SETUP

   As far as the driver goes, SiPix

has just recently announced that they’ll use Field

Software‘s PrintPocket CE software (which isn’t

really a driver but an entire program). Pentax does

this too, I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it

now. However, spokesman Alex Curyea from SiPix

told me that SiPix will include software of their

own in later upgrades, free of charge, that will support

printing for the Pocket PC. So, apparently, they’re

doing something about it as we speak. But the present

situation forces you to go with PrintPocket CE. It’s

not a bad piece of software, but there’s no denying

that this adds to the cost of the printer with another

$39.95. It’s extremely important that SiPix is clear

on this point and that their re-sellers are too, otherwise

the buyer will get a nasty surprise when he comes

home and finds that his driver will only work for

a limited amount of time – unless he pays. That being

said, PrintPocket CE works extremely well with the

Pocket Printer and takes care of the special needs

that such a small device as this one has. And, once

again, SiPix is aware of this and is working on something

that will solve this problem.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    Print from your pocket.

No cords, no wires, batteries are included. That’s

what the Pocket Printer is all about. It uses A6-paper

and has almost the exact same measures as one, too.

It almost doesn’t weigh a thing, and actually looks

pretty cool with its transparent plastic design (there

is a more executive-stylish black version, too). I

had to see it to believe it, and when I unpacked it,

I still didn’t believe it. You grab it, hold it in

your hand (one hand is more than enough), turn it

around, weigh it, juggle with it, place it next to

your iPAQ and your Stowaway keyboard, and you think

to yourself: I can write and print from my pocket.

But you still don’t believe it. So I launched PrintPocket

CE, attached a paper and started printing a new chapter

from my latest novel. After only a short while, the

printer started working.

   

It’s not quiet – it reminds me of one of those receipt

machines found in stores, but your neighbours won’t

call the police either. With thermal technology and

special paper currently only available from SiPix,

the Pocket Printer delivers clear and crisp printouts

in A6-size, a size that shouldn’t cause any problems

for us mobile warriors. At first, after the original

awe of the gadget had settled down, I started looking

at the machine from a more critical perspective. Can

I really use this? I mean, A6… can I work with this?

I’m used to A4 or possibly A5, and decreasing the

size of the font makes the text hard to read. But

the key with all mobile devices is not to work against

them with your old-fashioned ways, but to work with

them with the new possibilities they offer. So after

some tweaking with the software and some small alterations

on my documents, I received printouts optimized for

the format, easy to work with, to bring along and

to use.

   

The printer uses both sheet paper and roll paper,

and I would say that both fill their purpose very

well. The roll paper is excellent for larger printouts,

but it does require you to cut off the pages manually

if you want to create a sequence (like pages in a

novel or a script). The sheet paper is fine for shorter

printouts. I never felt the need for a sheet feeder

since the roll paper does the most important part

of that job for me. And, as if sheet feeding in such

a small device wasn’t enough, the printer runs on

regular batteries, the ones you use for your Walkman!

I’m getting the feeling that the engineers at SiPix

are one step ahead of me all the time, as I sit down

and think: "Boy, I could really use this feature",

and find shortly afterwards that it’s actually there.

HELP SUPPORT

    As far as support goes,

you’ll have to turn to Field

Software when it comes to the software. Should

you run into any trouble with the hardware, SiPix

has an excellent department for support that quickly

attends to your problem (which I know, since I did

ran into some trouble due to a fault of my own).

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    Any Pocket PC able to

run PrintPocket

CE can use this printer.

BUGS AND WISHES

    I hope that SiPix

does something about the printing speed, since that

could be an annoying point when you print larger documents.

Also, special paper is never a good thing, especially

if SiPix is your only source. Costs will rise and

availability becomes something you must plan for.

It’s not too quiet, but although a more silent printer

would be nice only the most picky people will actually

complain about this. Lastly, having to spend another

$39.95 on the printing software is not being a good

sport. I never heard of a printer that doesn’t include

a full driver, up until just recently when mobile

printing is becoming a fact.

PURCHASING

    You can buy this

baby from SiPix for $149.00 at http://www.sipix.com/reseller.shtml. Be sure to browse all the listed stores, as I found

that some of them offered good rebates on this printer

now. Additional paper costs $9.99, for both the sheet

and the roll paper. For this price, I’d say the Pocket

Printer is a bargain.

PROS


  • Extremely

    mobile and cool!


  • Takes both

    roll and sheet paper


  • Runs on

    regular batteries

CONS


  • Somewhat

    slow


  • A bit noisy


  • Special

    paper is needed


  • Printing

    software costs extra (what is it with these mobile

    printer guys?)

OVERALL

IMPRESSION

   It doesn’t get any more mobile

than this. If you really want to bring your office

with you wherever you go, in a package as small as

possible, the Pocket Printer is your only choice.

Good thing for us, it’s an excellent one.

 

Specifications

Printing

Method

Direct

thermal

Print

color

Monochrome
Print

Resolution

400

dpi

Active

Image Width

3

3/4″ (95mm)

Media

Width

4

1/8″ (105mm)

Media

Length

Sheet:

5 3/4″ (148mm), Roll: 8’2″ (2.5m)

Media

Thickness

60-90um

Interface IrDA

1.0, Serial RS-232 (to PC: D sub 9 pin,

to Printer: Mini Din 8 Pin)

Print

Speed

2ppm

(approximately)

Auto

shut-off

3

minutes with batteries or 1 hour using

AC power adapter

Power

Consumption

15W
Power

Source

4

AA alkaline (included)AC Adapter 9V, 1.5A

(included)

Printer

Weight

8.75

ounces (250g) without batteries or paper,

14 ounces (400g) with batteries and roll

paper

Printer

Dimensions

5.85″

x 4.25″ x .992″ (150mm x 109mm x 25.4mm)

 

 

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