Offices or homes without AirPrint compatible printers currently need to have an AirPrint "server" app like Printopia (US$19.95) running on a machine on the network to act as a gateway to the printers. It can be a pain if you want to print something from your iPad or iPhone and find out that the gateway machine is turned off. Now Lantronix has released the xPrintServer (US$149.95), a hardware print server that provides iOS access to all printers on a network on which it is installed.
The xPrintServer supports a huge variety of printers -- a 104-page PDF document lists all of the printers from Alps to Xerox that it works with. Strangely enough, even the Apple ImageWriter II is on the list!
Lantronix says that installing the xPrintServer is as simple as plugging an Ethernet cable into a router, switch, or hub on a network, after which the device identifies any and all printers on the network and sets up the proper drivers for each. Immediately, the printers appear on the iOS devices, available for printing. The xPrintServer is conveniently just about the same size as an iPhone, although a bit thicker.
We'll be doing a full review of the xPrintServer in the near future, but in the meantime you can fill yourself with anticipation by watching this short video.