The handy little gadget you never knew you needed!
I never used to enjoy using a label printer. They were bulky, required special ink cartridges, and often needed obscure label sizes that were hard to find. So, when ASprink reached out to ask if I was interested in reviewing their latest model, I was skeptical.
However, this compact little gadget was more fun to use than I thought it would be. So much so that if you are in the market for a new label printer, the ASprink PM-241-BT should absolutely be on your shortlist. Here’s why.
What’s in the Box?
The printer comes with everything you need to get started. There is a step-by-step user guide for connecting it to a Mac or a PC and a separate set of instructions for how to print wirelessly from a mobile device.
There is a USB-A flash drive that has printer drivers for Mac or PC and a USB-A to USB-C adapter in case your computer doesn’t have any USB-A ports. Also included is a USB-A to USB-B cable for connecting the printer directly to a computer.
Last but not least, ASprink includes some 4×6″ thermal labels so you can start printing as soon as you have everything set up.
Set up was pretty easy. My Windows 11 desktop recognized it as a printer right away, but I installed the drivers just for good measure.
The ASprink PM-241-BT is a thermal label printer, similar to the ones you will find in a UPS or FedEx store (affiliate link). This means you don’t even have to buy any ink cartridges. For convenience alone, this is a huge advantage over other printers, but it has environmental benefits too.
Thermal printers don’t require any ink, but they do require special labels. You can pick up a roll of 500 4×6″ thermal labels on Amazon for less than you might think (affiliate link).
Speaking of labels, this thermal label printer supports a variety of sizes, including 4×6″, 4×3″, 4×2″, 3×1″, and 3×2″. The paper guide on the back of the printer can be adjusted to suit the label size that you want to use.
Although I did connect this printer to my desktop, I mainly printed to it from my iPhone. It’s just more convenient. The app is pretty intuitive, and once you get used to how it works, you should have no problems using it.
You can only print PDFs from the mobile app, but that is mostly what you will get from Amazon or USPS if you need to print a shipping label. The crop tool lets you remove any additional text or instructions you don’t need. Once you have that taken care of, you select your label orientation and hit print.
Although the mobile app does let you create your own custom labels, you may prefer the desktop version of Labelife for this task. It gives you more control over the placement of objects and includes icons, barcodes, QR codes, shapes, text, tables, borders, and more.
The only other feature of note is that the PM-241-BT is fast. Much faster than I expected. It will print up to 72 labels per minute. I can’t think of any scenario where I would need to print that many labels at once, but if you run a small business or have lots of boxes to label in your basement, that extra speed will come in handy.
Ease of Use
Overall, I found the ASprink label printer very user-friendly. Once everything was set up, the only real challenge was getting my PDF to the Labelife mobile app for cropping and printing.
Essentially, there are two ways to do this. In the Labelife app, you can choose to import a PDF from another app. However, the options are a little limited. A better way is to open the PDF on your phone and then use the Share menu to send it to the Labelife app.
Once you master how to crop a PDF in the app and rotate the label to face the right way for the printer, it is plain sailing from here. You can find tutorial videos in the app to help with this.
Most digital shipping labels are created as PDFs which is good because the Labelife mobile app only supports PDFs. However, if you have an image of a label you want to print, iOS users can quickly convert it to a PDF.
To convert an image to a PDF on an iPhone or iPad, open the image in the Photos app, tap the Share menu, and then tap Print. Before sending it to the printer, do a reverse pinch with two fingers on the print preview image. This will create a PDF that you can send to the Labelife app via the Share menu.
If I told you that I had to contact customer support on day one of using this printer, you would be forgiven for being a little concerned. However, it was nothing more than operator error.
When I unboxed the printer, the first thing I did was download the app for my phone and attempt to connect the printer over Bluetooth. But, no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t get it to work. So, I texted the WhatsApp support number listed on the top of the printer.
The problem was quickly fixed and could have been avoided if I had actually read the included instructions. I was trying to connect the printer in the Bluetooth settings of my phone instead of using the Labelife app. The Customer Service representative was quick to get me back on track.
Email support is also available ([email protected]), as is a phone number for those living in the United States.
Would I have gone out of my way to buy a thermal label printer if ASprink hadn’t reached out with a unit for me to review? Probably not, but now that I know how useful they are, I can’t see why I wouldn’t want to keep one as part of my setup at home.
Like you, I buy a lot of what I need from Amazon. This means I have to return a lot to Amazon. Returns mean return labels. I save a lot of time when I can send these direct to the ASprink thermal label printer. I no longer have to spend time printing, cutting, and taping it to the box like I used to. After a few quick taps on my phone, I just stick it to the box.
In the future, I would like to spend some time designing my own labels. We have a lot of storage boxes in the basement that needs new labels. Otherwise, I could use it for address labels, stickers, and more. I also spend a lot of time in Canva. That would be an excellent tool for designing this printer’s labels.
The only thing I feel I am missing right now is some kind of stand or holder for the thermal labels I have. The printer works fine without one, but it would be a cleaner set up on my desk if I had one.
Where to Buy
If you enjoy reading articles like this and want to support me as a writer, do what I did and sign up to become a Medium member! It’s just $5 a month, and it gives you unlimited access to everything on Medium. If you sign up using my link, I’ll earn a very small commission at no additional cost to you.