You are probably wondering why someone would still use an electric typewriter when there are so many attractive laptops, desktop computers, computer keyboards
out there that can help you put your thoughts on paper much, much faster. Well, first of all, today's electric typewriters are easier to use and more suitable for those who want a device just for writing. These items don't feature an operating system, they don't require a boot time and are distraction-free. As an analogy, think of them as e-book readers. While you can read an e-book perfectly fine on your smartphone or tablet, a purpose built e-book reader provides a more relaxing and peaceful experience.
Another advantage of typewriters is that they feature a more organic feel, in comparison with the soullessness of today's modern computers and laptops. When you type on an electric typewriter, you are more involved in the process and can savor the experience more thoroughly. Some even like that unique sound a typewriter makes when you press its keys.
Although there are manual and electric typewriters out there, this guide will focus on the electric ones and it will help you find the right electric typewriter by providing you with insightful tips and tricks. If you want to give it as a gift or just a buy a typewriter for yourself and get rid of your computer, you will learn the do's and don'ts when it comes to this subject.
Before wrapping it up, we'd also like to give honorable mention to Smith Corona
's typewriters which are some of the most popular out there. This brand is renowned for making high-quality manual and electric typewriters, so if you find one during your search, you are on the right track.
Many of today's typewriters are refurbished models from the previous years, but you can also find a plethora of brand new ones. In most cases, you will eventually pay between $300 and $700 for a good quality typewriter, but prices can go higher or lower than that depending on the manufacturer who produces them, their features, etc.
Still, refrain from going with the cheap typewriters because they might pose serious reliability problems. A typewriter which is excessively cheap might not come with warranty and it will eventually give you a lot of headaches.
Although typewriters usually look very similar, they have a lot of features and unique characteristics you need to know about. Let's discuss the main aspects you need to take into account when shopping for a typewriter:
- Type - some are electronic, others are manual. Obviously, the electronic ones are easier to live with on a day-to-day basis, but as mentioned earlier, if you live in an area where there are frequent blackouts, you might want to go for a manual typewriter to be sure that you can continue your work uninterrupted.
- Functions - most typewriters come with the basic functions you can access on a computer such as bold, underline, centering functions and others. In some cases, typewriters can have multiple function keys which will help you format and manage your documents with little to no effort.
- Dictionary - this feature is not common with all printers, but more sophisticated models have it. The dictionary can help you identify errors you make while you type, so it is a real time saver if you use the typewriter a lot.
- Size – not super-important, but good to know. Certain printers (particularly refurbished models) might be quite large and heavy, so they should be placed on sturdy desks. These models are definitely not made for travelling. On the other hand, certain typewriters are lighter and more compact, so if portability is paramount for you, go for those.
Construction and Design
We are quite sure that most of today's typewriters don’t have chrome-plated key caps or incorporate exotic materials such as aluminum, titanium and so on. The majority of them are made from high-quality plastics and designed to take a lot of wear and tear. In some cases, you can actually change the language you are typing in because some typewriters come with interchangeable print wheels. All that you have to do is to change the print wheel according to the instructions and you'll be able to type in other languages such as French or Spanish.
Another advantage is that in the package you might also find plenty of goodies such as correction tapes, ribbons, dust covers and other accessories. When buying a typewriter, make sure you are paying attention to the maximum paper width (which is usually 15 inches), especially if you plan on using different types of papers. Some typewriters also incorporate a small LCD screen which will display different types of useful information while you type.
Before getting to the last section of this guide, we want to clarify a bit the difference between a discontinued typewriter, a refurbished one and a used one because during your search, you are very likely to stumble upon such electric typewriters and need to know how they stack up.
A discontinued typewriter is no longer being made by the manufacturer. The company sells the last models of this typewriter and usually they are brand new. A refurbished typewriter is a model which has been repaired, usually with original components, and sold again by the same company or a third party company. Your advantage with such a refurbished model is that you are buying a high-quality, tried and tested product, usually accompanied by warranty. Finally, when you go for a used model, you get a second-hand or third-hand typewriter. Your benefit in this case will be the significantly reduced price in comparison with a brand new model.
Performance and Ease of Use
Despite the fact that certain models of typewriters are certified refurbished models, many of them still include a reassuring warranty period on parts and labor, so make sure you keep that in mind. In most cases, the manufacturer might offer a 1-year warranty period on parts and 30 or 60 days on labor.
All in all, it is a good thing to have a typewriter in your house, as a backup typing tool to your computer or laptop. You never know when you might run out of electricity for a few hours and you really need to have a document typed for your boss. In this case, the typewriter will be just like a good, hard-working donkey you can rely on at all times!
As you can see, there are many alternatives at your disposal if for some reason you decided to throw your keyboard away and opt for an old-fashioned typing tool. Here are the 5 typewriters we picked, and hopefully at least one of them will catch your attention!
Nakajima is a Japanese brand which manufactures a plethora of products, from keychains to typewriters and even kitchen utensils such as shears for cutting meat. The Japanese are famous for producing high-quality, reliable items, so if you buy from Nakajima, you have high chances of stumbling upon a really durable and long-lasting product. We also loved that Nakajima has a wide range of typewriters to choose from, depending on your personal needs.
For now, let's focus on the Nakajima AE-710 Electronic Office Typewriter and find out what makes it special. This typewriter has a print speed of 20 characters per second. So even if you type super-fast, this device will be able to keep up with your speed. It also incorporates 21 helpful function keys which will make your life easier when you type. Although this is a discontinued model, it is still one of the best options out there when it comes to electronic typewriters.
This typewriter is also capable of bold typing as well as word correction which is useful to have in almost all situations. It comes with a warranty period of 1 year and it features a 15" paper capacity. At less than 20 pounds, we can even consider this model portable and easy to carry around if you have sturdy briefcase.
Believe it or not, Adler Royal is a company with more than 100 years of experience when it comes to manufacturing typewriters and many other office supplies and gadgets. This brand was started back in 1904 by two ambitious men and today it produces a variety of necessary gadgets such as paper shredders, cash management devices, scientific calculators and others.
The Satellite 40 Typewriter from Adler Royal is a compact device which weighs a bit under 20 pounds. It is an electronic device and it comes with automatic paper insert which can save you time in the long run. When it comes to functions, this machine has intuitive bold and centering features and the maximum paper width is 15 inches. This model from Adler Royal is also a discontinued model, but it comes with multiple useful features and we think it is worth the money.
Another advantage provided by this typewriter is its attractive, minimalistic design. You can actually confuse it with an old-school Apple PC from the mid' seventies, but remember that this is still a typewriter. It is also backed up by a warranty period of 1 year to ensure you’re covered if it gets damaged accidentally.
We think Brother doesn’t need any introduction. It is one of the largest manufacturers of printers worldwide. Apart from that, this brand also makes printing supplies and accessories, memory sticks and even computerized sewing machines. Brother is present in multiple countries worldwide where it sells tens of thousands of high-quality products. We picked it for our review because it is a popular brand that knows how to make a good typewriter.
For example, the ML-300 Electronic Display Typewriter from Brother incorporates a Perfectype professional touch keyboard which makes typing a pleasurable and easy task. It also comes with a 78,000-word English dictionary, so if you regularly make mistakes when you type, this feature will save you a lot of time and give you more peace of mind. This dictionary even has error location function, meaning that you can quickly discover your spelling errors and correct them. At the moment of this writing, this model is a discontinued one, but still a great option.
When it comes to functions, it is business as usual: you have access to bold, underline, automatic center and others. If you want to type in foreign languages, this typewriter supports French, Portuguese and Spanish, apart from the standard English language. Typing in other languages is possible thanks to the interchangeable cassette daisy wheels included in the package. There is also an instruction manual inside which will tell you exactly how to change these wheels and type in your preferred language.
We honestly believe IBM is one of the best known companies in the world and thanks to it and the genius behind Bill Gates’ work, all of us now can enjoy a personal computer and use it for entertainment or work purposes. IBM has set the tone in the computer industry back in the eighties and apart from computers, it also produced a multitude of high-quality typewriters.
Now you have the opportunity to use such a typewriter if you go for the Newly Reconditioned IBM Wheelwriter Typewriter which is currently available at an attractive price. We usually don't feature refurbished products in our reviews, but when we talk about IBM, we can make an exception because this company is trustworthy and reputable. This typewriter has been reconditioned by IBM experts and it is ready to be used again, being backed up by a warranty period of 1 year. It is made from heavy-duty components, so it will easily take a lot of wear and tear.
When it comes to accessories, this typewriter also comes with goodies such as ribbons, 4 correction tapes and a brand new printwheel. At 35 pounds, it is not the most portable and lightweight one out there, but it will definitely do its job at high standards!
For the 5th product in our list, we wanted a brand which specializes in typing devices. Azio fits this position perfectly and although it doesn’t really make typewriters, it has a couple of keyboards which are specially designed to look like one. Apart from those, you'll also be surprised to find out that Azio makes a myriad of high-quality gaming gear such as computer mice and keyboard.
The Mk Retro USB Typewriter Inspired Mechanical Keyboard is the culprit in this case and we are happy to mention that this keyboard is available in multiple color options such as black and silver, black and gold, black and pink, etc. This is a mechanical keyboard which resembles the looks and style of a genuine, old-school typewriter. We think it can be a great gift idea, particularly for your dad!
In the features department, this keyboard has many things to boast about. First of all, it is dust and water-resistant, so even if you accidentally spill something on it, it will not get damaged. It has chrome-plated key caps, adjustable height and makes a beautiful, clicky sound each type you press a key!
Just because you like typewriters and you want to use them more often doesn’t makes you eccentric or odd. There are also many people out there who still use phones with physical keys and they fit perfectly well in our modern society. If writing is your passion, we hope these 5 typewriters will help you do it in style!