Mossberg’s Mailbox

A Printer for the iPad

Published on May 7, 2013
by Walt Mossberg

Q:

We own an iPad and we would like to purchase a printer to use with it. We don’t know which to buy.

A:

Apple’s iOS operating system, which powers iPads and iPhones, can print decent-looking documents, using a built-in technology called AirPrint, which prints wirelessly. You don’t need to set up any drivers or other software on the iPad itself. However, AirPrint requires a printer that has Wi-Fi capability and is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad or iPhone. In addition, the printer must be a model that supports AirPrint. All the major printer makers sell these and there are many models. Apple has basic instructions and a list of supported models on its website.

Q:

I have an audio cassette from our wedding in 1978. It is the only recording we have of my father’s voice so it has special meaning for me. I would like to have it transferred to a CD or DVD. Do you have a recommendation of how to transfer it? Who would do a good job?

A:

There are a number of companies that do this. One that I recently tested favorably is called PeggyBank, at peggybank.com. They transfer old video and audiotapes and photos into digital files stored online, or, for an extra fee, they will put them on a CD or DVD.

Q:

In your laptop buying guide last week, you recommended getting at least 500 gigabytes of hard disk space and at least 256 gigabytes of solid-state storage on laptops that use that type of storage instead of a hard disk. Why the difference?

A:

I was bowing to market realities. Solid-state storage, while faster and less likely to fail, is also much more expensive and thus comes in smaller quantities. It is possible to buy 500 gigabytes or more of solid-state storage on a new laptop, and if you need it, and can afford it, you should do so. But many manufacturers offer only a maximum of 256 gigabytes on common models and it’s usually an expensive optional extra for those who offer more.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com

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