The first printer I ever owned was a dot matrix device that was roughly the size of a vacuum cleaner. The additional spiral bound box of paper was the size of most desktop computers and all together it needed its own stand in the corner of the room. 15 years later, Brother’s latest printer fits in my jacket pocket. Times have most definitely changed.
The MW-140BT is a sleek metal-cased unit that measures just 100x160x17.5mm and weight a paltry 300g including battery and paper. Quick readers among you will have already worked out that this isn’t A4, it’s A7 in fact, and the unit is still only capable of producing black and white prints by a thermal line head process.
Building on Brother’s m-Print range of printers the shape and design hasn’t changed. The exciting element of this version therefore is the addition of Bluetooth to the unit making it more portable than ever with Pocket PC units. For those still lacking Bluetooth, a USB cable is supplied to connect it to a PC and unfortunately for Mac users while the Bluetooth enabled units will recognise it, the lack of printer driver support excludes the USB option.
To add portability of it all, the unit’s powered by a concealed rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
Paper is available in five different sizes and prices range from £2.50 to £5.50 for 50 sheets. The largest is A7 (74x105mm) with a printable area of 69x100mm - the software will shrink an A4 document to fit, however be prepared to get your glasses out. Other options include labels, cut labels - 2 per A7 sheet, cut labels - 4 per sheet (both ideal for addresses), and carbon copy paper.
The printer is capable of a mono resolution of 300x300 dpi and while some commentators have issues with thermal printing, the level that you would use this for, ie notes and labelling the results are perfectly satisfactory.
The trouble with PDAs has always been how to print out your data. This Brother printer solves that problem. The unit’s sleek, stylish and better yet, small enough to carry around with you - think small address book size. The accompanying software means you can print everything from PocketWord files to screengrabs and if you need to share notes around class this is certainly a great way to do it. The MV-100 range was good, but the addition of Bluetooth has made this a truly excellent portable device.