True to its type: Apple Stylewriter – Apple’s ink-jet printer – Hardware Review – evaluation
True to Its Type
AT A GLANCE: Easily portable and affordable ink-jet printer for the Mac. Sacrifice of time may be worth the high-quality output. DOCUMENTATION: Clear and concise illustrated instructions; fully indexed. SETUP: Easy; slide the parts together, install the printer driver, and start printing. EASE OF USE: No problems; a snap to operate. SUPPORT: Available through dealers or through toll-free number; helpful and courteous. LIST PRICE: $599 STREET PRICE RANGE: $449-$499 MANUFACTURER: Apple Computer, Inc., 20525 Mariani Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014; (408) 996-1010 TYPE: Plain paper, thermal ink jet HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS: 1MB Macintosh; System 6.07 or higher EMULATIONS: Not applicable PRINT SPEED: 83 characters per second BUILT-IN TYPEFACES: Not applicable; True-Type screen- and printer-fonts (Times Roman, Helvetica, Courier, Symbol) are included on accompanying disk TYPE SIZES: Unlimited PAPER HANDLING: Friction feed; automatic with detachable sheet feeder; front and rear manual feed PAPER CAPACITY: 50 sheets with sheet feeder PAPER WIDTH: 8.5 inches; #10 business envelopes BUFFER: 8K OPTIONS: Replacement ink cartridge ($23) WEIGHT: 7.5 pounds DIMENSIONS: 12.5 by 13.3 by 5.6 inches WARRANTY: One year There is no denying that the StyleWriter has high print quality, but as with most ink-jet printers, good quality means slow performance. Slow-to-print is the lesser of two time-consuming evils; the worst is that, while printing, it takes over your computer’s memory.
Installation was quick; explicit directions and clear illustrations got me printing with the StyleWriter within minutes of taking it out of the box. It’s not nearly as small as the Diconix 150, the first truly portable ink-jet printer, but even in draft mode it puts the Diconix to shame when it comes to print quality.
All controls are easily accessible; they run along the top edge of the printer. Perhaps they’re a bit too accessible; I found that I would accidentally turn on the printer if I brushed the power-on button.
On both plain photocopy paper and on heavy bond letterhead, the StyleWriter performed flawlessly. Using TrueType fonts, or Adobe typefaces with Adobe Type Manager, gave me 360 dots-per-inch letters that were well formed (only minor jaggies on letter curves) and would serve well in projecting a professional image on the page.
Its graphics capability happily surprised me by (slowly) printing quite accurate bit-mapped, PICT, and EPS illustrations. My recommendation, however, if you plan on printing a lot of graphics, is to purchase a faster laser printer.
The StyleWriter would be ideal for the low-print-volume Macintosh-based office, or especially for someone who is on the road with a Mac and needs a relatively lightweight output device. (I’ve been known to travel with my hefty Apple ImageWriter – no more!) You won’t be able to stick it in your briefcase, and it runs only on AC power. Overall, it’s a good value – but make sure that you really don’t need laser-printer speed before you buy.
PHOTO : The least expensive of Apple’s low-cost printers is the StyleWriter – small in stature, slow in performance, high in print quality.
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