I am reviewing the Brother P-Touch PT-D200 Label Writer which is the newer “little brother” to the PT-2730 label writer that I previously reviewed. This one doesn’t have the computer connectivity that the PT-2730 has but can run on 3 AAA Duracell batteries. There is the opportunity to purchase an optional AC adaptor so you can run this unit off the mains although it didn’t come with one out of the box.
The unit itself
The Brother PT-D200 uses the new TZe labelling tapes which can also be used on the PT-2730 label writer. This can be handy if you want to maintain different label writers with different functionality levels but buy the same consumables.
It has a large LCD display and a rubber-feel QWERTY keyboard for text entry. You even have the ACCENT key so you can create those “aide-memoire” labels that you attach to items for people learning a foreign language.
But the display could be improved upon in contrast; as well as a WYSIWYG type of user interface for creating the labels. As far as the label-making procedure is concerned, it is the same, where you enter the text, then press “Print” to make the labels.
The label cartridges are loaded underneath the machine and use the simple snap-in installation. At least it isn’t a fiddly process to install the cartridges in to the machine
Being a cheaper model, the Brother PT-D200 doesn’t connect to host computers like the PT-2730 does. This may not work well if you want to do anything beyond basic labelling.
Limitations and Points Of Improvement
As I have said before, I would improve the Brother PT-D200 display and the display on other Brother P-Touch label writers by implementing a high-contrast appearance and display font. In some ways, this could also be achieved through the use of the monochrome OEL display which has the same contrast level as the fluorescent display commonly used with consumer-electronics equipment.
Another point of improvement is that Brother could provide for in-situ charging of batteries when connected to the optional AC adaptor. It is infact a practice that manufacturers like Canon and Sharp had done with some of their calculators which were capable of being powered from an external AC adaptor. This avoids the need to always remove the rechargeable batteries every time you need to charge them.
I would recommend the Brother P-Touch PT-D200 label writer as a desktop-style entry-level labeller for those of us wanting to dabble with electronic label generation at home or in our small business.
It would come in handy for people in charge of businesses or organisations who are using the Brother PT-2730 as the main label writer but want to have something that works as a battery-powered portable secondary unit.