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Zebra RZ400 - RFID Printer

If you need to add RFID tags to your stock, this Zebra printer makes it a quick and simple task to produce them on demand.

The RZ400 comes as standard with USB 2.0, Ethernet, parallel and serial inputs, so offers plenty of flexibility, even when installed into older, legacy environments. There's 8MB of flash memory for storing pre-defined graphics, like company logos, and this can be upgraded to 64MB as an option. Data is written to the embedded RFID tag via a transmitter positioned just behind the thermal print head. In an emergency, you can read the tag back to the printer's front panel by waving a printed label over it.

The typical speed of the RZ400 is measured in inches of label printed and can hit 10 inches per second, or five two-inch labels. Although the printer is intended primarily for batch runs, this is an impressive speed and you can optionally fit a cut bar, so the labels are cut from the roll as they appear. By default, you tear them off once the run is complete.

Print quality from the roll of dye-sub film is good; dense and easily readable, though character forms from the 300dpi head are never going to be as smooth as from a 600dpi or 1,200dpi laser. There is a good range of internal fonts and these are all accessible from the supplied labelling software. This is a basic version of the program, but should cope with day-to-day label designs.

For more complex layouts and for handling RFID programming, the full version of the program is a further 137, but you can also run the printer from commercial or custom-written software, via its standard driver. Just the job for your Christmas card list, really.

Over 200 RFID standards are supported, including EPC Gen 2, and RFID content can be entered via the labelling software, or programmed from other applications, for longer runs. No special design precautions need be taken when printing RFID labels, as the printer automatically prevents ink over-printing of the RFID area of the label, which can affect RF performance.

Verdict

This is a robust, industrial-strength label printer with integrated printing of embedded RFID tags. The machine is easy to use and writing the RFID tag is a self-contained process. This machine is ideal for individual and short-run printing and can handle regular label stock, too. A bit pricey, but it may still be a cheap way to achieve customer compliance.

In brief: 8-inch/s, dye-sublimation label printer with RFID recording

Resolution: 300 dpi

Paper handling: Max 8-inch label roll holder

Duty cycle: Not stated

Connectivity: USB 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, parallel, serial

Software: Windows driver

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