Developer: Lantronix
Price: $95.99
Device Reviewed With: iPad 3, iPhone 5, iPad mini

Usability Rating: ★★★★½
Integration with iPad/iPhone Rating: ★★★★½
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-Use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The Lantronix xPrintServer is one of those rare bits of networking/printing hardware that just…works. I can’t be more effusive in my praise for this device, having been an IT coordinator for a small office in which printers and the network printing thereof was a weekly headache for my staff and I.

The tiny little plastic xPrintServer comes in a nicely packaged box, which includes a plug with several adapters for various national plug configurations, an ethernet cable, and the device itself: a cute little white plastic rectangle that isn’t much bigger than an iPhone 5. One of the short ends of this device has a port for the ethernet cable, the power adapter and a USB port.

Here’s how difficult it was to set up: first, I plugged in the power cord to the wall, and connected the other end to the xPrintServer. I then connected the xPrintServer to my router with the included ethernet cable. Next, I took the flat end of my printer USB cable (the one that usually plugs into the back of my computer), and plugged it into the Lantronix device.

The X at the end of the word LantroniX printed on the top of the device flashed a couple of times, and then settled into a nice slow pulse. I walked to my iPad in the next room, pulled up a Pages document, hit the print dialogue, selected my printer, and it printed.

That’s it! Anyone who’s struggled with printer drivers and network setups and routers and the like, even WiFi printers like mine, will know how amazingly wonderful this setup is. No muss, no fuss. Just instant and easy printing. The xPrint Server will even let me print from my computer on the same Wi-Fi network, making this an affordable, easy way to add a USB printer that is truly accessible from any device I have in my house. Bravo.

The only one niggle I have is the need to plug the xPrintServer into a router, and then into the printer. This means that I had to move my printer nearer my router, away from where it usually sits near the computer. That’s a small issue, of course, since now I can print from my iPad, iPhone, and computer all through the tiny device.

For a hundred bucks, there’s no way to go wrong with this magical device. Buy it, plug it in, print. The end.

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