Extech Data Systems, a leading developer of portable printers for enterprise-wide applications, introduces the Apex 3 Direct Thermal Printer. The newest addition to the company's Thermal 3" receipt printer line is designed to meet the mobile worker's need for a lightweight, rugged and easy-to-use printer.
Reflecting recent market needs, Extech has changed the standard communication options available for the printer. Short Range Bluetooth™, designed for WPAN, is standard on the Apex 3. For long range wireless connectivity, the Apex 3 has optional Long Range Bluetooth™ or 802.11b/g WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, LEAP, WEP64/128, TKIP, and AES/CCMP. IrDA and a 3-Track Magnetic Card Reader are also available options.
The Apex 3 contains a powerful ARM 7, 32-bit microcontroller from ST Microelectronics. The flash-based, integrated CPU contains firmware, resident fonts, rotated fonts, downloadable fonts, graphics, logos, and bar codes. Utilizing a high-capacity Li-Ion, 7.4V, 2200 mAh battery that charges internally to the printer or with an external two-bay battery charger, the Apex 3 incorporates 4MB Flash and 2 MB SRAM memory that is under direct user control. New fonts are included and a number of downloadable fonts are available, particularly for Middle East and European requirements. Special Asian font versions are also available.
Lightweight but rugged enough for heavy duty field use due to its protective over-molding, the Apex 3 is easy to wear with a belt loop system or shoulder strap. The printer features an easy-to-use operator interface, and automatic thermal print contrast control to produce high-speed, high-resolution printouts. Changing paper rolls is easy and convenient, while built-in detectors monitor paper-out.
A significant new feature is the inclusion of Extech's Form Fiesta utility. An easy-to-install, Windows-based page printing utility that allows users to create forms such as boarding passes and parking tickets, Form Fiesta provides an array of design functions to prepare visually pleasing and informative forms that include text, barcodes and tables.
Print utilities are available for most mobile operating systems, including Windows CE, PocketPC, .NET, WM5, Windows Vista and Palm. In-field programming is simple, allowing the user to upgrade firmware, download fonts and logos using the new Extech Bootloader.