Extech Instruments Introduces the Apex 4

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The feature rich Apex 4 mobile receipt printer improves accuracy and productivity of the mobile worker without blowing the budget.

Extech Instruments, a FLIR Systems Company, a leading manufacturer of portable printers for mobile computing applications, introduces their new  APEX 4 battery operated portable thermal printer. The Apex 4 is the latest in Extechs APEX family of lightweight, wearable printers.

The APEX branded printers use a 32-bit Arm 7 micro-controller, a flash based, highly integrated CPU. The processor incorporates FLASH and SRAM memory and provides for improved performance. The internal memory FLASH contains the firmware and resident fonts, rotated fonts, and bar codes while the internal SRAM is used for pre-initialized variable storage and stack. Extechs engineers designed new modular firmware for easy updating and customization. The print mechanism is a clamshell design from SEIKO with a maximum rated print speed of 3 inches per second.

The APEX printers use a Lithium Ion battery delivering 2.25 amps of power for more receipts per charge; the battery is covered under the UL 2054 standard. The APEX 4 includes additional elastomer over-molding for robust environments. APEX 4 is IEC 64 certified and has IP54 rating with a specially designed environmental case.

The printer includes additionally 4MB of Flash and 1MB of SRAM of external memory for the user to make use of. Flash memory is used for downloaded logos, additional fonts and other graphic elements. Eight separate logo locations each of 64KB are available to help application developers in improving both look and data communication time for each form or receipt.

SRAM memory, which does not require refreshing, is ideal for mobile computing applications as it helps increase the number of receipts possible on a charge. This memory is used for uninitialized variable storage and print buffering operations which include communication, printing and form rendering. Optional double memory up to 8MB and 4MB will be available. A new high speed communication system allows for USB, Bluetooth and 802.11g communication at 115K. Other options will include a new 3 track intellihead magnetic card reader due for release in fourth quarter of 2009. In-field programming is possible using a high speed connector located below the battery. The 4 printers offer USB and Bluetooth communications as standard in addition to 802.11g as an integrated option.

Tony Revis, General Manager, in announcing the new printers noted, According to Venture Development Corporation, the 4 segment is the largest segment for the Mobile Printer Market representing 32%, slightly more than the 2 and 3 segments. We are the major player in the 3 segment, and the recently introduced APEX line of new printers is already increasing our market share in the 2 segment. The improved performance of the APEX 4 will contribute significantly to our overall market share.

The list price for the APEX 4 basic model with USB and Bluetooth, including battery and wall mounted charging adapter, is only $799.00 (this price includes a shoulder strap or belt loop). A full fifteen month warranty is included for both printers. The Apex 4 will be available in August 2009 for immediate shipment.

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