March 1, 2022 

The Anser U2 Smart Inkjet Printer: A Reliable Coding Solution for Packaging

The Anser U2 Smart inkjet printer is an improved version of its predecessor, the U2 Standard, and offers improved performance.
Image Courtesy of Anser

Based in New Taipei City, Taiwan, Anser Coding Inc. has been developing thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers and ink cartridges since 1986. As opposed to many other printing companies, in the 36 years that Anser Coding has operated, it has not expanded its business model to include other forms of printing technology. Instead, it has maintained an undeviating focus on TIJ printers, and today, these printers can be found in more than 100 countries across the world. 

Anser currently sells seven TIJ models; of these models, the Anser U2 Smart is one of its most popular. The U2 Smart is an improvement upon one of Anser’s old favorites, the U2 Standard—a printer that won over many people in the early 2010s thanks to its compact size and ability to replace less intuitive valve jet systems on secondary packaging lines. When Anser released the U2 Standard more than ten years ago, the company proudly claimed that it was “the world’s smallest and most affordable inkjet printer.” With the U2 Smart, the compact and economic qualities of the Standard have been maintained but performance has been improved.

Here, we take a deeper look at the Anser U2 Smart inkjet printer, examining how it differs from the U2 Standard and why it's one of its Anser’s most popular product options.

How the Anser U2 Smart Inkjet Printer Differs from its Predecessor

The Anser U2 Smart and U2 Standard share many similarities. For starters:

  • They share a common build design.
  • They both weigh less than five pounds.
  • They are both capable of saving up to 999 messages on their stock SD cards.
  • They can create a myriad of codes, including text messages, barcodes, logos/graphics, expiration dates, and lot numbers.
  • They share a max print resolution of 600 DPI, ensuring that all machine-scannable codes will work as intended.

However, beyond these base similarities, the Anser U2 Smart holds several mechanical advantages and has had an overhaul of its user interface software design over its predecessor. The U2 Standard had a very old-school-style interface. Like many others in the world, Anser was inspired by the Apple iPhone and used the icon concept from the iPhone as inspiration for the U2 Smart. This has advantages for new users.

One of the most obvious improvements can be seen in the printing speed of the U2 Smart. The U2 Smart offers a top printing speed of 250 ft/min, while the Anser U2 Standard maxes out at 187 ft/min. The U2 Smart’s display is also larger than the Standard’s (3.5” vs. 2.7”), making it easier to read and operate. For those who require larger codes from their TIJ system, the U2 Smart comes with a counterpart, the Anser U2 SmartOne, that can create codes up to 1” tall—a size twice as large as the Anser U2 Standard’s max print height of 0.5” (the regular Anser U2 Smart also maxes out at 0.5” height).

That said, the Anser U2 Standard does have one advantage over the U2 Smart: the ability to use water-based and solvent-based ink formulas. The Anser U2 Smart is only compatible with water-based inks, and therefore, it can only mark porous and semi-porous substrates such as cardboard, paper, and wood. For those looking to code nonporous materials like plastic and glass, a different TIJ printer is required.

Anser U2 Smart: Common Uses and Application Specialties

The Anser U2 Smart inkjet printer is an intuitive, affordable printer that is a great choice for budget-conscious companies needing to mark porous materials. Available for just under $1,100, the Anser U2 Smart is well-suited for small- to medium-sized companies looking for either a starter inkjet printer or a highly mobile printer to add to their existing production line.

As opposed to a handheld TIJ, the U2 Smart is a production line printer that can be mounted either horizontally or facing down. Anser Coding Inc. makes line installation simple by offering flexible mounting brackets that are easy to set up. 

Once the Anser U2 Smart is installed on a line, operators can use the printer to mark porous and semi-porous materials with traceable text and machine-scannable codes. Common markings include:

  • Barcodes.
  • Data matrices.
  • Date codes.
  • Serial numbers/lot codes.
  • Small images/company logos.

With the Anser U2 Smart, users can mark lumber with their company name, place content descriptions on shipping cartons, and put barcodes on paper packaging.

However, the mid-range speeds of the Anser U2 Smart restrict it from being a feasible option for many production lines that require a higher speed level. For those that need marking speeds above 300 f/min, a different TIJ printer (e.g. the much faster Anser X1) or a mid-range continuous inkjet printer is a better choice. 

For those who don’t require industrial speeds from their marking hardware, the Anser U2 Smart inkjet printer remains a great budget-friendly TIJ option.

For more information about products like the Anser U2 Smart inkjet printer, stay connected to C&M Digest by subscribing to our newsletter. With information on hardware, formulas, and other important marking topics, our newsletter will keep you updated on the latest industry developments. To get in touch with us about possible collaborations or ideas for coverage, contact us today.

C&M Digest Team

The C&M Digest Team is composed of experts from across the coding and marking world. Comprised of ink developers, hardware veterans, and engineers, our News Team delivers informed coverage that is always free from brand bias.

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