300 dpi resolution for precision printing
High resolution label printers generally are used for a few of the "more specialist" areas and applications. The most popular are as follows:
compliance printing of EAN barcodes e.g. in retail and automotive
in manufacturing for printing of small labels, serial number rating plates, WEEE logos, etc.
medical and hospital applications such as wristbands, samples etc (and especially 2D barcodes)
generally for applications using 2D barcodes and high data labels where 300 dpi gives a greater clarity in a smaller size.
EAN Barcode compliance
EAN barcodes (the standard barcode you see on every item in the shops) should be printed at 300 dpi to be compliant which means matching the official standards.
200 dpi barcodes still work well but if you have a product in a curved packet, a 200 dpi barcode is too long and stretches "out of sight" round the edge of the item, making it difficult to scan.
300 dpi barcodes are 33% shorter and therefore fit in to the limited space on products and offer better readability on curved, small or uneven surfaces.
Manufacturing and Production
Most production lines of electrical, electronic or computer-related products have rating plates on the back of the devices. These are usually printed on "silver" labels (PET - Polyester) and contain small logos and details for the product's approval such as the new "WEEE" logo, CE logos and company logos.
All these logos print that much more clearly and crisply at 300 dpi and of course you can print the variable data like serial numbers, production dates or batch codes.
The high-resolution of 300 dpi is idea for children's wristband printing in hospitals. With the quaility of 300 dpi, a photograph of the patient can even be printed on the wristband for further security.
Also, a 2D barcode can be more easily encoded with more information, again for greater security
2D Barcodes in General
Often 2D barcodes are used for places where a lot of data has to be printed in a small space, such as on products like small circuit boards or mobile phone batteries and products.
The 300 dpi resolution allows these to be printed in even more accuracy than normal and still taking up even less space.