Can't live without… Brother m-Printer
What is it? A tiny (possibly the world's smallest) printer that fits into a jacket pocket and is designed for printing on the move from a laptop or palmtop computer. The device uses A7 (74x105mm) thermal paper that feeds in automatically from its own cassette so you don't have to handle individual sheets each time (the thermal paper is easy to handle and shouldn't curl). M-Print connects to devices via USB or infrared (using the IrDA infrared data standard) and is currently compatible with Windows and PocketPC operating systems (Apple Macintosh and Palm drivers are to follow). It prints four sheets per minute and has a built-in lithium battery.
Do I really need one? We all like to talk up the idea of a paperless office, but equally have to admit there are times when only hard copy will do. If you're driving to a meeting and need to print out a quick agenda or crib notes for yourself, for instance, m-Print makes it possible. While there are plenty of printers that can connect to laptops and are designed to be 'mobile', they are not really practical when it comes to carrying them around in a laptop bag. M-Print is a tool truly built for the road warrior. The Windows driver is able to reduce A4-sized pages on the screen down to A7, so it's practical for all sorts of temporary documentation. You can also feed in adhesive labels and restickable notes. With networking (see page 76) firmly in mind this week, running out of business cards need never be a barrier to making good contacts, as you can print out your details on demand.
Spec: 9.7x15.8x17.5mm; weight 300g