Zebra ZD420 Barcode Printer Review – POSGuys.com
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Zebra ZD420 Barcode Printer Review – POSGuys.com

December 12, 2019

Hi, this is Travis from POSGuys.com. Today
we’re taking a look at Zebra’s latest desktop printer, the ZD420. This is a dual thermal
transfer/direct thermal printer. It is in their desktop line, and it basically replaces
the GX420, it probably will replace the GK and maybe even the GC420. This is the healthcare
version, so it’s in a white plastic, it’s also available in a dark grey in the standard
plastic. They also refer to this as the ZD420-C, because this is their first printer that they’ve
had that uses a cartridge for a ribbon. So instead of having to spool ribbon around a
roller and then having a spare roller to load excess ribbon on, you just get a simple cartridge,
drop it in, and you’re ready to go. Of course, when you’re using direct thermal
printing with direct thermal labels, you wouldn’t use any cartridge at all, you’d just pull
it out, set in your drivers that you’re using direct thermal, and it will print on direct
thermal media. The ZD420 prints at 6 inches per second in 203 dpi mode and 4 inches per
second in 300 dpi mode. I’m going to print 20 labels at full speed. It prints very quickly, additionally, there
was almost no buffer time, the label was sent to the printer and it spit it out almost immediately.
There’s a barcode and text on these labels, no labels were skipped, and pretty much every
label looks exactly the same, the margins are all what you’d expect them to be. The
way you see it on the screen is the way it prints, so overall very good results, good
printing speed. They’ve made some other substantial improvements.
Mainly, they’ve gotten rid of their one button design, so on older printer models the power
button had a little LED around it, and that was the only button on the printer, and so
in order to calibrate, in order to check settings, in order to do anything with the printer you
had to use that one button and then a series of blinking lights. You can see now there’s status LEDs where
you can tell if you’re running low on labels, what your Ethernet status is, and then it
has the three buttons, the two outside buttons you use for calibration, the inside buttons
you can use to print a configuration. Previously, when you changed media, you had
to either hold down a button as you powered it on, or you had to hold down a certain LED,
wait for it to blink a certain amount of times, let go, and then it calibrated. Now when you
want to calibrate, you just hold down two buttons for two seconds, and then it does
it’s calibration process and spits out a label. Afterwards, if you hit the feed, you’ll get
a single label. So that’s a nice welcome change, much easier than having to remember how many
blinks you have to do, you just have to hold down two buttons. Inside of it, you have your standard Zebra
pinchers to hold your media in place. The eye on it is movable, so this is a nice change
if you’re printing offset media, or the middle of the label might not be the widest part,
or there’s some kind of black mark only on the side, you can adjust it as such, and then
you can also hold the two dividers at static widths, so if it pinches your media a little
two much and you might get a jam, you can use this to keep the spacers out at desired
lengths. There’s also a small gap on the back of the printer, if you want to feed media
through the back using fan-fold ticket stock, then this gap is still provided. And you’ll
be able to see the interfaces on the back, standard is your USB, this is your power adapter,
and then this card is interchangeable, this is an ethernet connection, and there are some
connections such as parallel or serial available, some of them are field replaceable. Overall, the ZD420 is a wonderful printer.
It comes in two different plastics, the healthcare plastic, which is disinfectant ready, so you
can spritz it down and clean it off, or the standard grey version. The cartridges are
all the full-width 4 inch print width, so it will work with any label. You can also
use direct thermal media with it. It has a 1 year warranty on it. Different interfaces
such as serial can be field replaceable, WiFi is also the case. You can also get some accessories
like cutters and peelers that are also field replaceable, you just take off two screws
and attach the accessory to the front of it and you’re ready to go. For more information
on the ZD420, or purchasing the printer itself or media, please visit us at POSGuys.com.

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