What’s the difference between Zebra’s ZD220 and ZD230 label printers

Zebra ZD230

What’s the difference between Zebra’s ZD220 and ZD230 label printers

At the end of 2019 Zebra Technologies (the world’s largest printer manufacturer) added two new thermal label printers to their range, the ZD220 and ZD230.  This time at the bottom of the cost spectrum, replacing their GC420 label printer.  Whilst these are small low-performance printers, they’re perfect for most office uses.

Zebra have launched two, the ZD230 and the ZD220. If you’re wondering what the differences are – read on.

Let’s take a look at the differences between the ZD220 & ZD230.

External Differences between ZD230 and ZD220

Zebra ZD220 Rear
Single USB socket on ZD220
Zebra ZD230 Rear Image
USB & Network connector on Zebra ZD230

The only visible differences between the two printers is that the ZD230 has a network connector as well as a USB connector.

Performance Differences between ZD230 and ZD220

  • The ZD230 prints at 150mm per second (6 inches) and the ZD220 only prints at 100mm (4 inches). 
  • The larger of the two printers, the ZD230, can be loaded with 300m thermal ribbons as well as the standard 74m lengths.  The ZD220 can only use the 74m length.  Loaded with 300m thermal ribbons means the ZD230 will print four times longer before you need to change ribbons. 
  • The Zebra ZD230 can be bought with a WiFi and Bluetooth option, which the ZD220 can’t.

The Similarities

Shape, buttons and operation are the same between the two models.

Direct Thermal Model of ZD220/230

The Direct Thermal model (the one that doesn’t use a thermal ink ribbon to print with) is smaller and is a different shape.

The Thermal Transfer model (on the left) needs space inside the case for a thermal ribbon to be loaded.

Different shaped thermal transfer and direct thermal models of ZD220 and ZD230


When it comes to prices between the two models things are a little odd.

The ZD220 is, as you would expect, priced pretty competitively – at around £250.  The ZD230?  The list price for the ZD230 is over £700.  Making it nearly twice the price ot the ZD420 – the ZD230’s big brother.  When I put that question to Zebra – they were unable to explain the difference.

With no commercial justification for the ZD230’s price – we can’t think of a reason to recommend it.

Summing Up the Differences Between Zebra's ZD220 and ZD230

 Zebra ZD220Zebra ZD230
InterfacesUSB onlyUSB
Print Speed100mm per second150mm per second
Ribbon Length74m length74m or 300m length

Further Help

Learn more about choosing a thermal label printer here.

Visit the Zebra ZD200 series page on Zebra’s website for more information.

Read about the differences between the Zebra ZD420 and ZD620

Contact us if you would like to buy your own ZD220.


Updated 14 Apr 2020


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