1. #1

    Printer that doesn't require a power outlet? and a hotspot question

    At my work my dad would like his salesmen to be able to print stuff while at boat shows. We're basically in the middle of a parking lot with no access to power while we're at the boat shows.

    I googled it a little bit but I didn't see anything, so I'm wondering if this is even possible. Can we hook up a printer to a laptop without having to worry about our access to power? If it is possible, what are some printer models that can do this?

    While I'm hear I figure I'll ask this question too. The laptop is also going to need internet access, and again, we're not going to have access to wifi out in the middle of a parking lot. I know one option is to tether a phone to it, but is there another way, or what is the best way to go about this?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by grandpab View Post
    what are some printer models that can do this?
    Google (portable, mobile, compact, or battery) + printer.
    Last edited by openair; 2013-01-04 at 06:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by openair View Post
    Google (portable, mobile, compact, or battery) + printer.
    Thanks, that put me in the right direction.

  4. #4
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    As far as internet goes, your best option is getting a 3G adapter. It's basically like tethering, but actually designed for internet access. They usually aren't cheap though.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    As far as internet goes, your best option is getting a 3G adapter. It's basically like tethering, but actually designed for internet access. They usually aren't cheap though.
    Are the 3g adapters better than the mobile hotspots?

  6. #6
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    They're essentially the same.

    The adapter literally plugs into your laptop, via USB, and goes "Hey internet"
    The mobile hotspot goes "Hey internet" and creates a wifi AP with it.

    I guess the difference would be... Adapter doesn't run out of batteries/require power, since it uses the latop. That, and the price.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    They're essentially the same.

    The adapter literally plugs into your laptop, via USB, and goes "Hey internet"
    The mobile hotspot goes "Hey internet" and creates a wifi AP with it.

    I guess the difference would be... Adapter doesn't run out of batteries/require power, since it uses the latop. That, and the price.
    Alright, thanks.

    My last problem is none of the adapters and hotspots I see seem to list their payment plans (monthly or pay as you go), or if a fee for the service even exists. I guess it doesn't matter too much though. We'll probably only be using it during the boat shows which is about 3-4 a year, and the rest of the year it will just be deactivated.

  8. #8
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    do you have a family plan currently? if so, move to a shared plan and the adapters will be $20 a month, otherwise they're $30-50 depending on how much data you assign to them

    you might check with t-mobile or straight talk. a normal adapter you can't just deactivate unless it is pay-as-you-go, as that would be cancelling a line of service and you would be subject to cancellation and early termination fees

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    do you have a family plan currently? if so, move to a shared plan and the adapters will be $20 a month, otherwise they're $30-50 depending on how much data you assign to them

    you might check with t-mobile or straight talk. a normal adapter you can't just deactivate unless it is pay-as-you-go, as that would be cancelling a line of service and you would be subject to cancellation and early termination fees
    I'm on my moms family plan along with my sister, but my dads phone is part of the plan we use at work and I have no idea what that is, so I'll have to look into that. I would guess he's already on a shared plan with several of his employees.

    I saw some of them advertised as having no contract. Would I not be safe to cancel as I'd like with that?
    Last edited by grandpab; 2013-01-04 at 07:58 PM.

  10. #10
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    if they have no contract then it's pay as you go and you'd be safe to only pay when you used it. you'd have to read into the finer details of the contract to be sure though

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  11. #11
    Brewmaster g01851's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandpab View Post
    Alright, thanks.

    My last problem is none of the adapters and hotspots I see seem to list their payment plans (monthly or pay as you go), or if a fee for the service even exists. I guess it doesn't matter too much though. We'll probably only be using it during the boat shows which is about 3-4 a year, and the rest of the year it will just be deactivated.
    Check out Virginmobileusa.com (assuming you're in the USA). They have mobile dongles and hotspots, that are pay as you go (several options). They use the Sprint network, so be sure you have coverage where you're going. Just FYI their customer service is a bit sketchy if you have to call them Best to use online support options or their FB page.

  12. #12
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389136,00.asp

    You might be able to find a portable printer on that list.
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