Before you say that there are other portable printers this has five major advantages over the very much larger Canon IP-100 and Epson WF-100 inkjets.
- It uses thermal print technology (heat applied to treated paper – like the old fax roles but far more advanced)
- It will not leak ink from an inkjet cartridge if it gets too hot in a car
- It only has one moving part – the paper roller
- It is very small at 255(W) x 55(D) x 30(H) mm (printable area 203.2 x 279.4 – A4 less margins)
However, it does not print in colour – 256 greyscales so some users have pre-printed stationery to add a bit on colour.
Print head life is rated at 100,000 pages and you can print about 600 pages per charge using its Li-ion battery.
The range is configurable – USB 2.0 interface' Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi N and this version supports Android (Google Cloud Print), iOS (Apple AirPrint), Mopria, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth to Windows or Mac devices. Print speed is 8 pages per minute – fine for printing a few pages as needed.
Print cost depends on the thermal paper quality and source – it should max out at around A$0.20 per page – the roll fed and some third party options are cheaper.
This is a commercial printer not sold by major retailers – more your local computer shop but Brother is more than happy to provide free pre-sales advice and where appropriate evaluation units from its offices around Australia.
The product will be released on 2 December – in the interim here is the US web site.
An interesting use for these is in Tattoo parlours – there is a thermal transfer paper that allows the tattooer’s design to be tested on a tatooee – apparently big business. Brother will be exhibiting at the National Tattoo Conference.
These mono thermal printers are great for receipts, barcode, and label printing using roll fed stock up to 66mm wide. As the name suggests they have been ruggedized and will withstand a 1.8m drop and reasonably adverse conditions. They use the familiar Brother P-Touch (BPL), ESC/P and Raster printer languages. Interfaces include USB, Serial, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi N dual band for maximum coverage and elimination of the crowded 2.4GHz band.