THE Colop e-mark has recently made its way in the market with its cute and portable design as well as its simplicity on its functions.
But how would this small printer operate as well as others twice its size?
The compact device is used to stamp and print barcodes, logos, labels, and other artwork on any flat surfaces ranging from paper to cotton fabric, practically stealing the job of an old-school stamp and ink.
I was given a chance to test it out and frankly speaking, I was pleased with it.
When we talk about the design, the sturdy printer is fairly small and fits your palm nicely.
The first time I saw it, it reminded me of a Beluga whale and I can’t help but be content with how it goes in my bag nicely and does not take much space by the size.
Despite the design, it still has sufficient space to snap the ink cartridge in which it does not need that much head-scratching to assemble it, but we’ll get to that point later.
It has a nice cover with a base that charges it up with a given cable which does a pretty fast job and it comes in two different shades – white and black – and who doesn’t love a pleasing monochrome aesthetic.
They have given a manual for me to follow and just like the small package, the assembling part is far from intricate.
By snapping out the cover, I did the same for the other parts that needed to be separated so I could insert the 3-colour ink cartridge for it to work, but two confusing aspects needed further try-and-error.
The first one was sliding the base and pushing it down part so I could provide a cubbyhole to insert the cartridge in, however, if you had not scrutinised the manual, you would not know that it needs to be pushed down after sliding but that is not a big issue.
Nevertheless the second part, which is pushing the cartridge in, requires more patience as it does not clasp easily and a minor mistake has smudged the ink on my finger.
Again, the key is perseverance and time.
Once everything is set up, the function of it is quite simple and fun to use, more likely to the recherché creation.
Usage and performance
To use the device, I was required to download the app and it could only be available in iOS and Android, which means I cannot manually operate it with my PC.
Usually, when it comes to editing and designing posters, logos, etc, I am more comfortable with using my laptop because of the larger screen and easier navigation. But now I have to depend on my large fingers which do not accurately pin-point my stickers and scribbles as seamlessly as I want it to be.
Regardless, the app is a very stress-free tool to create a quote or stamp with an existing template or create one on my own.
In comparison to Adobe Photoshop and Ai illustrator, the app functions at an amateur-level so anyone could design anything without arduous effort. Yet, it does lack the typical editing features I often use in the usual illustrators which brings more eclectic design.
Still, I always get pop-up screens asking whether or not I want to Wifi-Direct to the printer every time I log in or even when I am not using the app.
It gets a bit annoying and I wish it could just stay connected until I set it to not to.
After I was done designing, I sent the imprint to the e-mark and instantly print it. The E-mark could store several imprints at the same time and I could simply swipe it from left to right.
Even on my first drag, it had already produced a vibrant coloured media and continues to perform well till after the 30th time, it begins to print out grainy images and sketchy edges.
My only concern was the accuracy of the straight line I was supposed to drag.
Even though it has a notch as a guide at the centre of the printer, my trembling hands still could not create a nice straight line parallel to my paper. In a way, it keeps going slightly upwards.
However, it is also applicable to other flat surfaces as long as they are not shiny and metallic. Cardboard and papers work well enough which include cotton cloth.
Overall, though several aspects have earned my disapproval, it is not entirely useless as it is also an innovative invention that eases our printing hassle and solves it well.
I hope it will be able to evolve and reduce the said issues as it is one of the very few creative products to be launched nowadays.
This printer is priced at RM1,399 at Lazada and Shopee.