So far, I’ve never needed to print out a document, a web page or an email directly from my iPad or iPhone. But if I did, it would be a bother, since these devices don’t have convenient USB ports or any other simple way to extract stuff from them. So I guess I would have to email the document from the iDevice to my computer, then print it from there.
But a lot of people are using their iThing for need-to-print-out-NOW stuff, and this, the xPrintServer, makes that a matter of simply hitting print – no software or apps involved. Setting up the xPrintServer is tricky, but a one-off. The roughly iPhone 4-sized box needs to be plugged into the mains, your router and your printer, which presupposes that the printer lives near the router, so a degree of reorganisation could be necessary. But if your livelihood depends on printing stuff out daily from your iPhone or iPad, this could be a life-changer. And if you do go for the xPrintServer, all your computers will be able to use one printer, as it’s now networked. That is useful.