All printer manufacturers have by now released apps in the various app markets making it possible to print from a smartphone or tablet. HP also introduced Wi-Fi Direct and ePrint, which have the added advantage of not requiring apps on your mobile device. With Wi-Fi Direct you just need to connect with a Wi-Fi printer the way you connect to a wireless router. This allows you to print directly on a compatible printer without having to connect to a router first. ePrint does require a router because it needs to send an email to the printer, but its advantage is that it doesn't matter which OS your mobile device has. All you need is an email program.
However, every mobiel printing technology has its downsides. The main problem is that you're often stuck with a particular brand. ePrint is an interesting feature, but if you don't own an HP printer, you can't use it. The same is true for brand-specific apps that you can install on your tablet or smartphone. When you have several different brands in your network, this can cause problems.
The Lantronix xPrintServer that we are reviewing here works on almost any type of printer. The only requirement is that your printer has a (wireless) network connection and that your mobile device is an Apple product. This is because the print server only works with iOS (4.2 and up). It makes sense in a way, since it is easier to develop a quality product for a single operating system such as iOS, rather than a large number of Android versions. (The arrival of Android version 4 is a step in the right direction, though.) The fact that iPads still outsell Android tablets also plays a role of course.