Sunday, 24 August 2014

Little Printer by Berg

 The Little Printer comes in a wonderful Apple-esque packaging, takes minutes to setup and will have you printing to your hearts content in a very short time. The Little Printer itself is all completely assembled and is roughly the size of a brick of post-it notes.

Once you have it all setup it's time to turn your little guy on and choose his face which turns him from an emotionless brick to your new desktop friend, using standard-issue thermal receipt paper you can sit happy knowing it isn't going to cost you a small fortune to print those silly pictures you find online and feel you must post around the office. From BERG’s web app, you can begin setting up publications: 384 x 800 pixel snippets with headlines from news sites, Sudoku feeds, Foursquare updates, a mini-series on butterflies, or even your Google to-do list. Some print each morning, while some can only be printed on Wednesdays (at the publication creators' choice), and for some you can choose exactly when and at what time they’ll print.

At £199.00, Little Printer should be purchased by one kind of a person: the Moleskine-touting design nerd in the Little Printer promo video who prefers a newspaper instead of Twitter during the morning train commute — and that's not to say Little Printer produces newspapers. For the rest of us, Little Printer is a beautiful toy, the MoMA Store’s dream come true. It’s a beacon of optimism about paper in a time when paper is being eliminated at every turn, and there’s a wonderfully inspiring story behind it. But there’s a reason paper’s being eliminated, aside from the fact that it’s a waste of trees: paper takes time to print, and whatever’s on that paper is old news by the time it gets to you. Even your daily schedule has likely changed by 10 AM, at which point your printout is old. 

Little Printer is indeed "a gadget with character" that works well, but is lacking the ecosystem and integration that would make it all that fun or useful. But since Little Printer’s capabilities can be updated from the cloud at any time, and BERG seems set on building out its publication ecosystem, Little Printer might not be far off from being the tiny all-purpose printer I’m looking for. "There are still plenty of gaps," the company said in a blog post, "but we’re adding more all the time." Until then, Little Printer falls short of its potential not only as a client for web services, but as an internet-connected modern art piece.

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