How to Print in the Field from iPad

From time to time (or maybe all the time), you may have the need to print documents in the field to leave preliminary test rests or field reports with contractors.  There are a number of ways to do this.  The iPad (iOS) is equipped with Apple’s AirPrint protocol that enables printing to AirPrint enabled printers wirelessly. In the early days, there were only a few printers that were AirPrint enabled.  Today, most every printer manufacturer makes a substantial number of AirPrint enabled printers. Apple has a list of some AirPrint enabled printers from various manufacturers here.

Perhaps the holy grail of printing in the field from iPad is Brother’s PocketJet series.  The PocketJet 673 ($479 retail) is a very small, battery operated printer that is AirPrint enabled. It is perfect to keep in a briefcase in the pickup truck for printing when needed. But it ain’t cheap. I guess you have to pay for convenience.

HP has an extensive list of AirPrint enabled printers.  They have a good page on their website that lists their AirPrint and e-Print (HP’s version of AirPrint) enabled printers. Their e-Print system even allows you to print to any ePrint enabled printer via the cloud or to a network of publicly available printers at Fed Ex, UPS, Walgreens, Hotels, and Airport lounges (for a fee I am sure).

If you have some old inkjet or multi-function printers laying around, you can make those devices AirPrint enabled with the addition of a Latronix xPrintServer for $99. According to Latronix:

No need to purchase any new printers, software or apps—just connect the xPrintServer, attach the USB cable, power up the unit, and your iOS device is ready to print.

So there you have it.  For those pesky clients or contractors that still live in the stone age and require paper, you can accommodate those needs and keep them happy. Just let them know that the forest pixies are frowning over the additional trees you are having to cut down..

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