Within this program, you can specify the type of label you want to print: address labels, shipping labels, disk labels, name tags, bar codes and a host more. It can print on clear substrates, as well as coloured ones and Smart Label enables you to add text, graphics, barcodes, frames and return addresses to tailor it to your style. You can save label designs as individual files and any imported addresses can be added to a built-in address list.
Seiko claims the 430 can produce a label in three seconds. This may be the case with a very small label but with the shipping labels supplied in the box we couldn’t better six seconds. This is still reasonable though. Click the Print button in Smart Label and the label starts to print immediately; there’s no time lag as the label-image is built up.
The printer’s resolution is only 200dpi, so graphics are a little course-grained, but text prints cleanly and very black; there are none of the purple-shades of early thermal printers. Labels from the 430 look very professional on envelopes, disks or name badges, just three of the uses Seiko suggests.
Since the 430’s a thermal printer, the only consumables are the labels themselves. There’s a range of different types, all at different prices, but to take shipping labels as an example, you can buy a roll of 220 for £11.74. That works out at 5.34p each, which isn’t cheap – a typical ink-jet can print a five per cent cover, A4 sheet for around half that.
Bear in mind, though, that it costs no more to completely cover a label than to print one dot. There’s no reason, other than taste, not to use graphics, frames and other extras on your labels.
Seiko’s brochure for the 430 asks ‘Who else but Seiko Instruments could come up with a label printer this smart and backed by a name you can trust for quality and reliability’. Dymo and Brother are two that spring immediately to mind. Seiko’s label printer is versatile and quick, but you pay for its convenience and you should certainly look at all the candidates before awarding any purchase contract.