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Printers and portability: A match made in heaven?

It’s no secret that the way we use technology is changing. In times gone by, clumpy PCs with large monitors and bulky towers occupied the homes of a select few and were envied by many.

Fast-forward to the present day and technology is widespread. Nowadays, the market is largely dominated by laptops, tablets and smartphones. In fact, as reported by The Independent, there are now around 7.22 billion mobile devices in the world — more than the earth’s total population.

As technology has evolved, so have our computing accessories. But will the humble printer go the same way as the floppy disk? Find out below…

Wireless printers

In the past, the desktop PC and inkjet printer went hand in hand. Now that mobile devices have replaced our PCs, how we print is changing.

Printers typically connect to PCs through USB ports. With many tablet devices lacking this kind of port, users have to find new ways of connecting their gadgets together. This usually involves using a wireless printer.

To use this kind of printer, all you need to do is connect your mobile device and printer to your wireless network. The network will then act as the ‘cable’, connecting your gadgets, enabling you to print anywhere in your wireless range.

Many printers already have AirPrint capability. This specialist software developed by Apple enables you to print directly from your iOS device without the need to install drivers. To find out if your printer is AirPrint-ready, check out this list.

It can be more difficult to connect non-Apple devices and older wireless printers without AirPrint functionality. However, there are apps that can help, such as PrintCentral and PrintBureau.

Portable printers

Taking wireless printers to the next generation, Epson has recently launched a new portable inkjet printer: the WF-100W. As the world’s lightest and smallest inkjet printer, it offers wireless connectivity and USB charging functions.

It’s perfectly suited for use by businesspeople on the go, enabling them to print and sign contracts while travelling or commuting.

A new age of smartphone printers is currently emerging too. These compact models, like the Instax SHARE Smartphone SP-1, enable users to print their images on the go.

The floppy disk became extinct, but the printer is evolving to meet our changing digital needs. More useful and convenient than ever before, we expect the printer to become even more indispensable in the coming years.

 

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