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Over the years, there have been many attempts at making truly portable printers, with the idea being for them to accompany busy people and their laptops. Most of them, though smaller than their desktop cousins, are still bulky machines, requiring a separate bag to carry them. PLANon's PrintStik PS910 is quite capable of slipping into the average laptop bag, though, and doesn't even require you to carry a supply of paper.
This metal and plastic stick is quite unconventional in design. It's around a third wider than a sheet of A4 paper (it actually uses a paper roll the width of a US Letter page) and under 50mm high. It weighs under 400g, so is very easy to move about and it will slip into the accessories pouch of a laptop bag and hardly be noticed.
At the top front of its body are two membrane switches, for power and paper feed and three LED indicators, for power, print and battery life. A single, miniature USB socket at the left-hand end of the printer's body is the only physical connection to the world, though the PS910 is also Bluetooth-compatible and will work with several types of phone, once paired with them. These include RIM Blackberry, SmartPhone and PocketPC devices, though you'll need to copy a driver across to your host device, before you'll be able to print to the PrintStik.
The printer uses a thermal print head, running the full width of the paper, to print black pixels onto treated paper. A roll of this paper fits into a holder, which is an integral part of the PrintStik's mechanism and spare rolls can be bought in packs of six, as the only consumable.
With the paper cartridge in place, you don't need to carry any separate supplies and the printer can produce up to 20, letter-length pages from a single roll, so about 19 pages at A4-length.
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