This Pocket-Sized Printer is Cute But Expensive

As a91de1d8535ee1c7afdc4b83191fd34d9_large[1] geek I am always in favor of new gadgety ways of doing things, whether it's a robot that rolls around on and cleans a tablet screen, or a printer so small that it doubles as a paperweight. Which brings me to today's geekiest gadget. There's a new project up on Kickstarter today which is trying to fund a mobile robotic printer.

Weighing in at 11 ounces, the Mini Mobile Printer from ZUtA Labs packs a couple motors, a circuit board, an ink cartridge, and an inkjet into a cylinder about 4 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter.

The printer works by driving itself across a sheet of paper and depositing ink as it goes. It rides on 4 omni-wheels, and thanks to the unique properties of those wheels this little robot can move in any direction while depositing ink.

It's by no means the highest resolution printer (the prototype has a resolution of 192dpi x 96dpi, far short of the 1200dpi available in most full sized printers), and due to the size limitations of the shell it is limited to grayscale. But this printer is good enough to print an A4-sized sheet in about a minute. The battery is good for up to an hour, and the cartridge is reportedly good for around a thousand pages before it needs to be replaced.


And all for the low, low price of$180 (the white model costs $200). That is pretty expensive, and not just because the resolution is low and the battery is limited.

I went looking for comparable mobile printers, and the one I like most is the HP OfficeJet 100, which offers 5 colors, high resolution, and can print several pages per minute, all for $120 (refurb) or $199 (new).

True, the HP printer isn't as cool as the robot shown above but if I were going to buy a mobile printer I would pick one based on how much it would help me get work done. The robot printer shown above is a great conversation starter but as a functional tool it leaves a lot to be desired.



About Nate Hoffelder (11477 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on This Pocket-Sized Printer is Cute But Expensive

  1. OK, now imagine this being used in a courtroom or at a board meeting, equipped with a voice recognition module, quietly taking down everything that is said. At $180 it’s a lot cheaper than hiring a stenographer, and removes one potential risk to confidentiality. I can see a niche for it.

  2. It’s really nice for someone who doesn’t print much or often.

    The real question is … can it print with a coffee mug on top? (I think that’s the reason why printers are so curvy these days)

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