Wednesday, 29 July 2015

how to print to a legacy printer from a Chromebook : Acer Aspire CB3-111 with a MFP Print Server TL-PS310U

how to print from a chromebook to a legacy printer :

current Acer windows 7 laptop is an i3 basic spec and is frustratingly so at times.
Chromebooks have matured enough that it was time for my wife to try out one instead of Windows.

I would have chosen a 13 inch screen, but apparently it had to be white! so colour won out over screen real estate, besides its not my laptop.

My stipulation was that it needed 4GB RAM and 32GB storage as these seem to make a huge difference to the chromebook experience, based on reviews of earlier models.

In the end we bought the model below, which seemed good value from Tesco. [be aware you dont get caught out buying a 2GB or 16GB model]

Acer Aspire CB3-111 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC - White from our All Laptops range - Tesco

currently £179 July 2015

Chromebook setup is trivial and its really quick, the only hurdle was getting it to print!

Chromebooks DO NOT SUPPORT direct USB printing.

In addition we currently run an old HP Photosmart C4480 printer

, which is network enabled by using the rather funky  TP-Link MFP Print Server TL-PS310U

using Powerline plugs to carry network to other parts of the house.

previously this meant having to run the MFP software on each windows laptop.
This configuration obviously does not work with a chromebook (you cant install windows software on it)

So some research was required, either to solve it technically or buy an ePrint compatible new printer.

In the end I solved it without any cost. Turns out the MFP (if you only wish to run a printer off it) can run in a 'queued' mode. Once this is enabled and setup, it also works as a shared printer in Google Cloud Print. woohoo

Here is the info

Details are here : 
(I choose easy option 1 as I have access to a windows machine)

  • downloaded and installed the Network Printer Wizard on a windows laptop
  • run wizard
  • (you may need printer drivers, but I already had them installed)
you should now be able to print from any windows machine without having to run the MFP software!

This is also the way to run MFP even if you dont have a chromebook requirement, and only use it for printing. Wish Id known this years ago

for chromebook access you need to follow

If you are logged in as different people (between chromebook and windows pc you will have to also 'Share' the printer across users : see

Eventually we will need to buy a new printer but for now this works just great.

So far my wife loves the Chromebook experience, its just a question of trying to understand the infrastructure and concepts Google have put in place to make it work.
Its certainly goodbye to long windows bootup times and poor battery life.

If the type of work you do suits a Chromebook, it seems a great experience.

Hope this helps

[EDIT] it seems that the windows machine / laptop requires to be running to allow printing from the chromebook :-( boooo

[EDIT Nov 2015] : in the end it was just easier to go and buy a HP Envy 4500 which supports ePrinting

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