This is a comprehensive guide about pos printer that are available in the market.
We will go through each of them and explain which one fits you the best.
If you do not want to read the entire article, in short we recommend Epson TM-T20 or Star TSP-100 ethernet based printer.
Pos printer is segregated into a few interface categories, each with their own pros & cons.
There are USB, serial, parallel, ethernet, bluetooth, and Wi-Fi interface available, however we will only discuss about ethernet, bluetooth and Wi-Fi interface in this guide as the others does not work with MobiPOS.
This is the most common interface printer available.
This pos printer requires an ethernet (RJ45) cable connected from the printer to the router.
As it is cabled, your printer can be located as far as your cable able reach.
Connection is also generally more stable as you have less interference compared to wireless printer.
Most kitchen printer would choose this interface as they are far from where the router or iPad is placed.
Bluetooth Printer If you are kiosk or pop up store and range is not an issue, bluetooth printer can be put into good use.
As your setup is simple, bluetooth printer connects directly to the iPad without the need of a router.
This reduces the need of connecting cables between the router and printer, single power cable to the bluetooth printer would be sufficient.
If the bluetooth printer is battery powered, then there will be zero cable in your setup.
Though, bluetooth printer is not all perfect. Depending on the printer model, you might not be able to have multiple bluetooth printers connected to the same iPad or being shared by different iPads.
If your setup requires only 1 printer, this would be fine.
Anything more, you might have to check on the specification of the printer.
Furthermore, bluetooth printer is generally more expensive.
Wi-Fi Printer Wi-Fi printer uses the same technology as ethernet based printer, the only difference is that ethernet based printer requires cable to connect to the router while Wi-Fi printer transmit data over the air to the router.
Use Wi-Fi printer if you think there’s absolute no way to lay cable to the printer location.
Connection will not be as stable if Wi-Fi coverage at the area is weak.
Comparing to bluetooth printer, Wi-Fi printer range is further, however it requires a router.
USB Printer USB printer does not work with MobiPOS.
However only with Star TSP-100, a direct connection of USB to lightning port of the iPad does work.
Brand & Model
Common brand we see in the market would be Star or Epson printer which we recommend.
However you would want to choose the right vendor which could provide support to you when your printer is faulty.
There are also a bunch of china made OEMs printer which are much more affordable, however they compensate in terms of support and quality.
After choosing the right interface for the printer, each brand has its own sets of printer model which you can choose from. What do you need to know?
Printout Size 3 inch paper width would be the common receipt size in the market, you can use 2 inch if you want a smaller printer due to your store size.
The smaller the size, the font size printed on paper would be smaller.
Or else, it will fit less characters per line in it.
Printing Speed Depending on your usage and turnover rate.
Printer used to print receipt at the side of cash register should use printer with faster printing speed.
While printer in the kitchen could go with the slower ones.
Printing speed is measured in inch/second, the faster it prints the more it costs for the printer.
Printing Method 2 common printing modes are thermal and impact printing.
Thermal printer is the most common, it uses heated pin to print on heat-sensitive paper.
Thermal printer is fast and commonly used for counter top.
Impact/dot matrix printer works by banging a head or needle against an ink ribbon to make a mark on the paper.
Impact printer would generate a louder noise when printing. This could be good in the kitchen as chef would be notified when orders come in.
Ribbon has to be changed from time to time when the roll comes to an end.
Printing done by impact printer is permanent while thermal printout fades after a period of time.
Impact printer support 2-ply carbonless paper so you could have 2 printout in one go.
Certain model supports printing 2 different color, for example printing modifier orders in red.
While it is not possible for us to list out all supported models, here are some common ones:
1) Epson TM-M30
2) Star SM-S220
3) Star TSP-100IIIBI
4) Star TSP-650BTI
5) Star Star mPOP
6) Bixolon SPP-R300
1) Epson TM-T20
2) Epson TM-T88VI
3) Epson TM-U220 (Impact Printer)
4) Star TSP-100
5) Star TSP-650
6) Bixolon SRP-350
If you have any doubt whether the printer you own is supported by MobiPOS, feel free to contact us.