Ever since iOS 4.2, when Apple introduced AirPrint, which allows for printing from iOS devices, it's been painful for many people to find out that it only works with a handful of printers.
This means when you find out that your beloved printer is not on the supported list, you have two options: get a new one or try to hack your way into making it work. Neither is as easy as the third option that Lantronix announced today, the xPrintServer.
According to the company, this is a little device, about the size of an iPhone, that you can plug into an existing network using a regular RJ45 (CAT5) cable. It allows all iOS-based devices to print to any printers connected to the same network, without any further configuration or additional software/app. Lantronix claims that xPrintServer currently supports thousands of printer models from major vendors, including HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, Dell, Lexmark, and Xerox.
This is a great news, however the xPrintServer only supports network printers. This means it doesn't help with printers that are connected directly to your computer via an USB port. The device comes with just one network port and will need an available LAN port from your router or switch to work. It also require an external power source.
Lantronix hinted that the new print server is designed mostly for the business environment, which makes sense since a lot of people use iDevices for business purposes. The xPrintServer is slated to be available early next year and estimated to cost around $150.