The new Brother VC-500W label printer uses Zink – zero ink – which means all the colours are infused into the label stock.
While the Brother VC-500W label printer uses Zink zRoll (it increases the label prices a little), it means Brother can make a smaller unit capable of printing from 9-50mm wide – and no mess or fuss with ink or fading with thermal prints.
What is Zink?
Zink is becoming increasingly popular as print-on-the spot cameras
(similar to Polaroids) and pocket printers. In fact, Zink technology started as
a project inside Polaroid Corporation in the 1990s, which spun out Zink as a
fully independent company in 2005.
The paper has several layers: a backing layer with optional
pressure-sensitive adhesive, heat-sensitive layers with cyan, magenta and
yellow dyes (colourless until heated) and overcoat.
Brother VC-500W Label Printer
It is a Wi-Fi/USB connected, Zink printer that can produce
full CYM prints on zRoll stock from 9mm to 50mm wide and up to 5 metres long (it
has an auto or manual cutter).
The labels are water, tear and smudge resistant and have an
adhesive backing for most surfaces.
A small, squat, white attractive plastic box 113 (W) x 116
(D) x 96 (H) mm in typical Brother style.
Wi-Fi can either join the home network or as Wireless Direct to connect your smartphone or PC directly to the device. We joined the home network (details here) and tested with Windows 10.
Download the Brother Colour Label editor for Android or iOS
or the P-Touch Editor for Windows 10 or macOS. We tested with P-Touch for Windows
P-Touch has been around for a long time as the staple for
Brother Label printers. It is good because it accepts most label formats
including .lbl, lbx, lbt, mbl so you can reuse what you have set up.
To create a label simply select New, and chose from blank
layout, gift wrapping, home, office or a file layout.
It is pretty basic design software, but you can do a lot with
images and dropping in JPEGs etc. And there is a professional mode as well that
offers more options.
We did try the Android app, but it really needs to be used
on a tablet to make the most of it.
As far as black and white lettering goes, it’s perfect. Crisp
letters and the water and fade resistance are a great bonus.
As far as colour images its not too bad either (313 DPI) but
remember that it needs to be landscape format to get the most from the image.
It will print the full label width too. As long as you don’t expect inkjet
quality photo prints, you won’t be disappointed.
Speed-wise it’s quite fast at 8mm per second, and it can
auto or manually cut at the end of each label. You can also swipe the display to
There is an eject cassette button that retracts the label
under the print head back into the cassette so as not to waste labels.
You can find all costs here. In essence, 5-metre rolls come in 9/12/19/25/50mm width for $24.95/29.95/37.95/39.95/49.95.
So remember its cost is by the mm – pay only for what you use.
It is not cheap but remember it is self-adhesive, water and
fade resistant and CYM colour.
GadgetGuy’s take – Brother VC-500W label printer is very versatile
As long as you are aware of the costs, it quickly produces
quality colour labels from smartphones and computers. These labels are water and
fade resistant and should meet the needs of OCD people. Craft types will love
it particularly for making cards, personalised gift tags, and scrapbooking.
Remember that they are roll-fed and that allows enormous flexibility
over pre-cut labels.
I think there is room in any home or business for this
device from organising chaos to employee photo ID.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Design and print lables from 9-50mm and up to 5 metres long in colour
Incredibly versatile pre-cut roll fed labels
Cost of label rolls - but they are colour, water and fade resistant