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Printer Shootout: Zebra vs. Intermec

July 2012

Zebra and Intermec have both refreshed their industrial printer lineup − but whose is better?

Intermec was first out of the gate with the PM43 model, which is designed to replace the popular PM4i model. Recently, Zebra has countered with the ZT230 model, which is designed to replace the popular S4M model.

In addition, Zebra has announced the ZT220 model, which is targeted for the large gap between the lightweight plastic printers and the rugged industrial printers.

The plastic printers are designed for office use, but they have been pushed out into the plant and warehouse, where they cannot stand up to the rougher environment. This is where the Zebra ZT220 will shine the brightest.

The days of a centralized label printer is dying fast, and the new concept is to place the label printers where the actual labeling occurs. Labeling errors are quite prevalent and a local printer can fix the problem.

So who wins the shootout? If you are looking to print from 2 to 7 rolls of labels per day, then I would pick the Intermec PM43. If you are printing less than 2 rolls per day, then the ZT320 would be my definite preference. While it is not as rugged, the price point makes it quite attractive. Your budget will stretch farther while still getting a solid and reliable printer.

Ron Ford