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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars127
Price:$128.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on April 10, 2012
I purchased this printer for use both at work and at home. I work in the IT industry and use this for labeling computers, patch panels, switches, routers, etc. This PT-2730VP replaces an older Brother model PT-1800 that I've had for 8 years. The durability of my old PT-1800 made me want to consider a Brother again this time. Even after 8 years, the PT-1800 is still going strong, I just wanted more features. My short list of requirements for a new label printer were:

- must run on batteries for "in the field" use
- must also include an AC adapter so it can be left on for extended periods when needed
- must have a QWERTY keyboard
- must have a back-lit display for use in areas with minimal lighting
- must be able to use as BOTH a stand-alone printer and as a computer-driven printer
- prefer a unit that comes with a case - as my label printer gets fairly heavy use (make that ab-use)
- should have 'reasonable' label making software included
- should not waste large amounts of label tape (my only real complaint with the older PT-1800)
- labels should look good - i.e. not smeared or ragged
- should be reasonable in price

In all these areas, I'd say that the Brother PT-2730VP either meets or exceeds my requirements. On whole, I gave it 5 stars. It's not perfect but I feel it is an excellent value - a great balance of features and price. I'm not aware of any other label printer in this price range that offers better quality than the PT-2730VP.

I'd like to comment on the hard-shell plastic case that comes with this printer, especially since one reviewer was unhappy with it. I certainly understand where that person is coming from - I too have more tape cartridges than will fit in the case. I too would prefer more room for labels. And let's not stop there; while we're at it, I'd also like room for a spare set of batteries. Oh, and scissors. Can't forget the scissors. But all that said, I feel that the case is quite rugged, it protects the printer well, it looks good, and it provides enough space for the basics - i.e. the printer, all cables/adapter and 3-4 large tape cartridges. So it's not a bad case. Again, considering the price, it's a good deal.

The labels are the standard TZ-Tape series used by many Brother models. You can find them lots of places - at least in the basic black on white style. If you want the more exotic types and colors, you'll probably need to order them on-line. Compare these labels to other brands in the same price range and I think you'll be happy with the quality. Cartridges run between $14-$23 depending on style and width.

One advantage this PT-2730VP label printer has over my older PT-1800 is that it is compatible with the "1 inch" wide labels (actually 0.94"). My older printer stopped at the 3/4 inch tape. However, this printer does not print on the 1.5 inch TZ-tape available from Brother.

Another improvement over my older unit is that PT-2730VP wastes far less label tape. All label printers are going to have some wasted tape - but the PT-2730VP does very good job of keeping this to a minimum. On average there is less than an inch of total excess per label. My PT-1800 regular required 3-4 times that amount. Less waste means more labels per cartridge.

The software that comes with this unit is very nice for the price (P-Touch Editor 5.0). It has lots of useful features and is well designed. It installed and ran without a problem on all 3 computers I needed it on: my Windows 7 box at home, my Windows 7 laptop at work, and my XP desktop at work. No errors or crashes have occurred on any of the systems I'm using it on. With this software, you can create and store as many labels as you want. I use my laptop in the field. I've got all my label designs on all 3 machines. Others have provided good photos of the unit itself so I uploaded a capture of the P-Touch Editor screen and a photo of what the label looked like when I printed it use black on yellow. As you can see, graphics/logos are easy to include. The software is fairly intuitive if you've used drawing software before. There's a "Professional" mode for experienced users - and an "Express" mode that is simpler and has fewer choices.

You can also "insert Symbol" - this lets you insert characters from fonts like Wingdings, Dingbats, etc. These can be scaled to any convenient size.

It prints any of about 18-20 different types of bar codes, including the increasingly popular QR Code.

Just about anything can be rotated, scaled, styled, etc.

Tip: Since this is a monotone label printer, importing a graphic such as a logo works best if you start with a black and white version. Avoid images with lots of color and/or gradients/shading and or fine details - you'll be much happier with the results.
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on November 1, 2012
I have not needed to hook this to my pc, so this review is for standalone service only. I have used the Labeler to make numerous labels for cabling and other household devices. The specialty wire/cable labels hold on very well even outdoors throughout the year and the seasons. Label generation is very easy using the keyboard. To save label waste, I prepare all of my wording in advance and turn off the cutter until the last label. When I have finished I use scissors to cut and separate and thereby save a lot of wasted label blank that would be generated if I let the machine cut each one. There are enough built-in fonts to generate tight text or very blocky readable text. Bold or italic, it all worked very well. They keyboard is a little rubbery, but you're making labels, not typing a novel. For standalone it is great. If I can edit this review, I will add to it when / if I use the PC interface. As of now, I would buy again.

***UPDATE*** I finally had occasion to hook the label maker to my pc. I downloaded the latest software from the Brother website. Despite the instructions on the original paper label pasted over the USB port, you actually have to have the label maker powered on and connected to the USB port before you can load the printer driver. The Editor and Updater will load without the label maker connected though. The software works well. I would not call it user friendly, but it can be figured out without a lot of effort. You get more fonts available and it is easier to type on a pc keyboard. It worked very well and I was very pleased to be able to preview many different changes and options far more quickly than when standalone. My feelings stand. Recommended and I would buy again.
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on April 11, 2013
PT2730 is a great label maker. It is easy (and fun) to use and is very versatile--within the scope of its .94" tape height. Given that my laser printer makes printing adhesive labels a chore, I bought this device mainly for use in printing mailing labels for packages and the letters and bill payments that I send through the mail. It is basically a small computer, with QWERTY keyboard, that stores fonts, styles, formatting, and labels themselves. Its many features, including its automation and preview capabilities, make pulling up previously used labels and formats very simple and quick, while minimizing printing errors and tape waste. Other users have complained about the cost of labeling tapes, but I think Brother has done an excellent job of packing into this product a large number of features that produce labels that are high in quality and durability. To save tape, the "Small Margin" feature can be used to trim labels at the end of the label, but its design allows it only to trim an unused portion off the beginning of the tape when that feature is used. (I'm not an engineer, but I believe this characteristic is related to the necessity to feed the tape properly through the transport mechanism.) Thus far, I've used only the 1" (actually .94") and 1/2" (actually .47") black-on-white Brother tapes for address labels and card file labels, but in the future I plan to buy and use tapes for labeling audio equipment cables, and I suspect that I'll find other uses as well. I've not found any stores in my area that sell Brother tapes, but I've found Amazon's prices to be very competitive with anything else online. I have had no regrets since buying this label maker, and I highly recommend it to others.
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on June 6, 2011
You can buy this labeler with or without the case.

It is hard to imagine how anybody could have designed such an ineffective, clumsy, poorly designed case. What you want to carry with your labeler is a large variety of cartridges. But more than just a few simply will not fit.

The case carefully stores a spare set of batteries, the manual, the power supply, the CD, and the USB cable. But the amount of storage for the tape cartridges is minimal. They could have thought it through and allowed you to store twice as many cartridges as they do. But instead they provided specific places for a second set of batteries and a large power pack (which you don't need since the labeler operates forever on the set within it.

The labeler is otherwise just great. The menus are easy and clear, it can do a lot of things, and it makes great labels. The only missing feature is the ability to change boldness and fonts within a label. The entire label must be the same.
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on November 8, 2013
Wow, I like this labeler. I tend to be a big fan of Brother products, and this is no exception.

I've been avoiding buying a labeler because (1) the handheld models didn't seem versatile enough, and (2) I thought, what can I do with this that I can't do with, say, a black marker and paper labels? Then, after the 50th time I couldn't figure out what something was because the marker had rubbed off, or the paper label had disintegrated, I thought, it's time to check out the labelers.

Handhelds were out because they didn't seem to do enough. I wanted one that would connect to my Mac, and if possible, have Mac software. (I confess to running Windows on my Mac out of desperation - not all software that I need runs on the Mac; that's another story.) But I also wanted one where I didn't have to attach it to the computer; I might want to, say, label stuff in the garage, or someplace else where maybe I didn't want to haul a laptop. I wanted labels that would hold up to a bit of abuse; they had to take some abrasion and not tear too easily. If the labeler could run on batteries or AC, that was a plus, although AC only would be okay.

I was amazed to find a labeler that met all of my requirements, and was still in my price range. I have lots of other Brother products (fax, sewing/embroidery machine, knitting machines, probably some other stuff I forgot about), and they're great, so I was willing to give this a whirl.

It's terrific. The Mac software isn't available yet (I'm on OS X 10.9; if I were still on 10.8, the software is available), but it's coming. I've loaded the PC software, running under Windows on the Mac, and it's running just fine. There's a learning curve, but it's not huge (took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to use it). I like that I get a print preview, so I'm not surprised at the label that comes out. I like, too, that there's no wasted tape when printing labels from the software.

Standalone, without the computer, the labels are still great, but there's a fair amount of tape waste. That's okay, in a way, because the labels I wanted were pretty small, and sometimes it's helpful to have enough label to be able to see where the label is. (I'm not sure I explained that well, but if you've ever looked all over something for a teeny weeny label, you might appreciate this.)

The print is clear and sharp. The labels print quickly, and cut automatically. I might be the only one around who still remembers the old labelers that embossed plastic tape that didn't stick well - this labeler seems space-age compared to that. I like this labeler a lot.

If I have one quibble, it's that it could be easier to get the paper off the back of the label. Not a big deal, though, considering that the labels do stick to just about anything I can think to label (and I am now labeling everything I can think of).

Good product, good price. I don't see how you can beat this for most home and office applications.
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on December 21, 2013
Why not consider giving someone you love the gift of organization. This labeler is terrific. It hooks to the computer, making label making a snap. I bought a similar one years ago. I'm giving it to my daughter. This one has the adapter. It is indispensable for making labels to keep your files in order, and identify anything from pots to pets! (Your phone number on a rabies tag makes a practically indestructible pet identifier). Software interface is great. And for those who 'freestyle' the keyboard is easy to use with full functionality.
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on April 29, 2013
This labeling system does an excellent job for what it was designed for. It creates professional looking labels and has a variety of label sizes and styles to choose from. I have not had a problem with this or another model we use at work in a data center. However, I have one issue that keeps me from giving it more stars. The cost of these p-touch tapes are expensive and these labelers will eject a blank portion prior to printing. It's wasted tape and that adds up in cost. If you need multiple labels, you can separated them spaces and then printed them as one long strip and cut with scissors.
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on March 5, 2014
This thing can do alot but I woudn't use the key board. Just install the software and do all your work from your PC is it much faster. Select the font, label size and type your words in seconds. Make sure you get the VP version with the case. There is the power cord and USB cable and cartridges to carry and have a place for.
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on September 9, 2013
Nothing but compliments about this unit. I was worried that it might be complicated to operate. I found the instructions very helpful in easing that worry. Even my seven-year-old granddaughter is comfortable using this device; she loves it too.
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on May 9, 2015
The quality of this model is quite good; this unit is better on battery life than previous P-touch models I've owned, the layout is a bit better, and so forth. There are plenty of reviews adequately covering the pros of this unit that I'll skip all the good stuff and focus on the problem I have with it.

This falls short of five stars due to the advertised "template" feature. I have had two previous PC-connectible label printers but upgraded to the PT-2730 with the intent of making full use of user-created templates. I was really looking forward to being able to create template layouts and then be able to use those for equipment labeling.

How disappointed I was to learn that I could not create custom templates which could be modified without being tethered to a PC. That feature was the primary reason I upgraded and it was quite disappointing to learn that the only templates I could edit on the printer itself is the templates Big Brother provides. In order to edit custom templates at time printing, I need to do it within the P-Touch editor, which kills the whole purpose of templates from my perspective.

These are not "templates" in the usual sense of the word "template." They are merely predefined labels which you can upload to your printer, which is great for certain purposes (return address labels, often-used file folder labels, etc.) but hardly resembles the typical use of the word "template" when it comes to software and printers. This is a gross mis-use of the term.

If you are looking for an excellent label printer and do not need the ability to use custom templates untethered, this printer is a great choice. If you are looking for customized templates you can fill out without being tethered to a PC, you will be disappointed.

For this flaw, I am deducting two stars.
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