Technology

ZEBRA GX430t Thermal Printer Review – Compact & High-Quality Printer

One of the most recognizable names in the thermal printing world, ZEBRA, has given us a fantastic thermal printer in the GX430t. Coming in a compact package, the GX430x can switch between the direct thermal printing technology and the thermal transfer printing.

While this printer is not the most affordable option on the market, it has a number of features to back up the high price. People use this printer in a ton of industries, and with its 300dpi output quality, you can print out some sharp-looking barcodes and labels.

If all of that sounds good, let’s jump in and review the ZEBRA GX430t.

 

 

ZEBRA GX430t Printer

Overview

The ZEBRA GX430t is a thermal printer with outstanding features that make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes. The compact design and lightweight construction are one of this printer’s strongest selling points, and you will be able to easily move it around until you find a a suitable place for it in the office.

However, its price tag is high and might be too much for most people. But, for those who don’t have a problem with its price tag and need a quality thermal printer, the ZEBRA GX430t should be on the top of their lists.

Performance and Output Quality

With the higher price tag comes the high quality of printing. While most people can settle with 200 dpi, people in some industries need a higher output quality, and the ZEBRA GX430t is there to deliver.

With the 300 x 300 dpi resolution, the text that comes out of the printer is clean and crisp. There are, of course, better quality thermal printers out there, but for this price, the ZEBRA GX430t delivered pretty well.

We mentioned that this printer can use two thermal printing technologies, just don’t forget that in order to print with thermal transfer technology, you will need a ribbon. This technology increases the printing costs but offers a better quality print.

If you are interested in the difference between the two thermal printing technologies or how a thermal printer works, you can check that out here.

We also have to mention the fast printing speeds that the GX430t has. 4in/sec in pretty fast, and with it you will print out a ton of labels in no time.

Connectivity Options and Setup

The ZEBRA GX430t covers an array of connectivity options, which include the standard USB connectivity, Serial, Parallel, and Ethernet, something we were very pleased to see. To get the most out of the printer, we suggest you connect the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port found on the back of the printer and you will be good to go.

Now let’s move on to the setup. While it takes some time to get it initially set up, the process is not complicated. For Mac and PC users, download and install the newest drivers, connect the printer via USB cable to your device, add the ZEBRA GX430t to the list of printers, and you are ready to print.

Media Size

With the compact size of the printer comes the limitations regarding the largest supported media size. The GX430t supports a maximum width of 4.25″ with the maximum diameter in 5″.

So, those who want to put an 8″ roll in it won’t be able to, but, for most industries, this maximum size is more than enough.

Conclusion

With its high-quality printing and fast printing speeds, this printer is ideal for businesses who need to print labels at low printing costs. While it has its fair share of flaws, like the lack of an LCD, the ZEBRA GX430t provides a lot of value, but it sure will make your office life a lot easier.

By |2022-05-08T14:38:15+01:00May 8th, 2022|Office Equipment Reviews, Technology|

How Does a Thermal Printer Work? – The Complete Explainer

As you might imagine, thermal printing is a hot topic for tech enthusiasts. But it’s actually used for a lot more than just printing on T-shirts and coffee mugs.

How does a thermal printer work? It’s a significant question when it comes to using any sort of printer. But in the case of a thermal printer, it may seem a bit different. As you’re probably aware, a thermal printer uses a thermally sensitive ribbon or paper, which reacts to heat, to transfer ink to a page.

In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at the technology behind thermal printing and some of the many ways it can be used.

How does a thermal printer work

What is a Thermal Printer?

Invented way back in 1965 by Texas Instruments, thermal printers have come a long way. As we have noted, a thermal printer uses a thermal sensitive ribbon or paper, which reacts to heat, to transfer ink to a page. This is the biggest difference when comparing these types of printers to traditional inkjet printing.

This also means that many of the parts of the printer are different, so they require a unique design. Therefore, many people say that a thermal printer looks nothing like a traditional printer.

Now let’s get into more details and learn about the different parts of thermal printers and how they work.

How Does a Thermal Printer Work?

Since it’s a thermal printer, it uses a thermal-sensitive ribbon or paper. When a thermal printer is in operation, it heats the ribbon or paper, which in turn, transfers ink to the page.

The ribbon or paper is a part of the printer that’s responsible for transferring ink to the page. Both are thin, flexible materials that are used to transfer ink to the page.

Heat-sensitive papers are generally used for older printers, while the ribbons are associated with newer and more advanced thermal printers.

Different Types of Thermal Printing

These make up for two different types of thermal printing: direct and transfer printing, which we are about to get into more detail now.

Direct Thermal Printing

The process of direct thermal printing is pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

So the printing process in the thermal printer begins like on any other printer; the first step is to put paper into the paper assembly. When you do that, the thermal printer pulls the paper through the heated printhead to produce the image you wish to print.

Thermal Transfer Printing

Thermal transfer printing is a bit of a different story. As we mentioned, in the process of thermal transfer printing there is no paper, instead, there is a ribbon that is heated.

Next, the ribbon is pulled across the printhead, which transfers the ink to the page. The ribbon is a particularly thin, flexible material that is used to transfer ink to the page. It is coated with a material called wax. The wax is heated by the printhead and transfers the ink to the page.

The thermal transfer printing produces excellent quality prints and the prints that come out are highly durable and resistant.

What are they used for?

Thermal printer printing a receipt

In this day and age, thermal printers are used for a variety of purposes and in many industries, including healthcare, transportation, labeling, and many other.

So, people use them to print photos and images, others use them for barcodes, receipts, and even labels.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Now let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages of thermal printing. These printers produce high-quality prints and are truly silent. This is an enormous advantage over inkjet printers, which can be loud when printing.

However, they are very sensitive and a slight touch can lead them to produce an imperfect print. Along with that, they are not particularly great at printing colored prints, and that is why they are mostly used for printing barcodes and receipts.

By |2022-05-06T01:31:53+01:00May 2nd, 2022|Technology|

How To Make Copies On A Printer – A 7-Step Guide

Many office spaces and home offices are equipped with highly popular all-in-one printers that have three features: printing, faxing, and copying. Those all-in-one printers are quite in-handy pieces of electronic equipment, and you never know when you’ll need one of those features that they have.

Copying is an extremely convenient process and is very simple to do. We will now explain how to make copies on your printer.

Let’s jump to it.

Step 1

The very first step is to connect the printer to a power source properly and then power up your printer by pushing the power button. You can then either pair it up with a device that you wish to control the copying process from or you don’t wish to connect it to a device, many printers have buttons on them that let you control the copying. So, you should check if your printer has that option.

Step 2

Whichever way you want to copy, the next step is the same. Open the lid on your printer and place the document you wish to copy on it, face-down. Place it precisely in the middle so you don’t get a copy with distorted text. After doing that, close the lid.

Step 3

The next step is to choose wheater you want a black and white copy or you want to copy in color. If your printer has a button for black and white and color copying, you can press one of those, or if you are copying from your smartphone, you can choose from the app, or, if you have a more expensive printer with a touchscreen, you can choose there.

Step 4

Moving on, you can choose to shrink or expand the size of the copy if your printer has that option, which is mostly the case with newer printers. You can do it through an app.

Step 5

If you need more than one copy, now is the time to select the number of copies you wish.

Step 6

Once all of these steps are finished, you are ready to copy. If you are, for example, using an HP app, you will get a notice that the printer is ready. Press the button that indicates the start of copying, which may be different in order of which brand of printers you are using.

Step 7

Once the pages are out of your printer, remove them and turn off the printer if you don’t wish to copy some different documents.

Conclusion

That is the end of this how-to guide, and we hope it helped.

If you don’t have a printer, feel free to check out our list of the best all-in-one printers under $200.

Happy copying!

By |2022-01-04T21:38:14+01:00December 31st, 2021|How-Tos, Technology|

10 Fun And Crazy Facts About Printers

Printers have become an important piece of equipment in almost any office or home office in the world. From the invention of the printing press almost 6 centuries ago to the 3d printers we use nowadays, a lot has changed in the world of printers. Printers have become smaller and printing speeds much faster. 

The evolution of printers brought with it a lot of fun facts about them. Some of them are crazy, some of them are amazing and some are downright unbelievable. In this article, you will learn a lot of fun facts about printers, like which were the biggest and smallest ones ever produced, how much energy they use and so on. 

If that sounds good, let’s hop into it and learn about the 10 fun facts about printers:

  • World’s largest printer has a size of 59 ft in length. 

The newest record holder of the world’s largest printer goes to the Dip-Tech AR18000 digital ceramic in-glass printer. There are only two of them in the world, and are capable of printing a pane of glass that covers up a 690 ft square area! However, it doesn’t print paper, rather glass, but the printing process behind it is quite similar. See glass printing in action on another Dip-Tech printer, called the Dip-Tech DX-3, below.

  • The largest 3D printer in the world can print objects that are up to 100 ft long.

3D printers are a giant step in the evolution of printers and a giant step in the evolution of technology. They are now in usage everywhere, from home offices to large 3D printers found in large corporations. However, those can’t compare in size to this absolute monster of a 3D printer. 

Researched for 15 years by the University of Maine and unveiled by them, the largest 3D printer in the world can print pieces that are up to 22 x 100 x 10 ft in size. It can print a one-piece boat! 

  • The smallest mobile color printer is just 72 x 51 x 68mm in size

Made by a company called PrinCube, the world’s smallest mobile printer is designed to be portable and fit in a pocket. It weighs only 160 g which also makes it the world’s lightest printer. The most amazing thing about this tiny printer is that it can print on any material, not just on paper!

Princube - world’s smallest mobile printer
  • World’s smallest all-in-one printer is the HP Deskjet 3755

All-in-one printers have gained a ton of popularity over the years because of their multiple abilities besides printing alone. They are usually big, but HP released the Deskjet 3755, dubbed the “world’s smallest all-in-one printer” which is just 15.86″ x 6.97″ x 5.55″ in size.

HP Deskjet 3755

  • Fuser rollers heat up to nearly 400°F!

Fuser units (two fuser rollers) are parts found on the inside of the printer and they are responsible for melting the toner particles and heating the paper, making the paper itself quite hot when it gets out of the printer.

Fuser Roller

Fuser roller

  • Toner melts at a much lower temperature

When you are thinking about fuser rollers heating to such abnormal temperatures, you would think that the toners melt at those similar temperatures, but that is actually not the case. Put the toner below some slightly more heated water and you could see it melting. Crazy, right?

  • Laser printer actually uses much more energy than your PC

Even though it’s much smaller than the PC, when printing, a laser printer uses as much as three times more energy than a regular desktop PC.

  • The fastest printer on the planet can print up to 150 pages in one minute!

Made by a brand called RISO, their ComColor 9050 printer can print 150 colored prints in a minute. That is blazing fast. Compare it to the regular laser printers, which can print 20 or slightly more pages per minute, depending on the model, and this fact becomes even more amazing.

  • 3 Times the Earth can be circled over:

by discarded and unrecycled printer cartridges. That is a crazy fact, and a pretty sad and terrible one, since printer cartridges are a tremendous threat to the Earth’s whole environment.

Bonus fact: The world’s most expensive printer is the IBM Infopoint 2085, which costs slightly more than 30000$! It’s an absolutely massive printer and it means serious business. Nothing like those printers made for home offices that you can get for under $150.

By |2021-11-17T12:57:26+01:00November 5th, 2021|Pastime, Technology|

Evolution Of Printers – From Its Origins To This Day

The turning point in history was the invention of the printing press by the German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg around 1440. Those were big, bulky machines that helped to propel mass communication and made big changes to the evolution of society in general. That is known as the Printing Revolution. Safe to say, a lot has changed since then, and now you can have wireless and 3d printers in the comfort of your own home.

The invention of inkjet printing in 1950 helped a lot if the efforts to bring printing to everyone and from that moment, the evolution of printing and printers just skyrocketed. From hand-operated presses to 3d printers that can print and make various objects, even bridges. Yes, bridges! The evolution of printers is, to say the least, a fun and interesting topic.

If you want to know more, go with us on this amazing journey.

Origins of printing

Even though that Gutenberg invented the printing press over 600 years ago, the idea behind printing actually began much further away in history. Five thousand years ago to be exact, in Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians used seals to signal that they were owners of particular objects.

But, to print something on paper, you’ll need paper, and the Egyptians are credited for the invention of the earliest known form of paper, called the papyrus. It was made from the papyrus plant that was found, in those ancient times, across the river of the Nile, the longest river in the world, which stretches across most of the Egyptian territory. After that, the evolution of paper took place in Anatolian Greece, Ancient China, and Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Ancient Egyptian artwork on a papyrus

As papers evolved, so the idea of printing began to take shape. The earliest known form of printing originated in China, almost two thousand years ago. It’s called woodblock printing and it was popular throughout East Asia at that time, and it was actually not the process of printing on paper, rather on the cloth. Even though that printing techniques have been used throughout Asia for quite some time, they were first used in Europe, not before the beginning of the 15 century.

Printing Press

Then, the revolution began with the invention of the printing press in Mainz, Germany, by Johannes Gutenberg. That had a tremendous impact on European society at the time, as the access to various books improved and helped massively in the creation of public libraries.

For almost five centuries the principles of printing remained almost the same, and that should speak more than enough of Gutenberg’s genius.

Still, that doesn’t mean that the printing process in the printing press that Gutenberg invented was easy. Firstly, it can’t be done by just one person, as the task requires two persons, as the device was huge, nothing compared to the printers we see today at home. But, before that, most of the books that you can see before the invention of the printing press were hand-copied by monks, and that was an even more slower and detailed process, not to mention that they weren’t been available to a lot of people.

Gutenberg’s printing press, to put it simply, worked like this: there are inked type blocks, placed in reverse, made from wood or metal and they are used to create words. Then, with the help of a roller, the ink from the type blocks is then being transferred to the paper, hence the process of printing is then complete. Obviously, there are a lot more details and processes on how it worked, which you can see here.

Xerography

A printing technique that propelled the whole printing process to modern times was surely xerography. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique developed by Chester Carlson. He was so fascinated by the works of Pál Selényi, a Hungarian engineer, that he was so determined to develop xerography.

The first-ever picture printed with this revolutionary technique saw the light of day in 1938, in Seattle, Washington. The electrically charged surfaces help the dry ink to attach to the printer’s drum, therefore this printing technique creates a higher quality picture. That was a huge step forwards in the improvement of printing quality and in bringing printers to homes. In 1959 the massively successful xeroxing copier was introduced, named the Xerox 914 Copier. That copier weighed almost 700 lbs, which is unthinkable by the standards nowadays when you have the copying option in an all-in-one printer that costs under $150. For a long time, the Xerox company didn’t have much competition in the printers and copiers world.

Laser printers

Almost thirty years since the invention of xerograph printing, another breakthrough happened in the evolution of printers. In the 1960s, new printing technology was invented, called laser printing.

Printer toners close-up

It was invented by Gary Starkweather, an American engineer, and worker at the product development department at the previously mentioned Xerox. Laser printers use, as their name suggests, a laser beam that transfers information to the printer’s drum. The static electricity then builds up, attracting the toner, and not the ink (which laser printers don’t need) which then gives you a high-quality picture.

Laser Printer

Inkjet printers

Unlike the laser printers which use a laser, the inkjet printers have a nozzle that transfers the ink to the paper. That concept was developed even earlier than the laser printers, back in the 1950s. However, their development took a long time and inkjet printers hit the market in the 80s. But, in the 1970s, inkjet printers were able to print pictures from computers, which was a tipping point.

All-in-one printers

Similarly how Steve Jobs introduced iPhone to the world in 2007, as a device that is an iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone, and an internet communicator all-in-one, the all-in-one printers, which appeared in the 1990s, was a device capable of printing, copying, and scanning. Pretty cool, right?

Nowadays, these kinds of printers are everywhere, as it is better to have a printer with multiple capabilities than to get a separate printer and a copier. They are also rather small and there are many affordable options on the market.

Wireless printer

The wireless printer was invented almost 30 years ago, in 1993 to be exact, by Andrew Clams. That was a huge invention that enables printers to connect to a wireless network and gets rid of unnecessary cables while also letting you print remotely. Most of today’s printers are wireless and it’s pretty much considered a must that a printer needs to have wireless or Bluetooth connectivity.

3D Printers

Seems crazy, but the 3D printers were actually invented earlier than the wireless printers, in 1984, by Charles Hull. 3D printing technology is nowadays used in most industries to create numerous products.

It’s a huge revolution in the world of technology and it will certainly make an even bigger impact on the world as time goes by. As opposed to printing on paper, the 3D printers give you a three-dimensional object by adding layers on top of each other.

Now that you’ve learned about the whole evolution process of printers, see the 10 fun facts about printers!

By |2021-11-09T15:59:09+01:00October 19th, 2021|Pastime, Technology|

10 Ways Technology Has Affected Workplaces

We all know technology is growing and developing at a rapid rate, that is no secret.

It has improved the ways people work through history, and never it improved more than in this modern-day and age. Never in history was it possible that you can just pull up your laptop at home or in a cafe and work, earning a living like that. And that is just one way it has impacted our work, workplaces, and our life.

It has impacted workplaces around the world in more ways than you can think of.

Let’s see what are those ways.

Office

More efficient, faster workflow

Efficiency and faster work are very important factors in a workplace. Employees work faster and more efficiently than ever thanks to the growth of technology. The tools that technology gives the workers enable them to get difficult tasks done in less time, keeping clients satisfied and workers happy.

Technology in the workplace also gives workers more free time for themselves, to relax or spend it on thinking about new, creative ideas.

Team collaboration – easier to work together

The development of online collaboration tools brought the ability to work whenever, from wherever we want. Never in history has this been easier and better. You can connect to anyone in any location. Technology facilitates communication among team members and reduces the time and expense associated with group work: from something as simple as sharing a document to executing a sophisticated engineering project.

Industrial Style Workplace

Remote working

Today, support for the remote workers is outstanding. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office rather than at home. The mobile workforce means that a company is not restricting its accessible talent pool to its geographical area and can even have offices for different operations scattered around the globe communicating and working together flawlessly.
This has also been a very positive factor for companies, in terms of savings. Companies that allow workers to work from home have a lot fewer costs since the worker uses his own space, hardware, utilities…

However, a percentage of workers said that they are lonely because of this since they are not being social and interacting with colleagues. And with that, their productivity level drops.

That is one of the biggest, if not the biggest impact of technology, the work itself being remote.

Dress code – new, casual look

You knew this will be one of the things that technology changed. Back in the day, workers wore uniforms or formal suits, but nowadays that isn’t the case anymore. Workspaces have become more casual and with that, the dress code has become more casual as well. Workers can wear a simple shirt, instead of a suit and tie. Keep in mind that isn’t the case everywhere in the world, but certainly, technology changed the dress code so much.

Technology is changing office design

You’ve seen it in movies and tv shows countless times. More and more big technology companies are designing their spaces to be more open, without walls between rooms with huge desks, hence the name “open office“. So, technology really did change the design, layout, and feel of the workplace.

Big Open Office

No static office?

Because technology is developing and growing at a rapid rate, it has given us jobs that didn’t exist 10, 15, 20 years ago. And you can do those jobs on your laptop from your home office, bedroom, garden or cafe.

That gives the worker plenty of free time for themselves that you just couldn’t have 20 years ago.

Generally speaking, in this department, technology has given plenty of people more freedom in their lives and the number of freelancers is growing each day.

Online communications

This is another huge aspect that has technology changed. Looking from a positive side, communicating online makes it much easier for workers to talk to each, other even if they are not in the same room, working on a new, big project. They don’t need to be in the same state!

But, it also has a negative side to it. Some bosses may ask their workers to be online and active after the workday has ended and that can impact workers very negatively, raising their stress level and unhappiness. This also makes a worker look at the screen the whole day, which is not healthy.

So, like most of the things technology changes, there are good and bad sides to it.

Distractions

Focus is a very important part of work because “Focused hard work is the real key to success” as John Carmack said. And being focused is a really hard thing to do nowadays. Technology causes many distractions like getting a thousand notifications on your phone while working, multiple emails, entertainment services, and many other things. All of that keeps you away from an important task and makes it harder to regain focus.

A survey has found that almost half of students are distracted by technology usage in class!

Technology taking over

By now, we know that technology has changed the workplace and work itself in so many ways, unimaginable 15-20 years ago.

And it will change even more in the future.

Advanced technology may replace workers themselves, make a lot of positions and departments disappear, leaving those workers who have dedicated their lives to their job, jobless. And that is making a lot of people anxious.

Automated technology

We have to end this list on the positive side.

A big number of workers, almost half, is spending a lot of time of the week (quarter) on repeated duties. And that is where automated technology comes into play. It allows workers to have more time to spend on important and challenging tasks, that require more time and effort.

So why waste time doing a boring, repetitive job that technology can do for you?

By |2021-03-22T13:56:27+01:00March 19th, 2017|Technology|