Lantronix recently announced the xPrintServer – Home Edition, which enables printing from Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. xPrintServer – Home Edition supports up to eight USB printers and up to two network printers. xPrintServer – Home Edition isn’t currently available. However, you can pre-order the gadget. According to the press material, the device will begin shipping later this month.
xPrintServer – Home Edition is based on the network edition of the xPrintServer. There are three major differences between the two versions. First, the home edition is less expensive ($100 instead of $150). Second, the home edition supports USB printers (the network edition doesn’t). Finally, the network edition supports unlimited number of network printers while the home edition only supports up to two network printers. This obviously isn’t a problem because most people don’t have more than two networked printers at home.
According to the press material (I did not receive a review unit), you can print emails, web pages, and photos to an existing printer without having to install any software or device drivers. The consumer device is simple to use. All you have to do is plug in the printer and the device will auto discover it. Then you can use the iOS native print menu to wirelessly print your documents from any iOS (4.2 or later) device.
I can already print files from my iPod Touch by sending an email to my HP printer. However, xPrintServer – Home Edition seems to make the printing process easier. In addition, the Lantronix device also acts like a print server by transforming USB printers to network printers. This is a big deal because most people can’t figure out how to network USB printers without Wi-Fi functionality. According to the product literature, all USB printers plugged into xPrintServer – Home Edition will now be available to all computers (both PC and Mac) on a home network (in addition to iOS devices).
The xPrintServer – Home Edition Highlights
- Easy to use. No IT experience required. Simply open the box, plug it in, print.
- No software or apps to purchase, install, or support.
- Supports multiple USB printers, up to two network-connected printers, and an unlimited number of iOS devices and users.
- Share USB Printers. No longer tied to a single PC or Mac, USB printers will now be available to all PCs and Macs on a home network.
- No configuration. The xPrintServer auto-discovers and auto-provisions printers.
- Always-on and economical. Does not require a PC or Mac to be on. The Home Edition has an environmentally friendly power consumption of approximately 1 watt.
- Print everything. If it can be viewed, opened, or read on an iOS device, it can be printed with the xPrintServer.