Everything You Need to Know About the Zebra ZD620 Printer

Producing premium print quality, the Zebra ZD620 is the next generation of Zebra printers available.

Designed to meet an ample variety of requirements, this printer handles just about every need a business has. With industrial printing quality conveniently integrated into a remote desktop size, companies that handle manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare rely on this printer for its manageability, fast print speed, and productivity.

However, the price range for this printer starts around $400 minimum and can climb as high as $1,000, depending on the distributor it’s purchased from. This is quite an increase from other desktop printers on the market but for the scope this printer has, it can be worth it to the right customer.

With all of these capabilities, let’s see if the Zebra ZD620 is worth the price.

Who Are Zebra Printers For?

Zebra desktop printers are able to print in greater capacity and with more of a customization range than other printers. These customization’s include specifications with print speed and darkness, and allowing for users to personalize characteristics in font width and height, and graphics, including barcodes and custom logos.

Because of these features, Zebra printers are able to thrive in many industries.

Retail, for example, uses Zebra printers for labels that help with inventory management.

In warehouse logistics and distribution, they minimize errors with receiving and shipping, allow for greater cross-docking accuracy and efficiency to ensure the movement of goods and products, and assist in managing the supply chain.

Zebra even markets a desktop printer specialized for the healthcare industry. These printers are specifically designed to print barcodes on wristbands for patient identification, and improve safety and error reduction in laboratory management.

They are also beneficial to those who are limited on space and require a smaller sized printer that is capable of handling a wide range of tasks.

Printer Specifications

The Zebra ZD620 offers users two separate models: a direct thermal (ZD620d) and a thermal transfer (ZD620t).

Since the ZD620d uses only direct thermal labels, it does not require the use of a ribbon. Therefore, the ribbon spindles are omitted from the design.

This allows the printer to be all-around smaller when compared to its counterpart. It averages 5.9 inches in height, 8.7 inches in length, and 3.6 lbs in weight.

The ZD620t printer is slightly larger in size because it requires the use of a ribbon.

The ribbon spindles inside the printer add to its dimensions, requiring this printer to sit at 7.5 inches in height, 10.5 inches in length, and 5.5 lbs in weight.

The Zebra has a maximum print speed up to 8 inches per second, depending on the resolution.

It is recommended that users clean the printer on a regular basis for maintenance.

A lint-free cloth and a mild detergent solution or desktop cleaner, if needed, are for the exterior. For the interior components, such as the print head and media path, alcohol or compressed air can be used.

The ZD620 also offers models with an LCD screen and a print touch feature that works with any NFC (near-field communication) smartphone or tablet for easier use.

Specifications
  • Weighs between 3.6lbs – 5.5lbs

  • Height between 5.9″ – 7.5″

  • Length between 8.7″ – 10.5″

  • Regular cleaning for preventative maintenance

  • 8 ips maximum print speed

  • Prints label sizes up to 4.25″ width

  • LCD screen and NFC smartphone/tablet feature

Connectivity
  • Bluetooth

  • USB

  • Ethernet

  • Serial

  • Print Touch Feature

What Kinds of Labels Do They Print?

As previously stated, the Zebra ZD620 offers both direct thermal (DT) and thermal transfer (TT) models.

The thermal transfer model lets users print both direct thermal and thermal transfer labels. The direct thermal model can only print direct thermal labels, as it does not have the feature for the ribbon.

Direct Thermal means that no ribbon is needed to print labels as the ink is embedded within the paper. The heat from the print head is applied directly to the label and exposes the ink. Since these labels do not require a ribbon, they can make printing easier. However, they are not very durable and fade faster than labels that are thermal transfer.

Thermal Transfer means a wax ribbon is needed to print the labels. The heat from the print head transfers the ink from the ribbon onto the label. While cheaper in price, thermal transfer labels do require the purchase of a ribbon. However, they last substantially longer than direct thermal labels. This is a huge advantage to industries that use labels in outdoor conditions.

Depending on the use and durability of the labels needed, users will want to look at which label materials will work best for the job they have in mind.

This printer supports the use of both fanfold and 1″core roll labels.

These labels can be with or without perforation, a score line between each label that helps the printer determine where one label stops and the next begins. This allows for easy tearing.

Other media types include:

  • Tag Stock
  • Receipt Paper
  • Wristband Stock

Unlike certain printers, like DYMO, Zebra does not require users to purchase their own specific brand of labels.

While Zebra does supply certified labels for their printers, users can purchase them from other manufacturers as well.

Zebra also has the ability to print on different materials, such as polypropylene and polyester, lending to its versatility.

Roll Labels

Labels Must Be Loaded Face-Sheet Side Up

Fanfold Labels

Labels Must Be Loaded Behind the Printer

How to Load Labels

The Zebra ZD620 printer uses both fanfold and 1″core roll labels, and depending on the model, they can be direct thermal and/or thermal transfer.

The fanfold labels can be loaded in face-sheet side up through the open slot in the back of the printer.

The media holders will need to be adjusted to accommodate the proper label size. Once adjusted, the labels can be placed through the media holders and under the media guides.

Users can then close the printer, exit “Pause Mode” and either manually feed or calibrate their printer.

Roll labels with a 1″ core can be placed in-between the media holders located inside the printer. Once situated, the labels can be placed under the media guides and the printer can be closed.

Users can then exit “Pause Mode” and either manually feed or calibrate their printer to make sure it is working properly.

View of Open Zebra ZD620 Printer

How to Load Ribbon (Thermal Transfer Only)

If the printer model is for thermal transfer (TT), users will need to purchase a 0.5″ or 1″ core thermal transfer ribbon to print labels.

The ribbon will be inserted above the media holder inside the printer where there are two separate spindles.

Users will first install an empty ribbon core or applicator into the upper spindle. This will take up the excess ribbon after it is used.

Next, users will remove the wrapper from the ribbon and place it on the lower spindle. They will then pull the ribbon upward past the print head and secure it to the take up core. Users will then wind the take up core toward the back of the printer until the ribbon fully covers the take up core.

The ribbon must be inserted into the lower spindle with the ink coated side out. To check if this is correct, users can press a label to the ribbon to see if any ink is present.

For a more in-depth look, click here to watch our video on How to Load a Ribbon into a Zebra ZD620.

Thermal Transfer Ribbon

Ribbon Must Be Loaded Coated-Side Out

How to Calibrate

Feeding errors, such as the printer feeding blank labels in-between print jobs or stopping in the wrong location, are reasons users would want to calibrate their printer.

There are two methods of calibration for the ZD620 printer.

The first is basic media calibration.

  1. Open the printer and verify the media sensor is in the correct location
  2. Pull the labels until they are hanging outside the printer
  3. Press the label under the media guides and close the printer
  4. Press and hold the pause and cancel buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds
  5. The printer will feed and measure several labels
  6. Remove the excess labels and press the manual feed button to make sure it is working properly

The second is manual media calibration.

  1. Press the pause button for 2 seconds to enter Advanced Mode; all of the indicators will flash yellow
  2. The status indicator will show solid yellow to verify manual media calibration
  3. Press pause to start the manual media calibration process
  4. Open the printer and verify the media sensor is in the center position
  5. Remove a label (at least 3 inches long) and place the liner above the media sensor
  6. Close the printer and press pause
  7. The media indicator will flash, indicating the liner is being measured; when finished, the pause indicator will flash
  8. Open the printer and reposition the labels so they are directly above the media sensor
  9. Close the printer and press pause; the printer will feed and measure several labels
  10. Remove the excess labels and press the manual feed button to make sure it is working properly

Optional Features

This printer model offers two attachments, although they have to be purchased separately. Both attachments allow for more convenience and save time for users.

The first attachment is the cutter application. This feature allows for labels to be automatically cut to the desired size when printed.

The cutter application requires continuous media since the cutter mechanism will separate each label on its own when removed.

The second attachment available is the dispenser, or peeler, feature.

This allows labels to be automatically peeled from the liner as they are printed for easier application. The used liner is fed under the dispenser to be torn and discarded after use.

This is also known as peel and present mode. When using this feature, only one label should be printed at a time.

To attach both features, users must remove the two mounting screws located on the bottom of the printer and install the desired attachment before turning on the printer.

Below are the step-by step instructions for each printer.

Step-By-Step for Cutter Application

The cutter is a feature on the printer with small, sharp edges that provides better tear quality and is an alternative to manually tearing off labels.

  1. Open printer
  2. Open roll holders and insert the media roll
  3. Verify the media sensor is in alignment with the markings on the label
  4. Push the end of the media through the cutter slot
  5. Push the media down under the media guides
  6. Close the printer

Cutter Application for Zebra ZD620

Step-By-Step for Dispenser (Peeler) Application

The dispenser or peeler is a feature that peels the liner from each label, allowing the user to immediately apply it. This saves time and work.

  1. Open printer
  2. Open roll holders and insert the media roll
  3. Push the media down under the media guides
  4. Close the printer
  5. Press the “Pause” button once to exit the printer out of “Pause Mode”
  6. Open the dispenser door
  7. Push the media through the slot and close the dispenser door

Dispenser (Peeler) Application for Zebra ZD620

The Verdict

Looking at all of these components, the Zebra ZD620 offers users a wide range of possibilities for a wide range of industries.

Let’s review the pros and cons, and see if it measures up to its capabilities.

The Pros

  • Small in size for those needing to save on space but still require a powerful printer
  • Offers high speed printing, with up to 8 inches per second maximum
  • Users are able to customize print options
  • Can use both direct thermal and thermal transfer media options
  • Uses both fanfold and roll labels
  • Usable in many different industries
  • Several connectivity options, including Print Touch feature

The Cons

  • This printer is one of the most expensive for desktop printers
  • The cutter and dispenser attachments are not included in the purchase and must be bought separately
  • Not the best pick for small scale printing
  • The interface options can be confusing if users purchase the model with 10 buttons and an LCD screen
  • Low volume printer despite fast speeds

The Conclusion

  • This is definitely a printer for those requiring a variety of print options.
  • The ZD620’s range gives it considerable versatility for users looking to update their current Zebra equipment.

Overall Rating

Here is our overall rating for the Zebra ZD620 desktop printer:

Price – 4/10
Customization- 8/10
Set-Up – 4/10
Versatility – 8/10
Volume Size – 8/10