually like to post. However, through our own experience with the product, we had to share a caveat. In fact, it wasn’t until the last unit failed that I was able to get the idea of the story approved.
Of course, DYMO is not an inherently bad company. They have a lot of great models like the LabelWriter 450 Turbo (available through retailers like Amazon, or Office Warehouse). This is an amazing label maker and we hang out a few times in our office here. It’s just that the LabelManager PnP USB label maker failed utterly and the company decided to do nothing (but it’s been selling for years).
They do have a new bluetooth profile that has made its way to the world, which is a similar one that also uses USB. It appears to have a power cord and other consumers that no longer have this fatal flaw. Due to our experience with the models we’re discussing today, we can’t get approval to order more DYMO builders, so we haven’t tested it ourselves. So I hope DYMO is more cautious in design this time.
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