“ Brand: Texet / Personal Laminator / Type: Laminator „
Before last month, I basically knew next to nothing about the noble art of laminating - sure, I realised that it involved sealing a document between two sheets of plastic, but that's as far as my knowledge stretched. That all changed however, when for work purposes I suddenly needed to laminate a plethora of documents in a short space of time.
I decided to buy my own laminator rather than use a laminating service such as the one offered by Staples - which actually works out as being quite expensive.
The criteria for my laminator purchase was quite simple... value. It would be stupid for me to pay over the odds for a machine which I probably wouldn't use past next week. Therefore, I set off to the local office supplies store to see what I could find.
On the shelves of Maplin, the least expensive machine was the 'Texet A4 Personal Laminator' (model number LMA4 MKII) which had an ultra respectable price tag of £12.99 - I though for that price it would be worth giving it a go, even if it wasn't any good.
Measuring around 35cms in length, and 10cms from back to front, Texet's cheapest model is an extremely compact and lightweight machine - but does it work?
A smooth operator
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After plugging the product into the mains via the included power cord, you have the option of selecting either 'hot' or 'cold' laminating via the rocker switch at the front. Hot laminating works with any old laminating sheets, whilst cold requires specific pouches.
I selected 'hot', and the machine kicked into action. I say 'kicked into action' - however, this particular laminator is virtually silent during operation, which is always a good thing. It takes three to five minutes for the machine to get up to temperature, and the laminating process is good to go when the blue light on the front turns to a red light.
Health and Safety my Ar**
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The instructions suggest that you shouldn't touch the top of the unit when turned on, as it gets 'very hot'. In reality, it's more of a general warmth, so burning yourself is unlikely.
I prepared one of the A4 laminating sleeves which came with the machine and slid my document inside it. As instructed, I cautiously entered the document square-on into the slot on the front of the laminator, and waited with baited breath to see if the machine would accept it from me. After a second or two, the internal rollers of the device gratefully accepted my offering, and slowly but surely, my plastic encapsulated document started to emerge from the reverse of the device.
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The quality of the lamination was excellent - no air bubbles and a tight seal all around the edges which was very impressive. I switched off the machine and admired my (or should I say 'its') work.
The laminator takes a little while to cool down, and the instruction manual states that you can't go from hot to cold laminating until three hours have passed.
The Hare vs The Tortoise
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Whilst not the quickest laminator on the market, each A4 sheet takes around a minute to do - as I'm not in a rush to laminate, this certainly isn't a problem for me.
One thing that should be noted is the fact that this particular model takes a maximum pouch thickness of 160 microns. To be honest, I wouldn't ever want to use thicker sheets than that anyway - but it should be noted that anything more substantial isn't compatible with this machine.
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The Texet Personal Laminator is a compact and stylish looking product with a smooth and quiet motor operation. It accepts a range of document sizes from credit card to A4, and it's even made from partly recycled plastic. From a design point of view, It feels sturdy in its construction, and has four foam feet to stop it from sliding around on the desk - what more could you ask for!?
I'm extremely happy with my purchase, and I can believe they can make such a quality device so cheaply. The only problem is the fact that I'm now completely addicted to laminating, and have been plastic coating a range of unusual things - even the cat is looking at me with a worried expression on her face - and rightly so ;)
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Rollers: 2 (hot shoe)
Input: 220 - 240VAC 50/60Hz
Entry Width: 230mm
Minimum Pouch Size: Credit Card (54 x 86 mm)
Maximum Pouch Size: A4 (216 x 303)
Maximum lamination Depth: 0.5mm
Preheat Time: 3 - 5 minutes
Weight of Machine: 1.1kg
The simple way to protect and preserve all important documents, photos and papers / Ideal for home use / Fast warm-up / Approx laminating speed 230mm per min, 80 seconds per A4 sheet / Operates with 160 micron pouches / A4 maximum / Short name: Texet LMA4