by Steve Bennett
You can pack a lot of printer into a 5.85- by 4.25- by .99-inch package. A surprising amount, as the SiPix A6 shows. This miniature peripheral actually produces highly legible (400dpi), albeit very small output from a PDA or notebook. While you wouldn’t want to print your own version of War and Peace on it, the SiPix A6 is quite useful for outputting quick notes, to-do lists, individual slides from PowerPoint presentations, and sales receipts.
One of the virtues of SiPix is that it’s truly portable; it will print about 40 to 50 pages on four AA batteries and sports a standard IrDA port, so you won’t have to bring a serial cable when you travel. With paper and batteries, the unit weighs in at 13 ounces. Since the printing process is direct thermal, the printer doesn’t require additional print cartridges or ribbons.
The SiPix can handle rolls of thermal paper or individual cut sheets. The roll paper measures 4.125 inches wide. Users insert rolls via a door on the bottom of the printer and slip the paper through a serrated output slot.
The cut sheets measure 4.125 inches wide as well and are 5.75 inches long. The sheets feed into a slot at the top of the printer.
As for performance, expect about two pages per minute with the size of the active image area (it only measures 3.75 inches), which is fine for the printer’s intended use.
The SiPix is worth considering given its great form factor and quality output. If you’re looking for an out-of-office substitute for printing on the road, however, you’ll need to consider more traditional portable printers.
SIPIX A6 PRINTER
MANUFACTURER: SiPix, Inc; 866-888-1678; www.sipix.com
CONFIGURATION: Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME/Palm OS 3.0 through 3.5/Palm OS 4.0 via driver available on Web site
PROS: Featherweight; tiny footprint; convenient
CONS: Limited use; cost of operation; noise