Considering Mobile Printers?—See this White Paper from Zebra Technologies


Mobile printers are being used in a variety of ways across multiple industries, from ticketing and labeling, to point of sale transactions.  They are helping businesses improve productivity, accuracy, and responsiveness.  If you are in the process of looking at various options for mobile printers, you may want to check out the white paper from Zebra Technologies entitled “Understanding Mobile Printing Technology and Capabilities.” The paper is a general overview of the basics of mobile printing and its various applications.

In the first section, the authors examine the types of mobile printers and the applicable usages of each type based on user, customer and location parameters. They outline the advantages and disadvantages of wearable mobile printers, vehicle mounted mobile printers and cart mounted mobile printers, and describe available accessories to make the mobile printers more ergonomically comfortable and convenient to use.

A major section of the Paper is devoted to wireless connections for mobile printers. While technology has certainly advanced since this document was written in 2007, the basics and benefits of wireless over cabled connections for mobile printers are valid. Several case studies are included in this section to illustrate the cost efficiencies of wireless technologies for cable replacement. Additionally, two such technologies, Bluetooth® and Infrared light (IR) are described in detail. The authors also address wireless networking and its capabilities in receiving and printing for various enterprise applications.

The third section addresses print methods and media, with emphasis on thermal printing. The authors distinguish the applications between direct thermal and thermal transfer, and offer pros and cons for each type of printing. They then explain why direct thermal is the dominant method used in mobile printing: “…the simplicity and convenience of the technology are true advantages in mobile applications. The ribbon-free design is simpler, lighter and more reliable, and users don’t have to carry spare ribbons.”

There are two additional sections to this Paper: power management and applications for mobile printers. Power management addresses battery life considerations and offers specifics on various battery options for mobile printers. The authors recommend lithium-ion cells for their high power-to-volume and power-to-weight ratio. They note that while more expensive, “…in a typical [mobile] printer application, a lithium-ion battery pack producing 7.2 volts had 30 percent more power than a nickel metal-hydride pack, with half the volume and half the weight.”

The applications section includes some case studies and provides specifics on how mobile printing can be of benefit in various vertical applications. The authors have identified 10 different industries and explained potential usages for mobile printers: field sales and service, hospitality, hospitals and labs, law enforcement, manufacturing, postal/parcel/logistics, retail, transportation, utilities, and warehousing and distribution.

To download “Understanding Mobile Printing Technology and Capabilities” in its entirety, go to

You’ll also find additional resources on Zebra’s website that explore the applications and benefits of mobile printing in other industries. See Zebra’s ROI calculators for Mobile Workforce Printing, Retail Mobile Printing, Warehouse Mobile Printing, and Printer Monitoring, to explore how mobile printers could benefit your business.


Zebra Technologies Corporation, based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, operates in over 100 countries and serves more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies worldwide. For more information about Zebra‘s solutions visit


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