|GadgetScope.com > Electronics > Dymo Letra Tag 2000|
|Reviewed 8-26-2000 by John Shirrell - Produced by Dymo - List price: $19.99|
Dymo has been well known for their portable label makers for a long time; their trademark white-impression tape labels have been featured on television shows, book covers, and even in a Windows font. However, with the advent of Brother's P-touch electric label maker, Dymo decided to enter the market with an electric label maker of their own.
The label maker isn't all that expensive, but the labels range from $7 to $8 per roll! I can get about 40 labels out of one roll, so that makes each label about 18 cents. This is obviously a lot more expensive than the labels for the manual label makers. The paper labels that are included aren't even the least bit sticky, but the plastic and metallic labels hold up pretty well. The paper backing on the tape is split down the middle, so removing it isn't as difficult as it is on other label makers, where you need to work at the corners with your fingernails to remove the backing. The print doesn't scratch off or come off in water, so that's one advantage the Letra Tag has over other brands. The print is very crisp and easily read, but it is a little pixelated.
The label maker itself is oddly shaped; it fits my hand fairly well, but would be difficult to fit into a briefcase or drawer. It requires six batteries, and I've had the label maker for over 8 months without needing to replace them. The printer is a little noisy, but its heat-transfer design means it requires no ink. The screen is small, so you can only see 6 letters at a time, and they aren't very easy to read, particularly symbols. The keyboard is laid out poorly, in alphabetical order instead of the familiar QWERTY format. Also, there are a lot of punctuation symbols that are missing, many of which are on the computer keyboard (and it's important to have computer keyboard symbols when labeling computer instructions or URLs). Some of the punctuation symbols that are there are in the symbol menu, while the single-press buttons are mostly redundant letters (e.g. there's a ~ key and there's an Ã‘ key, and you can't even use a ~ by itself). The keyboard layout is very inefficient, and is poorly designed.
In general, the Letra Tag is a great label maker for the price. If you need to make labels professionally, like for a video tape rental shop, I would suggest finding a more expensive, but easier to use label maker.