While it’s not a legal requirement under the UK Sales of Goods Act to provide a customer with a receipt, it is nevertheless a good idea to provide one. A receipt protects not only you and your business, but also the customer – especially if there is a problem with the product or service.
Plus, many customers still prefer a printed receipt even though you can email or text receipts through the Zettle (previously iZettle) app.
Whether you’re using Zettle at the same location or out and about, there are several Zettle/iZettle printers. The supported models are manufactured by Star Micronics, a global company with 50 years’ experience in small printers and over three decades of experience in POS printers.
All of them are direct line thermal printers, which is a mechanism that uses heat to produce a print on specially treated paper. This means you don’t have to buy ink for any of these printers – just the refill paper rolls in the size needed.
The stationary printers usually cost in the range of £150-£450 and the mobile printer around £230 (prices include VAT). Let’s have a look at your options.
- Star mC-Print2 – smallest
- Star mC-Print3 – splash-proof
- Star TSP143III – popular
- Star TSP654II – fastest
- Star TSP700II – reliable
- Star TSP800II – wide-format
- Star mPOP – with cash drawer
- Bluetooth: Connects wirelessly by pairing the printer directly with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device.
- LAN/Ethernet cable: The printer connects with a router via an Ethernet cable. The router can then, through WiFi, connect the printer with your mobile device.
- USB/Lightning cable: The printer connects through a Lightning cable with the iPad or iPhone (doesn’t work with Android).
Lightning cable for iOS. Photo: Apple
Ethernet cable. Photo: Fotolia
To add to the confusion, Zettle sometimes only refer to a printer model as “LAN”, but the fact is that there is more than one type of LAN connection: through Ethernet cable and through WiFi.
The Wireless LAN/WiFi connects directly with the mobile device through WiFi while the Ethernet cable uses the router as a proxy. To the best of our knowledge, all the below LAN printers are for an Ethernet connection only.
Note that cash drawers can only be connected with the following receipt printers: Star TSP143 LAN/Ethernet and Star TSP654II LAN/Ethernet or Bluetooth.
Star Micronics SM-L200 – the only mobile printer
There is only one mobile receipt printer officially compatible with Zettle at the moment: the Star Micronics SM-L200. This portable printer connects with Zettle through Bluetooth and works with both Android and iOS devices. It can print graphics as well as 1D/2D barcodes like QR codes, making it a highly versatile mobile printer.
Weighing just 220 grams, the battery life of up to 12 hours is still decent. It’s the smallest of the Zettle-compatible printers at 83 x 122.5 x 44 mm, but also the slowest, printing only 35 mm per second with a print width of up to 58 mm.
Of all Bluetooth printers, this was the first to connect with iPhone 4S (and newer) and 3rd (and newer) generation iPads without having to pair with them first, which could be handy in busy environments. The pack includes a battery, USB cable, belt clip and paper roll.
This is the official TfL-approved printer for licensed cab drivers in London. It has also become the most popular Zettle receipt printer, perhaps because of its affordability and easy wireless pairing with the Zettle system.
Where to buy?
Few IT shops carry a broad selection of receipt printers. Amazon has lots, but make sure to double check compatibility.
Zettle also has their own accessories shop where you can find printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners and complete store kits. Check out the frequent discounts.
Star Micronics mC-Print2 – smallest desktop receipt printer
The Star mC-Print2 is one of the newest supported printer models in the Zettle store. It is the smallest of all compatible Star printers for desktop at 96 x 113 x 100 mm (60% smaller than the popular TSP100III). What’s more, you can choose between black and white to suit your till setup.
The printer can connect with your mobile device via Bluetooth, Ethernet or Lightning cable if using the Zettle app on iPad or iPhone – and all these connection options are included in the same printer, so there’s no need to upgrade the connection type if you change your POS system.
The print speed is 100 mm per second on receipt paper that’s 58 mm wide. Although small in size, it has a guillotine auto-cutter and can print high-quality barcodes and graphics. The printer is easy to set up with the included power supply and drop-in receipt roll mechanism.
This Zettle printer is good for longer and larger receipts, with an impressive print speed of 250 mm per second on paper that’s 80 mm wide.
The print quality is high, including the ability to print barcodes and graphics. It connects via Bluetooth, LAN, USB and Lightning cable, but also through CloudPRNT or WebPRNT – all included in the same printer, so no need to decide which to commit to.
You load the receipt paper at the front. The printer is easy to use, so you should be connected and set to go soon after receiving it.
This is a model that suits any merchant, but hospitality businesses will benefit from the splash-resistance of the printer.
The newest version, TSP143III, is really easy to set up with your point of sale system through Bluetooth, LAN or Lightning cable. It is a compact printer that can print up to 43 receipts per minute on a standard 80 mm wide receipt with a print width of up to 58 mm.
The functional design of the printer means it can be used in both a vertical or horizontal position, and it even has a de-curl function for receipts. The printer comes with a range of accessories including a wall-mount bracket, cables and various software.
It features a simple drop-in-and-print paper loading system and guillotine auto-cutter to ease the checkout process.
The TSP650II models offer high versatility with its many connection options, although Zettle only confirms compatibility with a Bluetooth or LAN connection.
If you use the Zettle app on an Apple device, AirPrint can be used as a connection option as well.
The package comes with all the necessary software and accessories to start printing, also including a wall mount bracket and vertical mount accessory.
It can withstand dust and moisture in the surrounding environment, making it suitable for harsher environments.
It prints 250 mm per second or 45 receipts per minute and comes with a lot of connection options such as Bluetooth, USB, WiFi and more, but Zettle only lists the LAN connection as being compatible with Zettle.
That said, since it is built for stationary use, this is an excellent long-term choice for businesses with a high sales volume.
It is currently the only receipt printer on the market that prints wide formats at the high speed of 180 mm per second or 38 receipts per minute.
The graphics are even crisp clear, so if you want the best printer for detailed invoicing or wide receipt printing, this is an excellent choice.
This printer connects with Zettle through Bluetooth. It is also possible to use it inside vehicles for businesses providing deliveries and on-location services.
Star mPOP – combined receipt printer and cash drawer
Another Star Micronics product, the mPOP, combines a Bluetooth printer and small cash drawer into one. The mPOP can be fixed to the countertop.
Since it is only 10 cm high and 30 cm wide, it will suit small spaces and not look intrusive on a counter. A typical point of sale setup will include an iPad stand on top of the mPOP to use as the checkout screen, providing a compact solution at an affordable price.
AirPrint – additional option for iOS
If you are using Zettle with a device running on iOS, you can use any printer that supports AirPrint. This is a printing technology from Apple that enables printing without the need to install drivers – it makes it super fast to just connect and print straight away. However, only one of the above printers can currently use AirPrint, and that is the Star Micronics TSP654II model.