The Brother P-touch PT-2730 label maker comes loaded with tons of features. It works as a stand-alone label maker, with a QWERTY keyboard and backlit three-line display, or you can connect it to a PC or Mac for full access to the computer's own fonts and graphics.
Intuitive from the start. M. David Stone at PCMag.com says whether you use the PT-2730 as a stand-alone label maker or hook it up to your computer, there's essentially no learning curve to overcome. Peter Piazza at About.com largely agrees, although he never gets the label maker to work with Microsoft's software like Word. The included P-touch Editor software is well designed, adds Simon Williams at TrustedReviews.com. One oft-repeated quibble is that the QWERTY keyboard is stiff. "The keys need a heavy push to register, which makes pressing them seem like work," Stone says. "But at least you don't have to hunt for the letter you're looking for."
It can do almost anything. Except for printing magnetic labels, the Brother P-touch PT-2730 does just about everything you'd want a label maker to do, including print bar codes. You can make text narrower or wider, position the horizontal alignment as you please, and print up to seven lines on wider labels. Available label cartridges come in six widths ranging from 3.5 mm to 1 inch, in a wide variety of materials including iron-on fabric. Eight fonts are built in, which you can adapt with 10 text styles. Many templates and formats are included. Pairing the PT-2730 with a computer allows for even more options in terms of fonts, styles and formats.
Powerful performance, but at a price. There are lots of cheaper label makers available, but few can do as much as easily as the PT-2730. If you don't need the type of sophisticated labels that a computer-connected label maker can produce, the Brother Brother P-touch PT-D200 (Est. $40) is a stand-alone label maker with great versatility of its own. User reviews say the hardware is durable, but one complaint surfaces regularly: Like all Brother label makers, large margins at the beginning and end of each label means expensive label material is wasted, particularly if you print short labels one at a time.
PCMag.com awards the Brother PT-2730 an Editors' Choice award. "Quite simply, the PT-2730 is one of the most capable label printers we've ever tested, if not the most capable," says M. David Stone.
Review: Brother P-touch PT-2730, M. David Stone, April 8, 2011
This detailed, well-illustrated review at a U.K. site shows a screen shot of the Brother editing software as well as a close-up view of the label maker itself. Simon Williams says that when used with a PC or Mac, the label maker can use any of the computer's own fonts. Versatility and ease of use are praised. The cost of labels is said to be competitive, but Williams grouses that printing one label at a time wastes nearly a fourth of the label tape.
Review: Brother P-touch PT-2730 Review, Simon Williams, Feb. 6, 2011
About.com's Peter Piazza gives the Brother PT-2730 label maker 4 stars out of 5, judging it an excellent value that's very capable and intuitive to use. The backlit, three-line display is very easy to read, and the keyboard is stiff but usable for touch-typing. The main drawback is that the integration with Microsoft Office lacks documentation.
Review: Review of the Brother P-Touch PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System, Peter Piazza, Not dated
More than 100 owners review the Brother PT-2730 label maker here, giving it a strong overall rating. The most frequent complaint concerns label usage, although some issues with getting the label maker to play nice with a Mac are also reported. Most users are pleased, however.
Review: Brother PC Connectable Labeling System (PT2730), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2014
The nearly 80 owners who review the PT-2730 at Brother.com give it high marks for ease of setup and use, with and without connection to a computer, although computer printing really speeds up the work. The main complaint is typical of Brother label makers: wasted label material.
Review: PT-2730 PC-Connectable "Simply Professional" Desktop Labeling System, Contributors to Brother.com, As of January 2014
Staples.com shares feedback from about 160 users, but that includes reviews of the P-touch PT-2730 that were originally posted at Brother's website. Still, most owners are happy, with 95 percent saying they would recommend this label maker to a friend.
Review: Brother P-touch PT-2730 PC-Connectable Simply Professional Labeling System, Contributors to Staples.com