新玩具:热敏打印机

前些日子在 Kickstarter 上支持了一个名为 mPrinter 的项目

有兴趣的可以点击过去看看,这是一款为现代人设计的小型热敏打印机。将它与 WiFi 连起来之后,你就可以打印了。因为是小型产品,所以它打出来的纸张没有 A4 那么大,只有两英寸宽而已。这种纸张跟超市的收据一般大小,你应该见过不少。

mPrints Demo
mPrinter 打印出来的 mPrints

听上去,这个项目跟英国公司 BERG Cloud 在去年十一月公布的 Little Printer 项目类似:两者都是使用热敏纸来打印,两者都支持 WiFi,两者目前都没有出货。

与 mPrinter 相比,Little Printer 更精致(白痴,可爱,讨喜)一些。它的外观设计得更巧妙,甚至还会打印笑脸作为待机画面。更不用说去年项目公布的时候,有一海票媒体进行了铺天盖地的宣传。反观 mPrinter,这是一个更实在的项目。它目前只在 KickStarter 上有个网页,只需要一万美元作为启动资金,机身是毫无想象力的黑色,而且看上去体积要比 Little Printer 大一圈。

The mPrinter Prototype
正在研发阶段的 mPrinter

尽管“热敏打印机进家庭”的概念最早由 Little Printer 提出,但最后我还是把资金投向了 mPrinter 项目,我的理由有四:

  • 首先,Little Printer 太慢了,去年十一月项目宣布以来,直到上周一点动静都没有。反而是在 mPrinter 筹款成功之后立即开始预订。
  • 然后,Little Printer 太贵了。从目前的预售价格来看,要卖到 USD289,而 mPrinter 仅售 USD120。
  • 其次,mPrinter 内置 WiFi,整体只有一根电源线。Little Printer 却带有一个神奇的桥接盒,整体有两套电源系统。
  • 最后,mPrinter 是开源的,且基于 Arduino。而 Little Printer 是闭源的。

尽管如此,我不得不说明 Little Printer 仍然值得入手。它预计将在今年十月发货,所以如果你不能等到明年二月,那现在就可以下单。此外,Little Printer 背后有一家公司在支撑,而 mPrinter 目前只是一个人项目。Little Printer 拥有更多的合作伙伴,我在演示图里看到了 Foursquare,Instagram,卫报和 BBC 的标志。

但对于我来说,我节省了 USD160,这不是一笔小钱。既然我已经等了九个月,我不介意继续再等下去。最重要的是,我喜欢开源的东西,不管是软件还是硬件。

如我之前提到的,热敏打印机在超市里经常能看到,它真的可以做更多事情。就说一个例子,我不会在一张 A4 纸上打印一份菜谱,因为那样实在是太浪费了。但热敏纸就不一样了,单位成本虽然高,但它省纸。在 mPrinter 的项目评论里,我看到了更多有趣的点子:菜谱,任务清单,地图,数独……

截止到目前,这个项目已经有将近三百位投资者,总筹款金额也达到了三万五千美元。

我还在继续等,等它发货之后再评测吧。

———- English ———-

I backed a project

Yes. I just backed a project on KickStarter.

The project I backed is mPrinter, a small, portable thermal printer for modern people. After hooked up with WiFi (AdHoc or hotspot), you can get receipt like printings with content from web or your smartphone.

Sounds familiar right? Last November, a UK company named BERG Cloud announced Little Printer. It’s a cute little thermal printer with similar concept.

Compared with mPrinter, Little Printer is more like a cute gadget. It has a better design, bigger announcement and countless media coverage. It even prints a smiling face as the standby “screensaver”.

The mPrinter, however, is much more modest. It’s yet another kickstarter project, which pledges 10K dollars only. The body is a black box (while Little Printer outfit is light gray).

Even the concept was first adopted by Little Printer, I gave my money to mPrinter finally. I made such a decision because:

  1. Little Printer is too slow. BERG Cloud made the announcement in November , 2011. They started preorder this week. Before that, I didn’t see anything they did.
  2. Little Printer is more expensive. The preorder price will be USD289. While mPrinter asks for USD120.
  3. mPrinter has WiFi embed while Little Printer has a weird, separated powered bridge.
  4. mPrinter is open source.

But the Little Printer is still considerable. It will ship in two months. Take it if you can’t wait. And there’s a whole company behind. They must have talked with a lot of partners. In the demo pages, I find out Foursquare, Instagram, The Guardian and BBC.

For me, I’m saving 160 dollars. Since I’ve been waiting for nine months, it’s ok to wait another few months. The most important is, I love open source!

It’s a thermal printer, which is quite common at stores and supermarkets. They are used for printing receipts. But small printer is sometimes very useful. One example, I don’t want to print just one recipe on an A4 sized paper. In the comments, I found more ideas about what the small thermal printer can do in real world: recipes, task lists, maps, Sudoku.

Now the project reached its goal of 10K dollars. I’m waiting for shipping. More comments will be posted after trying out the real thing.

“新玩具:热敏打印机”的5个回复

  1. 额。。。 06年时候做过一个连云港交警的项目。。。交警用nokia s60手机开罚单。。。只记得打印机是蓝牙串口,体积就是两个过去的BP机那么大,其实很小,跟图中的差不多。。。热敏应该是的。。。镍氢电池。。。。。。

  2. 最近不是报道热敏纸含有对人体有害物质,不环保吧。热敏的优点:成本低,耗电小,噪音小,速度快。
    大型超市都是针打的。

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