Home » Label Printers »
Most people only use their traditional printers using sticker papers. While this is possible, the time it takes to do such a simple task is dreadfully long. After printing your labels on a sticker paper, you still have to cut them to sizes using a pair of scissors or a cutter. Some businesses even use regular paper and glue to adhere it to the package. A dedicated label printer makes your business more professional.
In short, not only does a label printer shorten the time labeling tasks take, but also it makes your business more professional looking. You can also reap this benefit using either the Brother QL-820NWB or QL-1100 that we are going to compare in this article. After discussing both in detail, we are going to weigh their pros and cons. Lastly, we are going to make our conclusion. Let’s get started with their similarities and differences.
Brother QL-820NWB vs Brother QL-1100
|Compatibility||Windows and macOS||Windows and macOS|
|Maximum Print Resolution (DPI)||300 x 600||300 x 300|
|Labels per Minute Printing Speed||Up to 110||Up to 69|
|Backlit LCD Display||Yes||No|
|Uses DK Labels and Tapes||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum Label Length||3 feet||9.8 feet (USB), 3 feet (Serial)|
|Maximum Label Width||2.4 inches||4 inches|
|Printer Commands||Raster, ESC/P, P-touch Template||Raster, ESC/P, P-touch Template|
|Bluetooth||Yes, Bluetooth 2.1||No|
|Host USB Interface||Yes||Yes|
|Optional Li-ion Battery||Yes||No|
|Product Dimensions (W x D x H)||5.0 x 9.2 x 5.7 inches||6.7 x 8.7 x 5.9 inches|
|Product Weight||2.5 lbs||3.65 lbs|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
The Brother QL-820NWB and QL-1100 have wide device compatibility. You can print labels using a Windows or macOS computer. Moreover, you can use your mobile devices to print labels as well. There is an app that you can download in the Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore, but more on this later. Take note, however, that these label printers differ in their methods of connection. The QL-1100 supports direct connection to Android devices, but not to iOS devices like iPhones or iPads.
Brother DK Labels
Both label printers use Brother DK labels and tapes. Thus, you have to buy another roll once you run out of labels and tapes. Although you had to replace this now and then when it got empty, these printers do not require ink for printing. Rather they use direct thermal to produce the letterings on the label. Fortunately, both label printers already have a pair of DK labels out of the box so you can start labeling.
Printer Software and App
Since both printers were manufactured by the same company, they also use the same software. For computers, you are required to use printer commands such as Raster, ESC/P, or P-touch Template. On the other hand, you need to download and install Brother iPrint&Label to utilize mobile printing. You should take note that the QL-1100 does not support wireless connectivity so you have to connect your Android device using a USB-OTG cable.
Differences between Brother QL-820NWB and Brother QL-1100
Print Quality and Speed
Print Quality and Speed are the two key features you should know about these label printers. Let’s see how they differ.
The print quality of the Brother QL-820NWB is more detailed than its competitor due to its higher DPI of 300 x 600. Moreover, you can take advantage of its faster printing speed. The QL-820NWB can print 110 labels per minute, equating to roughly 2 labels per second! That is impressively fast and will surely boost your labeling productivity. However, it can only print smaller labels. The maximum length you can print with it is 3 feet long, while its maximum width is only 2.4 inches. Other than that, printing is better overall with the QL-820NWB.
Although the QL-1100 has a lower print quality, its DPI of 300 x 300 is still respectable and detailed in most use cases. The only major disadvantage it has, however, is its lower printing speed of 69 labels per minute. It is still relatively fast considering that is still 1 label per second. This slower printing speed is redeemed by its ability to print larger labels. The maximum label length and width you can print with the QL-1100 is 9.8 feet by 4 inches. If you need to print banners, the QL-1100 is indeed right for your needs. But considering label printing alone, the QL-820NWB is ahead of the QL-1100.
The Winner Is- Brother QL-820NWB
You should also consider the connectivity of these label printers. Having multiple methods of connection adds versatility and, who knows, you might be able to use it down the line.
If I can guess what the ‘NWB’ in its name stands for, I assume it indicated its connectivity. ‘N’ is for network because it has an ethernet port. ‘W’ is for Wi-Fi or wireless because you can print with it wirelessly. And lastly, ‘B’ is for Bluetooth for its Bluetooth 2.1. This means that aside from the direct connection to a computer via the USB 2.0 cable, you can also connect to the QL-820NWB using one of these methods.
You might be wondering why the QL-1100 does not have NWB in its name. It is exactly what you think it is. It does not have any of those connectivity methods. Therefore, you are stuck with using the included USB cable. This is also exactly why mobile devices cannot be used wirelessly and only Android can connect via the cable.
The Winner Is- Brother QL-820NWB
Backlit LCD Screen
One of these label printers has an integrated LCD screen. Let’s see which of them has.
The Brother QL-820NWB has a 320 x 120 dot graphic LCD with a backlight. Its monochrome and backlit display makes it easy to read, even in darker situations. You can configure all of your label printer settings directly on the device. Moreover, it is compatible with an external battery pack so you can go completely mobile. With this, it is ideal to use it for on-demand printing of price and “best before” date labels right in the food preparation area.
On the other hand, QL-1100 does not have any kind of screen. Therefore, you need to use it alongside a computer. Additionally, it does not have a compatible battery pack. Due to its lack of wireless connectivity, the QL-1100 cannot benefit from the portability that the optional battery offers anyway.
The Winner Is- Brother QL-820NWB
Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of the label printers Brother QL-820NWB and Brother QL-1100 will help us to determine which is the better option.
- The Brother QL-820NWB can create more detailed prints at a faster rate of 110 labels per minute.
- It has multiple ways you can connect to it such as ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
- Its backlit LCD screen and optional battery pack make it a standalone and mobile label printer.
- While prints are indeed more detailed, it can only produce smaller labels.
- Although it has more limited device compatibility, the devices QL-1100 can connect to is enough for most uses.
- While its print quality and speed are inferior, it can print larger labels or banners.
- It prints labels and banners at a decent speed of 69 labels per minute.
- Considering that the QL-1100 is a little more expensive than the QL-820NWB, its lacking connectivity and inferior print quality cannot justify its price.
Which Brother Label Printer is Better?
It is amazing how a small piece of a machine can help you grow your business. You can do just that with either the QL-820NWB or QL-1100. However, if we are to choose which one is better, I would choose the QL-820NWB. For a smaller price tag, the QL-820NWB is overall better than the QL-1100. One aspect it lags behind is the label size. Other than that, everything else is better.