Citizen ABC printer.
£130 to £150. Widely available. Supplied with or without colour kit.
Ok its a bit of an old printer now but its still a current model and its
new to me. Possibly the last of the colour dot matrix printers as bubblejet
prices have fallen so much in recent months.
The whole concept of the ABC is a user-friendly, easy to setup, easy to
use printer that has good basic results. Also being dot matrix which is
tried and tested technology its reliable.
First impressions are bad. Its so ugly. Its ok looking down on it but from
the front its got a bulbous naff sort of look to it. Being Citizen its
all a bit plasticky and light weight. They don't build their printers
Feature wise its pretty good. Theres a 8k buffer (ok that bit's crap),
50 sheet autofeeder built in or tractor feed option, Plus of course
theres colour. Its a 24pin printer and reasonably speedy.
The colour facility is basic and slow. I'm not really happy with the
yellow output as its hard to see but then again on white paper I suppose it
will be. I did a few screenshot printouts and was reasonably happy with
the results. However the speed of doing this was very, very slow. Repeatedly
going over the same area hitting it with all four colours available on the
ribbon to create the full palette. I really think that dot matrix printers
aren't suitable for printing colour images with lots of colours. They're
best left to doing individual text in different colours or charts that
only have a few colours in. Bubblejets really wipe the floor with dot matrix
in this area.
Normal black print is achieved with the ABC as either a single black
ink ribbon or the colour ribbon has a black section at the top with the
three colours below. Its a fine LQ printer.
The question many may ask is why people buy dot matrix printers
when Bubblejets are now so cheap. Well the ABC is still cheaper than
Bubblejets especially colour ones by a few pounds. Running costs are much
cheaper. Its more durable and makes a good introduction to printing to the
young who won't be as respectful to it as an adult.
The disadvantages are its slow and not very good for detailed colour
images. Its noisy. It looks like Fisher Price on a bad day.
You also get a PC and Amiga drivers disk but obviously this doesn't help
BBC users at all.
Mono print 85%
colour print 54%
Running costs 95%
Fashionable computer status symbol rating 4%
Buy it for a brat or if you're a tight fisted type.