Without cables tethering your Wi-Fi–enabled printer, you no longer need to position the printer near your PC.
The addition of ePrint Web services built into some Wi-Fi printers means you can send your print jobs from anywhere you find an Internet connection.
I finally got fed up with computer-cable overload. I have more USB cords attached to my PC and USB-port hubs than Medusa had snakes. Using a network-enabled printer would only substitute one type of cable for another.
So with a growing number of inexpensive Wi-Fi–enabled printers available, it seemed like an excellent time to cut one more cord. I selected two all-in-one (scan, fax, and copy) models to compare, both under U.S. $150: the Canon Pixma MX892 Office All-in-One Inkjet and the HP Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-One.
Especially enticing: Both printers promised the ability to print images and text from my iPad and iPhone.
Canon Pixma MX892: Fast setup and printing
As with most of today’s high-tech products, the $130 Pixma MX 892 (site) comes with skimpy, Ikea-like documentation. Fortunately, even that was hardly needed; the printer’s three-inch, LCD, control-panel display steps you through the setup process quickly and easily. And the only cable I had to connect was for power.
Twenty minutes after I cracked open its box, the Pixma was scanning and printing files sent from my PC in the next room. I assumed there would be some delays as print jobs traveled over the Wi-Fi net (rather than via a USB cable), but printing was almost immediate. (The printer does include standard USB and Ethernet connections, should they be needed.)