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The iDprt SP310 label maker offers fast performance and accepts multiple thermal paper types, but confusing software may leave you wondering what the best setup choices are. Epblogs goal is to be the tech side of trust. We are proud of our independence and of our iDprt SP310 Review thorough testing methods, in which we take our time with a product. We regularly check our test reports for changes and thus keep them up-to-date over a longer period of time – regardless of when a device was released.guaranteed reviews . Trust our Epblogs comprehensive reviews. We tested the products over a longer period of time and were able to see how they cope with everyday tasks. This is how we help you to find the best product for your read our guaranteed reviews .
The iDprt SP310 label maker offers fast performance and accepts multiple thermal paper types, but confusing software may leave you wondering what the best setup choices are.
The iDprt SP310 ($109.99 MSRP) looks like, and mostly is, the kind of compact label printer you’d want sitting on your desk for tasks like addressing envelopes, labeling file folders, or printing price labels or barcodes. Unlike the Brother QL-800, which is our current top pick for entry-level printers for paper labels, it’s limited to printing in black only, and its software can be perplexing. But it also costs less in places, selling for example on Amazon at this writing for $89.99 after clipping a $20 coupon. And it offers some features that give it a little more flexibility than much of its direct competition, which is likewise limited to mono black output.
Loading Labels: Inside the Box, or Out
The SP310’s graceful, rounded shape is typical for printers with room to mount a label roll internally, in contrast to the boxy shape for models like the Rollo Wireless Printer X1040, which uses external rolls and fanfold stacks only. However, in addition to letting you mount a roll inside the printer, the SP310 offers a rear input slot, so you have the option of using fanfold labels or a larger-diameter, externally mounted roll. Another key difference between the two printers is maximum label width. The X1040 is our current top pick for printing on up to 4-by-6-inch shipping labels. The SP310 can print on labels from 1 to 3.35 inches wide.
The SP310 by itself measures 5.3 by 5.9 by 7.4 inches (HWD), but you’ll need to leave some additional free space behind it if you want to print on fanfold stacks or to use a larger-diameter roll than can fit inside the printer’s body. For the latter situation, iDprt sells an external holder that can handle rolls as large as 9.8 inches in diameter, according to the company, compared with room internally for a roll that measures a maximum of 3.5 inches.
Setup is typical for this kind of printer. Connect the supplied USB cable and power cord; insert a label roll in the printer, or the leading edge of an external stack or roll through the rear slot; and thread the labels through the guides near the output slot in front.
At this writing, iDprt doesn’t sell labels for the SP310, but the printer comes with a small starter roll and can use thermal label stock from other manufacturers. (I confirmed that fact by using both Brother and Dymo labels I had on hand.) One noteworthy touch is an adjustable spindle that you can position at one of three different heights, to let the printer accept more combinations of roll diameter and core diameter. The cost per label will vary, of course, depending on whose labels you buy.
The Software Side: Choose Your Driver
In our review of the iDprt SP420, I pointed out that installing the software was confounding on several fronts. The main one was a choice between two Windows drivers that can’t co-exist on the same PC. I found installation much more straightforward this time, in part because I ignored the supplied disc and followed the user guide’s instructions to download the files from iDprt’s website. It also helped that I was already familiar with the choice between drivers and knew to install the Seagull version. (It’s the only one that works with the bundled Seagull BarTender label program.) Also, to my relief, I saw no sign of the confusing installation wizard I discussed in the SP420 review.
Installation could be even easier if iDprt eliminated the second driver entirely or at least added some mention of the Seagull driver in the instructions and gave a reason for why you might want to choose one over the other, instead of not mentioning the Seagull driver at all. However, the company gets kudos for the improvements it made since we reviewed the SP420. And as long as you know to ignore the instructions to install the second driver, and just install the Seagull driver instead, that won’t be a problem. Note that the iDprt site offers drivers for macOS and Linux, too.
Label Design Choices: App or Cloud?
The SP310 is bundled with the same easy-to-use BarTender UltraLite label program I discussed in the SP420 review, but it installed with a better choice of a default font. As a result, I didn’t have to change any settings before I could print a readable label.
The printer also comes with iDprt’s own Label Designer. This utility installs as an app, and it lets you create and store files on your own computer. In addition, a cloud-based Label Designer app is available, and the two can work together, so you can create labels in either one and upload or download them to store in the cloud, on your hard drive, or both. Note that no mention of the cloud-based version is to be found in the setup guide. How I learned about it? I happened to notice a Label Designer tab on iDprt’s website and clicked on it, thinking it might have instructions for using the PC-based app.
Both the PC and cloud aspects of Label Designer are easy to use, and it took only a little trial and error to learn how to use them together to move files between the cloud and PC. However, when I printed labels directly from the cloud using Firefox, Chrome, and Edge, they printed with headers and footers. On the other hand, when I downloaded the same labels created online to my PC and printed them from the PC app, they printed correctly. I asked iDprt about the problem, but didn’t get any response.
In principle, you can also use either driver with almost any standard program on your PC to print labels, but I was not able to come up with the combination of page format in Microsoft Word and driver settings that would print the labels correctly with either driver, which is a problem I’ve never had with any other label printer. iDprt tech support was not able to suggest settings to fix the problem, and here again, my iDprt contact was unable to provide a response from the company.
Testing the iDprt SP310: Labels With Some Snap
iDprt rates the printer at 102mm per second, or 4 inches per second (ips). I timed it, using the Seagull driver and printing 1-by-2.25-inch (HW) labels created in BarTender, at 1.6 seconds for a single label and 22.1 seconds, or 2.7ips, for 50 labels (including gaps between labels in the measurement). For comparison, I timed the SP420 at 5.5ips for 50 labels, also using a USB connection, and the Rolo X1040 at 3.4ips using a Wi-Fi connection.
Output quality is typical for the 203dpi resolution, making it more than good enough for the kind of labels the printer is meant for. Barcodes, text, and small line graphics were all a suitably dark black, and text was easily readable.
The Hidden Features Make the Difference
The iDprt SP310 offers acceptably fast performance, and its ability to print on most other manufacturer’s label stock gives you a wide variety of labels to choose from. But it’s the hidden features, specifically the cloud app and the rear slot, that help make it a tempting pick.
The Brother QL-800, one of the few paper-label printers that can print in both red and black on a single label, remains our Editors’ Choice pick for its category. But it’s limited to a smaller maximum label width, at 2.3 inches, which will rule it out if you need wider labels. Similarly, you’ll need to rule out the SP310 if you need larger widths than it can handle, such as 4-by-6-inch shipping labels. For that, take a look instead at the iDprt SP420 or the Rollo X1040, the latter our Editors’ Choice pick for the larger width.
But if you don’t need to print labels wider than 3.35 inches, and particularly if you’d like to take advantage of the rear feed slot and cloud features, the iDprt SP310 is a reasonable contender in that niche.