LAS VEGAS -- It happens to the best of us: you're on the go, when suddenly you realize you need to print something. Typical printers -- in your home, the library, the office -- are all out of reach. What do you do?
The ZUtA is a portable robotic inkjet printer that easily fits inside a backpack or a purse and can print from a mobile phone onto paper by rolling around on top of the paper with the wheels on its base. Available for preorder now for $199, the ZUtA will ship by September 2015. Later, the ZUtA will cost $250.
The ZUtA is about as big as a double-decker hamburger, but with a teardrop shape that tapers into a right angle. This is so users can easily line the printer up with the upper lefthand corner of a blank piece of paper.
Once the printer is in position, users can send it print jobs right from their computers or iOS or Android devices, via a Wi-Fi connection.
The ZUtA doesn't have sensors to detect where it is on the page; instead, in the app users need to pre-set the paper size before starting the print job. For multiple-page prints, the ZUtA will stop at the end of each page, and you'll need to replace it on the next page and tell it to continue.
The ZUtA can print at a rate of one page per minute, and its battery lasts for one full hour of printing. It currently sports only black ink (cartridges cost $20 each, or two for $30) though creators Zuta Labs say multiple colors will be available in the future.
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Jill Scharr is a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she regularly covers security, 3D printing and video games. You can email Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @JillScharr and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and onGoogle+.