Size: 16.7 x 20 x 29.5cm
Print speed: 150mm/s
Max Label Width: 4.65in (118mm)
Compatibility: Windows, Mac & Chrome OS
The Polono PL60 fills a dire need in today's courier society. It's an office tool made primarily for printing 4-by-6-inch stickers and postage labels but can print smaller labels and stickers too. It's a thermal printer, so doesn't use any toner or ink, which is definitely a resource-saving relief in these eco-conscious, high-cost times.
When it comes to slugging it among the best thermal printers, the Polono PL60 is most easily compared to the MUNBYN Thermal Label Printer in both size, shape, function and connectivity, so Polono is aiming at small businesses with this device.
I received a review sample to test over a number of weeks, and being a reviews editor on this very website, I receive and send products on almost a daily basis, so the Polono has gotten a very good workout in my home office over the last few weeks. And I'm happy to report that I'd gladly buy one of them.
The Polono PL60 is a compact printer, on account of the fact that the biggest thing you can print with it is a 4-by-6-inch label or sticker. It measures only
16.7 x 20 x 29.5cm, but you'll also have to account for the label holder when setting it up in your office space, which actually takes up more space than the printer itself.
It looks really neat and clean, and comes in four colour options, grey, green, pink and purple. The plastic on the casing doesn't cheapen the overall feel of the printer too much, and the two-tone design is pleasant to look at.
Everything is easy to plug in and set up, with the driver included on a USB stick, along with a setup guide and user manual, and the self-assembled label holder, made from toughened plastic, clicks together satisfyingly. Placing the label paper in the printer is easy too; I simply had to open it up thread the paper through the generously sized gap at the back, place the front over the roller, and once I closed and pressed the single button on top, the automatic label detection kicks in, rolling the paper forward and back to find out what you've stuck in there.
Features and performance
I've touched on the automatic label detection above, which is a real ease-of-use feature, as you don't need to manually select or set anything. Driver installation on my Windows PC was easy too, and it's ready to print in minutes from unboxing.
The Polono PL60 is a thermal imprint printer, so instead of using toner or ink, it uses the power of heat to print. This comes with the ability to print very fast, too. The stated maximum speed of the PL60 is 72 4-by-6-inch labels pr minute, and while I've never needed to print that many labels at once, whenever I've needed to print several labels at once, it rolls the labels through with nearly no pause between each label, spitting out each page/sticker very rapidly indeed.
This means it's a real workflow boon for small businesses in particular, with it printing consignment stickers and box labels fast and without fuss.
The clarity and sharpness of the printed results is impressive too, with even small text looking very clear and easily legible, and I never experienced any distortion or fuzziness with things like barcodes or QR codes, which is vital when you have busy couriers needing to scan your parcels in a hurry.
Of course, the flipside to this speed is that versatility is sacrificed. First, the compact form factor means the largest label or sticker you can print is 4-by-6 inches, and second is that it only prints in black & white. It's by no means a dealbreaker for someone like me, who mostly uses it to label product boxes and print out postage stickers, but if you're running a business that would like to have their colourful logo featured on their labels and stickers, you'll need to find a colour thermal printer, and those cost a fair bit more.
The Polono PL60 thermal printer will set you back £119.99 / $139.99, which makes it more expensive than the cheapest options on the thermal-printer market, but cheaper than it's most closely related competitor, the Munbyn Thermal Label Printer. In addition, you can catch discounts on this unit quite regularly by shopping around, or waiting for the next seasonal sales event if you're able to get by until then.
Should I buy the Polono PL60?
If you're running a small business, or a sole trader making arts/crafts/design products that you need to post on a regular basis, having a dedicated thermal printer to print out labels and postage stickers will save you a lot of money in the long term due to the saving on the toner/ink you're not having to use. And the Polono PL60 fulfils that role very well. The only slight setbacks are that it only prints in black and white, and there's no wireless printing either, but if you're not precious about either of these things, the PL60 is a solid option for you.