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Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition (Review)

April 3, 2015 Comments off

xPrintServer Home Edition from LantronixxPrintServer Home Edition
Lantronix
$99.95

The xPrintServer Home Edition box reads, “iPad & iPhone Printing Made Easy. Print From All Your iOS Devices To Virtually Any Printer.” And Lantronix has adhered to ‘truthful advertising’ because the xPrintServer Home Edition (xPrintServer) does exactly that and it does so without any fancy setup or hassles. It couldn’t be any easier to do so, with the xPrintServer’s two-step process.

  • Connect the xPrintServer to power, your network, and printer.
  • Print from your iPad, iPhone, or computer.

In addition to printing from your iPad and iPhone, you can also print from Macs and Windows computers. However, Windows 8 seems to have a problem with Bonjour printing and my Mac mini works at first and then doesn’t print again. Windows 7, iPad, and iPhone work great with it.

xPrintServer Home vs. Office Comparison

I’ve used other print servers, from the small generic and inexpensive ones on up to the ones costing several hundred dollars and the Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition falls into the category of an individual home use unit as advertised. I wouldn’t use it for a small business unless all of my employees used Windows 7 and iPads because it doesn’t seem to work consistently with Mac and I can’t get it to work with Windows 8.x at all.

That said, I’m not sure whether the failure to print is with the Lantronix unit , the Bonjour printing software, or perhaps with my somewhat outdated HP OfficeJet J3680 All-in-One printer. Since it does print with Windows 7 and our iPads, I have to assume it is the Bonjour printing software.

The xPrintServer takes up very little space. It has the approximate dimensions of an iPhone 5, but about two to three times the thickness. It does require its own AC power source, a network connection, and a USB connected printer plugged into it. So, while the unit is small, it still requires three wires for power and connectivity. That’s not a negative statement; just a fact.

The xPrintServer does what it’s supposed to do: print. For those systems it works with, it’s never failed or hesitated to work in any way.

Why it’s Frugal: The Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition is a frugal solution for home users who need to print from a short list of supported devices to a single printer and have no other means to do so. The $99.95 price tag is a little off-putting, but still within the range of a home-oriented gadget.

Here’s how it works from an iPhone:

Open File for Printing

Lantronix 1: Open File for Printing

Share the File

Lantronix 2: Share the File

Select Print

Lantronix 3: Select Print

Printing the File

Lantronix 4: Tap Print to Send to Printer

Open an app. I’m using PlainText. In that app, select a document to print. See Lantronix 1.

Tap the Share button at the bottom center of the screen to see the options given in figure Lantronix 2.

Tap Print from the screen as shown in Lantronix 3.

Finally, be sure that your printer is listed and then tap Print to send the file to the printer.

Apple devices should find the printer automatically and display it for you. The printer might not appear immediately, but if you attempt to find the printer by running through these four steps and then try again in a minute or two, the printer should appear for you to use.

The Lantronix xPrintServer is a good device and performs flawlessly. It offloads print jobs quickly and never hesitates or loses a print job. The web interface is simple and intuitive to use–that is, if you ever need to use it, which you probably won’t. Just know that it’s there if you need it.

Overall, I like the xPrintServer. I just wish that support for Mac OS X and for Windows 8 was there, but again, I don’t think this is necessarily the Lantronix product’s fault. I think it’s with the Bonjour software.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommendation: If you have Windows 7 and iOS devices, buy it; it works.

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IK Multimedia announces iRig PRO: Universal MIDI Interface

September 5, 2013 Comments off

irig_pro

iRig Pro Universal MIDI Interface
IK Multimedia
$149.99/€119.99 (exc. taxes).

IK Multimedia, the global leader in mobile music-creation apps and accessories, is proud to announce iRig® PRO, the universal digital mobile audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Universal Compatibility
iRig PRO comes with three detachable cables, compatible with Lightning, 30-pin and USB connectors, respectively, allowing for digital connection to every model of iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac, out of the box, with no need for adapters. A MIDI cable with a standard MIDI jack is also provided to connect the widest variety of MIDI-compatible keyboards and controllers.

iRig PRO is class compliant and compatible with Core Audio and Core MIDI, so it can be used with any audio and MIDI processing apps for iOS and Mac OS, for true plug-and-play performance without additional hardware/software.

Universal Apps and Software Included
For iPhone and iPad users, iRig PRO comes with a suite of IK Multimedia’s most popular apps for mobile music creation on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including AmpliTube FREE (the #1 app for guitar players) for guitarists and bass players, VocaLive FREE for singers, SampleTank FREE and iGrand Piano FREE for keyboard players and iRig Recorder FREE for recording engineers.

For Mac users, iRig PRO includes AmpliTube Custom Shop, the industry standard guitar-and-bass processing software; a free version of AmpliTube Metal; T-RackS Custom Shop, the mixing-and-mastering effect suite with a free version of T-RackS Classic; and SampleTank XT, a sound workstation that includes over 1GB of sounds. All these software titles are available both as plug-ins for the most popular digital audio workstations (including GarageBand), or as standalone applications for immediate plug and play.

While this post is not a review, I have used other IKMultimedia products (Reviews coming soon) and they are very high quality, durable, and they deliver the performance and features that you’d expect from equipment priced many times higher. If you’re a singer/songwriter, bandmate, or a hobbyist with a flare for producing your own sound, you need to check out IKMultimedia’s line. I’m excited every time IKMultimedia announces a new product. I haven’t seen the iRig Pro yet but it’s only a matter of time.

It’s not yet available at all online retailers but I’m looking forward to plugging one in and testing it for myself. You can purchase one directly through the IKMultimedia Store or use the Dealer Locator to find a store near you.

Why it’s frugal: The iRig Pro, for $149.99 is an all-in-one device. The iRig Pro comes with apps, cables, and MIDI peripherals. All you need are instruments, a microphone, and inspiration.

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