The best mobile printer types are available in multiple designs to meet the needs and preferences of a variety of mobile workers. Form factors include devices wearable on a belt or shoulder strap, or securely mounted on a vehicle or a cart. Finding the best form factor requires a clear understanding of the work environment, collecting valuable user input, and establishing procedures for improving printing convenience. Mobile printers must be comfortable and easy to use, or they will not deliver productivity benefits. While overall weight is important, balance, grip and ease of carrying and operation are also critical. Printers also must efficiently accelerate the transaction, or else operators will not use the technology.
There are several common classes of mobile printers:
Workers can wear printers using either a belt clip or a shoulder strap, giving them the flexibility to keep their hands free for other tasks. Users are able to comfortably carry printers with belt clips or shoulder straps, reducing fatigue, especially in high-use environments. A wireless connection between the wearable printer and the mobile computer maximizes mobility and enhances usability, while eliminating the need for cumbersome communication cables. Many wearable printers feature durable construction, convenient media handling and battery-saving features, and offer a variety of print widths, media capabilities and other functionality.
Mobile printers support mounting into most vehicles, including emergency response vehicles, police cruisers, forklifts and delivery trucks. While the mount is permanent and secure in the vehicle, the printer can be easily removed for POS transactions, such as DSD or route accounting operations. Mounted printers may be battery operated or hard-wired to a vehicle power adapter or battery eliminator. Although it is possible to adapt stationary printers for use in trucks and material handling equipment, it is generally preferable to use a mobile printer for the operation. Ruggedised mobile printers and vehicle accessories are built to withstand the shock and vibrations of vehicles and have power management, media handling and user interface features optimized for mobile applications.
Vehicle mounts are available for Zebra’s P4T, QLn420 and RW series mobile printers. With Zebra’s RW series printers, users can choose an intuitive pushbutton- or lever-release cradle, which allows for convenient storage and charging in the vehicle and easy removal for bringing along to a customer transaction.
Stationary and tabletop printers offer mobility when users mount them on a movable cart. This configuration is ideal for when the application requires more media capacity or added functionality beyond the capabilities of a smaller mobile printer. Typical applications include print jobs that require high-volume output or a variety of media sizes, colours, formats, etc. Cart-mounted printers require a power or battery supply, as well as a connection to a PC or portable computer through either a communications cable or the 802.11b/g wireless network.
If you are wondering what the best mobile printer type is for your business, or if you need more information, please contact our mobile printing experts here today!
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