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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:36 AM   #1
macmesser
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Best printers for iPad

I need to replace my home printer and figure I might as well get one which will work with my iPad. I'm probably going for a laser multifunction since my print volume at home is low and I'm tired of replacing dried out inkjet cartridges before their time.

Are there any particular specs to look for (Airprint?) or will the iPad print to any wifi printer? Can it print over bluetooth or connected to the printer via USB? I have not yet used my iPad to print anything but I figure if I'm getting a new printer I might as well start, or at least have the capability. Thanks in advance for any insights/recommendations.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:40 AM   #2
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Something else to consider if you have an airport express, you can make any printer a wireless one that will work with airprint.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:44 AM   #3
lyngo
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Something else to consider if you have an airport express, you can make any printer a wireless one that will work with airprint.
How?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:50 AM   #4
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just check and see, but a lot of them you can just plug into the usb port on the printer and make it work

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/#wireless-printing

this software basically makes it compatible with any printer

https://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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Something else to consider if you have an airport express, you can make any printer a wireless one that will work with airprint.
I don't think an Airport creates an AirPrint compatible printer out of one that isn't, it simply creates a wireless printer connection. The printer still has to have AirPrint firmware.

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Originally Posted by mattopotamus View Post
this software basically makes it compatible with any printer

https://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/
Yeah, you'll need an app/software solution. Printopia is supposed to be pretty slick, I actually got it in my MacHeist bundle Since it's a service on a Mac, that obviously means you have to have the Mac up and running to access the printer via the iOS device, not an issues for most folks. The printer can be connected to the Mac over WiFi (using an Airport, or pretty much any router with USB/peripheral sharing).

Also, if you have an old Windows machine sitting around, there's a free app you can run to share printers across AirPrint, it also works extremely well, I had it running on a Netbook we had sitting around, with a printer connected to to it via USB, hit print on the iPad, printer showed right up.

(If anyone is interested in the latter option, I can find the relevant links...)
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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(If anyone is interested in the latter option, I can find the relevant links...)
I have a PC at home and would be interested
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Something else to consider if you have an airport express, you can make any printer a wireless one that will work with airprint.
That's interesting. I have an old airport express. Wonder if it will work.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:12 AM   #8
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Alternatively, you can download printopia to print via your Mac printers.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:19 AM   #9
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I picked up a canon mx892 from amazon on black friday that was on sale for a short time for $49(normal $199) that has airprint on it. I havent actually used it yet but it got great review for use with airprint and the best part is you can buy a complete 5 pack of ink for it for $5 from amazon. It is supposed to arrive today so hopefully this evening I will be printing from my ipad and iphone...
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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I picked up a canon mx892 from amazon on black friday that was on sale for a short time for $49(normal $199) that has airprint on it. I havent actually used it yet but it got great review for use with airprint and the best part is you can buy a complete 5 pack of ink for it for $5 from amazon. It is supposed to arrive today so hopefully this evening I will be printing from my ipad and iphone...
It was $59.99, and never been $199. It was around $100-115.


BTW, those $5 inks are simply garbage.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:22 AM   #11
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Subscribed....I too need a wireless printer so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. I'm always unsure as to which one, I don't want to go out and just grab anything off the shelf that says wireless....
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:31 AM   #12
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I got last year a Canon PIXUS with AirPrint. Works very well. It's ink, the text sometimes is not too sharp; depend lots on the quality of paper sheet.
But printing from iPad works flawless. Happy user here.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:14 AM   #13
macmesser
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Alternatively, you can download printopia to print via your Mac printers.
Seems like a very cool program. Still, needing to keep a desktop on at home so I can print with iPad is less than perfect. Overall, the feature set is pretty compelling.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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Regarding Laser MultiFunction printers I suggest one of these (both support AirPrint):

a) HP LaserJet Pro 400 color MFP M475dw (CE864A) (supports printing on both sides of a page, cheaper printing)
b) HP LaserJet Pro 100 color MFP M175nw (CE866A) (prints only on one side, more expensive printing)

AirPrint enables you to print from your iPad or iPhone directly from any app that has printing support.
Only requirement is that your printer and your iPad or iPhone are on the same WiFi network.

Last edited by netvis; Nov 27, 2012 at 09:49 AM.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:11 PM   #15
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I can vouch for Printopia, it works a treat, and I used it for months, before getting a Lantronix xPrintServer, an iPhone-sized box that you plug into your network, and it finds your networked printers (or you can plug printers into its USB port), and properly advertises them on the local network as AirPrint printers. Works wonderfully. Yes, it's spendy, and I could have put that money towards a new printer, but I really like the one I already have. If you have multiple printers you want to keep, it's a no-brainer.
Hi there,

Care to share a little more detail on printopia? If I had it running on my Mac mini, and the Mac mini went into standby mode, would the printer still be advertised across the network, or do I need to wake it up in order for it to get advertised? That's key for me.thanks
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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Care to share a little more detail on printopia? If I had it running on my Mac mini, and the Mac mini went into standby mode, would the printer still be advertised across the network, or do I need to wake it up in order for it to get advertised? That's key for me.thanks
You'd have to wake up the Mac Mini. The printer advertisement messages have a fairly short lifespan, and are re-sent periodically.

That's why I ended up switching to the xPrintServer, which sits quietly on your network continuously handling the task of advertising the printers - if I had to open/wake up my MacBook Pro to get the printer working... I probably could have just done the task on the MBP in the first place.

So Printopia (and FingerPrint2 which Online pointed out, which is both Mac/Windows) is best for those who have a desktop or server on most of the time (or at least a large percentage of the time that you want to print).
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:41 PM   #17
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I have HP ENVY all-in-one printer, the best looking printer out there.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:55 AM   #18
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I have HP ENVY all-in-one printer, the best looking printer out there.
I wish I had just bit the bullet and purchased the Envy. I went on the cheap with a Photosmart 5110 and it is giving me all shades of grief. Every time I want to print from my iPad 3, printer not shown. Have to turn the printer off, turn the iPad off, reset the router, and turn everything back on. And those are the fixit instructions from HP support .

Does your Envy work flawlessly with your idevices?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:36 AM   #19
marc.garcia
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You'd have to wake up the Mac Mini. The printer advertisement messages have a fairly short lifespan, and are re-sent periodically.

That's why I ended up switching to the xPrintServer, which sits quietly on your network continuously handling the task of advertising the printers - if I had to open/wake up my MacBook Pro to get the printer working... I probably could have just done the task on the MBP in the first place.

So Printopia (and FingerPrint2 which Online pointed out, which is both Mac/Windows) is best for those who have a desktop or server on most of the time (or at least a large percentage of the time that you want to print).
It is too bad that the mini can be waken up automatically when an iOS device runs the AirPrint discovery process.

Can you upgrade your xprintserver in case apple decided to update their AirPrint protocol? Do you own the professional or home version of the server?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:46 AM   #20
CarlJ
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Can you upgrade your xprintserver in case apple decided to update their AirPrint protocol? Do you own the professional or home version of the server?
Yes, it can be upgraded - it has a fairly slick web-based admin interface, and it sends out the proper advertisements to make itself show up as "xprintserver.local" on the local network; log into it with your browser, and you can see current status, tweak printserver settings for printers, look at print queues and log files, and do various admin tasks, including telling it to go check for firmware updates. It's fairly painless to upgrade, and it automatically updated the first time I plugged it in. There have been numerous updates released, though I think they were all before I got mine - I was waiting for the release of the home version, since a) I don't need to run more than 2 networked printers, b) the USB port might come in handy at some point, and c) it was $50ish cheaper than the pro version (which has no USB and no limit on networked printers).

So, this part is conjecture, but I'm fairly certain the hardware between the two is nearly the same, aside from the USB port (maybe the pro model has more RAM, but otherwise they both have to perform all the same tasks) - I think they were initially targeting businesses where people were bringing in their own iPads (a $150 plug-in solution to get the VP's iPad painlessly working with the company's printers is a bargain for the IT department), but found an unexpectedly large potential market of home users who were interested, but put off by the price (a home user with a single inkjet printer can buy a nice new AirPrint-capable replacement for that $150). So they added a USB port (brings in more home users, but less prevalent in corporate settings - and the circuitry may have already been in the chipset, meaning just adding the connector), put in an artificial limit of 2 networked printers (to steer businesses towards the original "pro" version), and released it as the more affordable (i.e. somewhat less sticker shock) "home" version.

Anyway, one could make a good argument that I could have saved a chunk of money if I'd been willing to wake up my MBP on the occasions I needed to print from iOS, but it was/is such a nice solution to the "I want iOS to magically be able to print to my existing printer" problem that I felt it was worth it the cost - pay upfront to avoid many repetitions of a small inconvenience later.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:35 PM   #21
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You'd have to wake up the Mac Mini. The printer advertisement messages have a fairly short lifespan, and are re-sent periodically.
Hi again,

Before I continue, let me just say that this response does not aim at discrediting your response. Don't get me wrong, I'm just adding this for the sake of the completion of the information contained here.

Adding a dedicated server is also quite appealing since the home version now goes for about 100 (Printopia costs 20), it is a solution that works out of the box, and no fumbling is probably needed.

The thing is that while looking up more information on printopia, I discovered this:

Q: Does Printopia require my Mac to be on?

A: Since Printopia runs on your Mac to share printers to iOS devices, the Mac must be on and logged in for Printopia to function. You may be able to take advantage of Apple's "Wake on Demand" feature if your Mac and your base station meet certain specific requirements. See Apple's Wake on Demand support page for more details on this.


On http://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/faq.html

I could possibly try to go with the mini, and fall back to the server solution if the thing go too tricky. Did you try printopia with your Mac in standby, or did you decide to go for the more reliable solution directly?

Thanks a lot in advance,
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:22 PM   #22
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Before I continue, let me just say that this response does not aim at discrediting your response. Don't get me wrong, I'm just adding this for the sake of the completion of the information contained here.
No offense taken I hadn't considered that the router may be able to use Wake on Demand to get the Mac's attention - interesting approach, may very well work (technically, the Mac would be awake to broadcast the advertisement, but only after being prodded by the router).

Edit: to be clear, no I didn't try the Wake on Demand approach.
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