Brother� P-Touch� PT-9600 Professional Labeling System
solid "pro" level machine, but expensive
machine is very "substantial" - built for heavy use. keyboard is neither rubber membrane nor little plastic calculator buttons, but instead is a real full-travel keyboard - something you just don't see much any more.
resolution is double that of the normal p-touch consumer-grade printers, which means you can print sharper-looking labels. you can print very fine print and still it be legible.
while the machine's design feels 10+ years old, this is not as bad as it sounds, since the basic functions of printing text, symbols, etc. are solid and you can always use the USB connection and brother label software if you need to do something really non-standard, including stuff like company logos. (i've only used mac version).
it has better than average support for cutting labels. more convenient and saves tape. can cut through tape but leave backing uncut, which is very handy. can split backing to make labels easier to peel.
prints up to 36mm (1.5") wide labels, which i find handy occasionally (most go only up to 24mm or less).
unit has lots of bells/whistles - native ability to print barcodes, insert date/time stamps, generate serial numbering, memorize frequently-printed labels, etc. i rarely use these, but i can see they might be valuable for office/lab/warehouse applications.
supports rotated and "rotate and repeat" printing - i use this a ton with brother's "flex-id" tapes for labeling cables.
it's ability to show you a preview of what you are about to print is to be kind, "poor". for basic text labels, this is not a major issue. for fancier labels where you're using a laptop with p-touch software, this is not an issue. but it can be a pain for the middle ground, where you're trying to use some of the more sophisticated features on the native interface, multi-line labels, constrained sizes, etc. a more modern design would provide an LCD screen with a real "preview" mode.
takes rechargeable batts (good), but batts are old tech - ni-cad or maybe ni-mh. replacement battery costs more than most p-touch printers! it looks like they could have made it support off-the-shelf AA batteries as an option, but it doesn't. a/c charger is bulky/awkward - with a substantial "brick" and cables on each side - not something you want to have to carry to a job site.
overall, machine is very good but needs a 21st century update, mainly with improvements to display and battery. (though it looks like my unit will be going strong for another decade or more). it's hard to justify the cost (5x or more compared to other models) unless you really need the pro-grade features.
+ feels like "pro" machine - i.e., something you could use 20x/day for years.
+ great print quality with higher-than-standard resolution.
+ ability to use p-touch software & USB for special/complex jobs.
- dated interface, primitive display.
- unit is pretty big, heavy, and bulky - even worse with a/c adaptor.
- display is a very "90's"-style LCD.
- mediocre battery/charging system, super-expensive batts.
- super expensive.
April 22, 2013
really great for a quick and fast label. very professional labels.
December 3, 2012
We print with this machine every business day. We go through anywhere from 24 to 200 labels per day. The only minor draw back is having to adjust the cutter blade every month or so, and to use the cleaner cartridge. This unit work just like the PT-3600 (still in use) except it has a battery for portability. The software is easy to use on our desktop computer. The only real complaint is that we have tried several times to use the printer on our local network ( even with telephone & email support from brother) with no success.
December 3, 2012
Gotta be honest
Purchased PT-9600 for the DURABLE TZ labels. I needed 1.5 inch wide as I am labeling 55 gallon waste drums. The 9600 interfaces with the PC which is good and utilizes P-Touch Software under Windows to drive the printer. This is good. It can transfer 8 labels to reside on the 9600 which can then be used independently. Unfortunately, the 9600 can also store about 10,000 characters in its memory, however the catch is that these labels must have been created on the 9600 and saved on the 9600. You can not save more than 8 if they are generated on the PC. In my opinion, this is unacceptable. It is just too easy to create on the PC and not so intuitive to create on the 9600. I feel there should have been a way to save from the PC directly to files on the 9600! I am disappointed. Fortunately, it does allow the 9600 to work independently from the PC and therefore it is portable in the field. Which is a desirable feature. I just can not give it more than 2 stars.
August 14, 2012