The full-featured Brother P-touch PT-2730 label maker is a little more expensive than some label makers, but it comes loaded with tons of features. Those include editing software for use when the Brother PT-2730 is connected to a PC or Mac via an included USB cable, and the label maker is also compatible with Microsoft Office (and other software), giving it full access to the computer's own fonts and graphics. The PT-2730 also works as a standalone label maker, with a QWERTY keyboard and backlit three-line display. It is powered by electricity (adaptor included) or by eight AA batteries.
Except for printing magnetic labels, the Brother P-touch PT-2730 does just about everything you'd want a label maker to do (including printing bar codes) -- and reviewers say it's easy to set up and intuitive use. You can make text narrower or wider, position the horizontal alignment as you please, and print up to seven lines (at least, on wider labels). Available label cartridges come in six widths ranging from 3.5 mm to an inch, in a wide range of materials -- including iron-on fabric (though not magnetic). Eight fonts are built in, which you can adapt with 10 text styles. Many templates and formats are also built in. Pairing the PT-2730 with a computer unleashes even more options in terms of fonts, styles and formats.
We found two detailed single-product reviews of the Brother P-Touch PT-2730 label maker. At U.K. site TrustedReviews.com, Simon Williams includes useful illustrations, details and calculations. At About.com, the guide to printers and scanners provides fewer details, but reports on tests of the PT-2730 both as a standalone label maker and when connected to a PC. We also found a few owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, Brother.com and Staples.com.
This detailed review at a U.K. site includes a screen shot of the Brother editing software as well as a close-up view of the label maker itself. The reviewer notes that when used with a PC or Mac, the label maker can use any of the computer's own fonts. The software has an Express view for quick labels, plus a Professional view for more complex projects. The author includes some useful calculations; for example, this model prints about a 4-inch, two-line label in 17 seconds. Printing one label at a time wastes nearly a fourth of the label tape.
Review: Brother P-touch PT-2730 Review, Simon Williams, Dec. 19, 2010
About.com's Peter Piazza gives the Brother PT-2730 label maker a rating of 4 on a 5-point scale, judging it an excellent value -- very capable but intuitive to use. The back-lit, 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. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Review of the Brother PT-2730 Electronic Labeling System, Peter Piazza, March 6, 2011
About half a dozen owners review the Brother PT-2730 label maker here, giving it a near-perfect overall rating. One reports that it wastes less label tape than other Brother models, and another finds the backing easy to peel off. Owners say this model is easy to use right away, despite its extensive features and options. One finds the software buggy, but still loves the printer. Another is mostly happy aside from a keyboard that's not as responsive as it could be.
Review: Brother PC Connectable Labeling System (PT2730), Contributors to Amazon.com
The half dozen or so owners reviewing the PT-2730 at Brother's own site give it high marks for ease of setup and use -- with and without connection to a computer -- though computer printing really speeds the work. The main complaint is the typical one with Brother label makers -- wasted label material.
Review: PT-2730 PC-Connectable "Simply Professional" Labeling System, Contributors to Brother.com
The handful of owners that review the Brother PT-2730 here mostly praise its ability. However, one owner would not recommend the label maker because it wastes label material.
Review: Brother P-touch PT-2730 PC-Connectable Simply Professional Labeling System, Contributors to Staples.com