If you've ever tried to print labels in an inkjet or laser printer, you'll know how frustrating it can be. I find getting the labels into the printer the right way around and having the address centred is often more luck than judgment. Brother has a printer that takes the guesswork out of label printing - the P-Touch 9500PC.
Printing with the 9500 avoids the wastage that you get printing on label sheets, instead printing on tape from a cartridge. The labels come in a variety of widths, from 6mm to 36mm and are cut automatically by the printer. So whether you're printing a single label or a hundred, you only ever use as much tape as you need.
There's no problem using the printer with Word or any other application, but the 9500 comes with its own label software. The P-Touch editor is a simple-to-use package, full of features. Some, like the dreadful clip art, aren't particularly useful. However, it can generate bar codes, and use mail-merge data for address labels, which is very handy.
The tape-cartridge system is clean and, being a thermal-transfer technology, doesn't require ink or toner. This means that label costs are predictable, unlike printing with inkjet printers where low-cost units are thirsty for high-cost inks.
The printer is by no measure cheap. The £399 price tag seems difficult to justify when you can buy a colour laser printer for the same price. The technology is simple enough, so I think it's safe to say there's a considerable mark-up on the price. The competition is cheaper, but doesn't have the same broad range of label types. The P-Touch is obviously aimed at those with serious requirements, rather than the casual labeller.
The P-Touch is ideal for any labelling, whether for cables, address labels or security tags. Any business that needs labels, and I can't think of any that don't, would be well served by the P-Touch. It's a top-end product with a price to match, but could save time and possibly money if you print a lot of labels.