By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 08/09/2012
Open it. Plug it in. Print. Such is the claim of Lantronix and their xPrintserver, a much needed device that turns just about any printer into an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch compatible printer without any software changes or specialized apps. Well, I tried it, and it's a valid claim. The xPrintserver is a brilliant piece of technology, especially if you have a favorite printer at home or work that otherwise would be left out of the iOS party.
I wrote about the office version of the xPrintserver after trying it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in January. That model, at $150, is geared towards businesses with around ten networked printers, but it didn't handle USB printers.
Now, Lantronix has released a home version at a lower price, just under $100, and it supports USB based printers. There's one port, but you could plug in a USB hub to have up to eight printers connected via USB and more via an Ethernet network.
The magic happens inside the box which, while white in color, acts like a 'black box' about the size of an iphone, that presents your connected printers to your iOS devices as if they were AirPrint enabled.
Lantronix has some funny videos that show office and home users struggling with printing from their iPad. If you can relate to the system administrator, you should definitely check out the Lantronix xPrintserver for Home or Office.