Compact, Cool, and Easy: The Ultimate Thermal Label Maker

Niimbot B21 thermal label maker.

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ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The Niimbot B21 thermal label printer is available on Amazon and it’s currently 10% off with a coupon.
  • It’s super easy to use, the app makes designing labels a snap, and the battery life is good.
  • Replacement labels are a bit pricey, and the printer can only output black text and images.

I don’t find that I have the need for a big desktop inkjet or laser printer much anymore, but I do find myself wanting to print out little labels every so often.

However, I’m not dedicating a big chunk of desk real estate just to print out some labels.

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But I do like the look of this palm-sized Niimbot B21 thermal label maker.


Niimbot B21 thermal label printer

The Niimbot B21 Bluetooth label printer is compatible with iOS and Android, and can thermally print labels up to 50 x 50mm at a speed of 2.4inches/s (60mm/s)

Niimbot B21 thermal label maker tech specs

  • Technology: Thermal
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 1200mAh allowing for four hours of continuous working time
  • Print speed: 2.4-inch/s (60mm/s)
  • Max label size: 50mm x 50mm
  • App: Available for iOS and Android

The Niimbot B21 is a tiny palm-sized thermal printer that prints out waterproof, oil-resistant, abrasion-resistant labels that can be used for a variety of purposes.

What’s great is that this thermal printer is easy to use.

Pop in the labels (the size of the labels is automatically picked up using an NFC chip in the roll), download the Nimbot app, connect the printer via Bluetooth (no annoying cables are needed), design your label in the app, and print.


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I was expecting the weak link to be the app and that designing labels would be an annoying faff. I was wrong, and it wasn’t.

Creating labels, adding text, images, and even things like QR codes was a snap with the app, and it was always super reliable when it came to printing.

The Niimbot app is easy to use and has advanced features, such as QR code generation.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The battery takes some 90 minutes to fully charge, which is then good for at least four hours of label printing. That’s a lot of label printing.

If you have different types of labels, mix and matching is easy — open the cover, remove the old roll, drop in the new one, and off you go. The printer uses NFC to detect the type of labels that are loaded into the printer.

Loading a new roll of labels is easy — open the cover and drop in the new roll.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The B21 also has a cutesy, old-worldy typewriter design, and it comes in a range of bright colors, so it stands out amongst any other clutter you might have on your desk.

ZDNET’s buying advice

At $66, the Niimbot B21 isn’t cheap, although Amazon is offering a 10% off coupon right now — you can buy a desktop printer for less. But it is a fast, simple, convenient, and even fun way to print labels. The label rolls are also a bit on the pricey side, but each roll does come with about 250 labels. So, if you’re either an occasional label printer or you want to print nice labels for perhaps a product (Nimbot has some cute labels), then it’s a good system.

It might also be less of a hassle and ultimately cheaper than the overall care and feeding of a cheap inkjet printer.