Review of the Zebra ZD620 Desktop Printer

A Zebra ZD620 thermal printer on a desk

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

Zebra ZD620 Rollo DYMO Label Writer 4XL
Printer Price $365 $180 $279
Print Technology Direct Thermal & Thermal Transfer Direct Thermal Direct Thermal
Core Size 1″ Core or Fanfold 1″ Core or Fanfold 1″ Core
Printing Speed 150 mm/s 150 mm/s 127 mm/s
Max. Media Width  4.25″ 4.16″ 4.16″
Resolution 300 dpi 203 dpi 300 dpi
Media Holder  Included Not Included Included
Shop Compatible Labels Compatible Labels  Compatible Labels
Other Reviews  Rollo Preview  DYMO Review 

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 

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

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.

The ZD620 printer supports the use of both fanfold and 1″core roll labels.

These labels can be with or without perforation, a scoreline 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.

The Verdict

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

How to Load Labels

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

  1. Open the printer
  2. Load labels into the printer face-sheet side up
  3. Place labels through the media holders and under the media guides
  4. Adjust the media holders to accommodate proper label size
  5. Close the 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.

  1. Open the printer
  2. Slide a used core onto the Ribbon Core Adapter
  3. Insert the ribbon on the Lower Spindle ink side out and pull the ribbon toward the used core
  4. Wind the Take-Up Spindle towards the back of the printer until the ribbon fully covers the Take-Up Core
  5. Stick a label onto the ribbon to ensure the ribbon is ink side out
  6. Close the Printer

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