Brother to launch a new tape printer – the TP-M5000N – and it’s a beast!

Brother is soon to launch the TP-M5000N tape printer. But unlike regular Dymo and Brother “tape” printers that print continuous label tape to be used as labels, the TPM5000N is printing… well, I guess the best way to describe it is like selotape or packing tape.

The idea seems to be that a reseller would take the blank tape and the ribbon cartridge and print customised tape, to then be sold on to end users. For example, customers could request packing tape with their company logo on as a branding exercise, or packing tape with warnings or other messages on. There are various colours and widths of tape, and various colours of ribbon cartridges, this means they can be combined to give a 2 colour tape.

Another likely market would be a retailer, like a gift shop, that could buy one to print their own tapes such as ‘Happy Birthday’ that could be used to wrap presents etc. Of course there are plenty of pre-printed tapes that already say “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” and so on, and these will almost certainly be cheaper than printing their own. But the difference here is that an end customer could walk in to the gift shop and order tape that says “Happy 40th Birthday Bob”, the shop would then print a roll of tape in the customers choice of colours and the customer then has a highly personalised roll of tape.

The one noticable thing about this printer though is the size – it’s huge. When you see a picture it looks like the size of a Dymo LabelWriter or Brother QL printer, that is until you see it against something else for scale and then you realise how big it is.

We have no information on costs yet, but we expect it’s not going to be cheap. Also, no news yet on an exact launch date, but we’re expecting a UK launch in Q4 2014. More news to follow!

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