PRINTING WITHOUT WIRES
More Than One Computer In Your Household Or Business? Try a Wireless Printer
Wireless Printing Options
Until recently, in order to enjoy wireless printing in your home or office, the easiest way to accomplish this has been by installing a print server to a Wi-Fi access point. While this works, the drawbacks are that it limits where you can set this up, since you must connect your printer to the print server by cable; and you must purchase the print server separately, with the potential of running into compatibility issues with your other computers. Other options included direct wiring connections between the printer and router, which again limited your mobility and where you placed the printer. A third option was to use your pc as a relay to allow wireless laptop printing, with drawbacks such as having to have your pc on at all times, including not being powered down or asleep. Now there's another option, and it's the easiest one yet: a wireless printer. Most computers made in the last three years have wireless capabilities, so all you need is a wireless router and wireless printer.
Using a wireless router and printer will give you the benefit of mobility and less cable clutter, cutting down on the number of printers you have in your household or business, and allows you to place your printer in a more convenient location than tied to your computer or to a print server.
Information on wireless printers from several makers. As a rule, wireless printers are a little more expensive than their non-wireless counterparts, but still within reason.
Lexmark is an exception to the "more expensive" rule, and makes several wireless printers, including multifunction and single function versions. The X4550 is three-in-one color inkjet printer with wireless capabilities that sells for about $130. Print speeds are up to 26 ppm for black and 18 ppm for color printing, 27 ppm black and 11 ppm for color copying. If you want to spend less money and don't need a multifunction printer, their Z1420 is a single function printer, runs about $80, is wireless, and prints at 24 ppm black and 18 ppm color. These prices are by far the best we've seen.
- Hewlett Packard (HP)
For about $200, you can buy the HP 6840: an inkjet printer with built-in Wi-Fi, and suitable more for home use than for business. For about $100 more, the HP Business 1200dtwn can be yours and is the top of the line for the business-class inkjet printers. Comes with Wi-Fi and Ethernet capabilities.
Canon offers the Pixma iP6700D for about $130. While the text quality isn't rated as very good, it does get good marks for photo printing.
You can also get wireless capabilities in mobile printers. If you have a need for a small, portable printer, here's a listing of wireless portable printers for your consideration.
HP Deskjet 460wf Mobile and 460Wwbt Mobile
Both are wireless, color inkjet printers, and costs around $275.
Canon Pixma iP90v Wireless Mobile Printer
The "v" model is Vista-enabled and costs around $200-$275.
Expect more options in wireless printers, since it's a simple way to connect computers to a single printer. And expect the prices to fall as more models come on the market. Check the web pages for the printer manufacturers to see what they will have to offer.