I must confess, Zebra’s 105SL model is so ancient that I tend to forget it is still in production – but it still is. From what the Zebra folk tell me, they still make it because there are a number of current users who really must get another one – amazing really!
So finally, Big Z is producing a new version, the predictably named 105SLPlus.
My first thought was why? – why not let this model retire peacefully and have a restful old age.
Thinking a little more about it, I can see some logic though. In the Zebra product line up, there is a huge gap between the industrial Xi4 model and the less than robust, plastic ZM series. Zebra really does need another model between them in the way that Datamax has the I-Class sitting between the M-Class and the hefty H-Class.
So what’s new with the Zebra 105SLPlus?
New look advanced front panel – like the one on the newer ZT Series.
Ethernet and USB are finally included as standard.
Wireless print server is now available as an option.
Faster than before – 12 IPS on 203 DPI version and 10 IPS for 300 DPI.
Zebra’s Smart Printhead technology.
The 105SLPlus retains the all metal construction of the previous version.
While none of the upgrades are stunning, combined they turn the 105SLPlus into a much more modern printer. Shame it is not made in the USA though!
Pricing is expected to be about the same as the current 105SL which is right in the middle of the Xi4 and SM400 price. Unfortunately the 105SLPlus is being made in China.
Who is this printer for? Well there is a pretty large base of existing 105SL users, so the 105SLPlus is the natural upgrade path. For anyone else needing a rugged industrial label printer (especially if they use labels formatted in ZPL) the Zebra 105SLPlus represents a less expensive alternative to the top level Xi4.
When we get a unit here to test out (I think we will be able to demo this model at the Boston Seafood Show coming up soon) I’ll put together a head to head test against its direct competitor, the Datamax I-Class MkII.
If you want to see some videos of how to set up and use the new 105SLPlus, Zebra has some up online at the support site. This is a mobile optimized page that will be accessed by scanning a QR code printed on one of the labels on the printer, as first seen on the ZT200 series printers.
What do think of this new model? If you are a Zebra user do you see a way the 105SLPlus could fit into your operations? Is this a model that might make you switch to Zebra from other brands?
Here at Winco ID, we are a Zebra business partner so we’d love to help you with this or any other Zebra printer model. Just give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237 to learn more!