The Dymo LabelManager 500TS's label-creation tools are impressive. In addition to making text labels that you type on the unit's hardware QWERTY keyboard and customize with a dozen or so fonts, borders, and graphic elements, the LabelManager 500TS can create bar codes to several standards, as well as automatically generate numbers, dates, and other such items. The display shows an accurate preview of your creation, and the 300-dots-per-inch printouts look exceptionally sharp. Once you press the print button, the unit takes only a few seconds to produce the labels.
You'll find a character map for adding symbols as well as letters with diacritical marks and foreign alphabets. You can save several dozen labels for repeated use, and even create different folders to save them in. You can register half a dozen or so user accounts, and save labels and label-format preferences to each account. I was surprised, however, at the lack of support for account password protection or any other settings.
You can set the LabelManager 500TS to snip completed labels automatically as you print them; otherwise, you can cut them manually simply by pushing the scissors button to the left of the display. When the unit is connected to a computer, you can set up an account for printing postage.
The LabelManager 500TS has a hardware navigation keypad underneath the display; sitting in between are buttons for powering on the device, bringing up the home screen, zooming in on labels, and initiating printouts. Note, though, that the hardware navigation buttons don't work with menus; rather, they primarily control cursor movement in label text.
I have a few minor quibbles. First, while the touchscreen navigation works very well for selection by tapping, I found it less easy to use for scrolling through menus. Scrolling smoothly and stopping on a specific selection was difficult. Fortunately, I encountered only one or two scrollbars in my tests.
Also, at a bit over 2 pounds, the device is a tad heavy for carrying around all day; I recommend going with a smaller handheld unit if you work on your feet. But the LabelManager 500TS does have a handle that you could use for hanging it on a wall hook. Finally, to save power, the LabelManager 500TS goes into standby mode after only a couple of minutes of inactivity, and I frequently had to restart it as a result.
Regardless, for serious business-label creation, the Dymo LabelManager 500TS's impressive features, speed, and general ease of use make it well worth considering. Yes, it's pricey, but if you use the 500TS frequently, the extra cost could prove to be a good investment over the life of the product.