Samsung’s Typewriter Galaxy

Odd to think that “Three Stars” is the meaning of the name of the company that gave us the “Galaxy” smartphone. In a way it sums up the impact of Korean manufacturers on the universe of the electronic typewriter.

Samsung did have some impact though. They, their affiliate Packard Bell, and Sharp (Korea) were worthy of mention in …

“Portable Electric Typewriters From Singapore”
… the determination of the 1991 United States International Trade Commission investigation No. 731-TA-515 (preliminary) Under the tariff act of 1930 (an investigation into electronic typewriter dumping and its effect on the domestic U.S. market):
“The world market for PETs¹ PATs² and PEWPs³ is dominated by many of the same firms that compete in the U.S., primarily Smith Corona, Brother International Corporation, and Olivetti, as well as other firms such as Canon Business Machines and the Korean operations of SHARP, SAMSUNG and PACKARD BELL who sell considerable quantities for export around the world.”
Samsung’s SQ series of portable electronic typewriters comprised the following models …

  • SQ-1000
  • SQ-1030
  • SQ-1200
  • SQ-1250
  • SQ-1300
  • SQ-1500
  • SQ-2200
  • SQ-3000
  • SQ-3200
  • SQ-W1050 (word processor)

… models which appeared in a number guises. The SQ-3000, for example, was also sold as the “Silver Reed” EX 133 MD … many of these were “Made in China” after Samsung moved their electronics manufacturing to China in the early 1990s …

It seems no expense was entertained in the manufacture of the SQ series, as evidenced by their easily-discoloured ABS4 plastic shells and their cheaply printed (rather than laser etched, double shot, or dye sublimated) ABS keycaps — the legends of which are easily rubbed out due to over-vigorous cleaning …

Removal of the QWERTY as well as the dirty!
If you own a wedge, especially a ’90s wedge, you can expect plastic. But a plastic ribbon cassette mounting bracket? That’s taking plastic too far …
Incidentally, the SQ-3000 takes a Brother ribbon cassette which,
The non-cassette wheel (unlike those of Brother, Sharp and Panasonic) comes without the luxury of resin-tipped spokes … making them about as durable as the lettering on its pad-printed key tops

The typing action on the SQ-3000 is noisy and the keycaps have a loose, cheaply made membrane feel to them, especially the Return key which refuses to respond unless you hit exactly the right spot.

The only non-SQ example I could find online is this ET-45S (Type Ace 2 or Type CE 2?) typewriter, which appears to be a thermal device … Despite the thumbs-up logo, Samsung typewriters get a big thumbs-down from me.

Three star company, one star typewriters.

¹ PETs: Personal Electric Typewriters

² PATs: Personal Automatic Typewriters (with text memory)

³ PEWPs: Personal Word Processors

ABS is short for “Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene”. ABS (and other polystyrene blends) will gradually turn yellow over time when subjected to ultraviolet light, a component of sunlight. Most keyboards have keycaps made of ABS.


3 thoughts on “Samsung’s Typewriter Galaxy

  1. Yeach. Talk about a lack of inspiration on the design front. These machines seem very much produced as an industrial foot in the door. Even from a 90’s point of view, these designs are astoundingly uninspired.


  2. I recall reading about the legal issue of dumping coming up in my research on Brother typewriters of the 1970s. I suppose it was faster to stamp out mediocre, cheap machines and sell them, knowing that the legal stuff could be potentially held off forever. Interesting info, thanks. ~TH~


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