At long last, I have my entire staff using iPads. In addition, after months of planning we have finally set up our school’s iPads for use with the interactive Bar Mitzvah training program I have created. More and more I expect we will see the staff and school iPad being used for a host of different purposes. One of my colleagues did, however, raise a question the other day. “How,” she asked, “do we print from these things if we need to?”
It is an EXCELLENT question and, as luck would have it, I had just received a review sample of the xPrintServer Home Edition from Lantronix. This simple gadget plugs into your router and instantly lets you print from any iOS device that is connected via USB or is on the same network. The device is dead simple to set up and use, and it is a “must-have” for the iOS household or workplace. And let me be clear, I don’t refer to something like this as a “must-have” unless I mean it; I mean it.
Print from all your iOS devices to virtually any printer! xPrintServer enables wireless printing for iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones® using their native print menu. It eliminates the need to print through apps, install software, or email yourself documents for printing. And more importantly, you don’t need to buy a new printer because xPrintServer works with more than 4,000 top brand USB and network printers.
Print to virtually any printer / no need to a buy new printer
No apps or software to buy or load
Easy to use / automatic discovery and set up of printers
Print directly from the iOS native menu
Advanced configurations via web interface
One xPrintServer supports multiple printers & virtually unlimited iOS devices
The promo videos on the product website are amusing, but they are also on point. In fact, I had the same “How the hell do I print from this thing?” conversation with my father-in-law when he first got an iPad. At the time I went with the only decent solution that was possible — I bought him an AirPrint Enabled printer. Had I been in possession of the xPrintServer at the time, we wouldn’t have needed anything new. Better still, the set-up is so simple that even my father-in-law could do it. As the company explains,
Set-Up is Automatic & Quick!: Simply plug the xPrintServer into your network (router or switch with wireless access point), then plug your USB printer(s) into the xPrintServer. Within seconds the xPrintServer will auto – discover your printer(s) to enable printing from iPads and iPhones.
The device really makes printing from an iOS device quick and simple without having to go out and purchase an AirPrint Enabled printer. Each xPrintServer Home Edition supports an unlimited number of iOS devices, up to 8 USB printers (you’ll need to supply the USB hub in order to connect more than one USB printer at a time) and up to 2 wireless network printers. (The xPrintServer Network Edition supports no USB printers but will handle an unlimited number of wireless printers.)
In short, you can think of the xPrintServer as the missing link between your network, your printer and your iOS devices. And in a world where more and more of us live by our iOS devices, that’s a good thing; no, that is a great thing!
The xPrintServer Home Edition does exactly what it promises. And the fact that it does it for under $100 is something to smile about. If your home or workplace is iOS-enabled, and you ever have the need to print something from your iPhone or iPad, then you want this! You can learn more and order yours here on the product page.
What I Like: Small; Simple to set up; Works with both USB-connected and wireless printers; Intuitive
What Needs Improvement: Home Edition only handles two wireless printers