Thanks to the enthusiasts who peruse the FCC’s filings website, we now know of a Dell [DELL] branded Bluetooth printer that may be coming out soon that’s a little different from most: it doesn’t use ink. The device looks from images to be about seven inches wide by about 12 inches long, and only about two inches thick, and is based on Zink technology to achieve printing without ink. It appears to have USB connectivity and its small form factor suggests it’s meant for road warriors.
Massachusetts-based Zink Imaging announced last year that it would be using a specially-developed kind of paper with dye crystals embedded inside, under a protective polymer overcoat. The dye crystals aren’t colored until the special printer applies heat to activate them, changing them to dark colors and resulting in a traditional-looking printed document.
Zink has said that their technology works not only with paper, but also with plastic and other materials that are resistant to water, light, heat and humidity damage. It will eventually have color printing functionality, but it’s unknown whether the Dell printer revealed by the FCC will be color or black-and-white. It’s also known that Zink prints are non-toxic and recyclable, so Dell should get a little green cred out of the new technology as well.