THERMAL PRINTING LIVES

The Printstik PS910 is a nice little portable printer from Planon that uses thermal paper rolled up inside. You can give it the file to print either through a USB cable or wirelessly by Bluetooth from a Blackberry smart phone or Windows computer. List price is around $300 from printstick.com.

The printer weighs around 1.5 pounds and is about two inches wide and 11 inches long. It works off its own built-in battery, which is good for 30 pages. It can be recharged from a wall outlet or a car cigarette lighter. Because it uses thermal paper, the output is black and white only.

This small printer holds a roll of thermal paper that is the equivalent of about 20 single sheet pages. It canPrintStikprint graphics in gray scale but the output looks best if you can feed it a line drawing. Speed is decent, providing about three pages a minute. Thermal printing has been around a long time, 30 years at least, and still has a place. It works by striking chemically treated paper with a set of heated pins to create black dots. Print quality is not what you would get from an inkjet or laser printer but it is adequate and not difficult to read. Do not put the printed sheet on a hot surface or the whole thing will turn black.

 

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