Introduced in October 1985, two years after the initial release of the Silver Reed EX-series (42, 43N, 44, and 55), Silver Reed EX (30, 32¹, 34, 34N, 35, 36) portable electronic typewriters were meant to be a continuation of the series.
Stylistically though, these machines are more of a departure from the original series.
Despite taking the same ribbon cassette, they have a boxier and cheaper overall look and feel, as well as a cheaper (but easier to change) drop-in cassette wheel which replaces the awkward yet robust clip-on print wheel of larger EX machines,
Introduced to fill a gap in the product line, these EX-series portable typewriters appear to have been a stop-gap measure.
October 1986 saw the release of the EZ series, a series initially comprised of one portable EZ-20, one compact EZ-30, and one full size EZ-50) —typewriters with better styling (arguably) and performance than most of their EX predecessors.
EZ-20 pros / EX-32 cons
- The EZ-20 has a quieter action, and is noticeably quicker (12 cps as opposed to 10 cps).
- The EZ-20 carriage return is also quicker.
- The EZ-20 has a slightly larger footprint but is lighter to carry.
- The EZ-20 has a sleeker and more sculpted profile.
- The EZ-20 body is made of a higher grade plastic
- The EZ-20 has a lid with an integral paper table, which is easily and quickly flipped up.
- The EX-32 has a separate snap-on ribbon cover which needs to be lifted off with two hands.
- The EZ-20 has one large platen knob on the left-hand side which is easier to grasp than the smaller inset knobs of the EX-32.
- The EX-32 has a Centronics-compatible parallel port
- The EX-32 supports 15 pitch as well as 10 and 12 pitch
- The EX-32 has a margin scale
NOTE: 24/12/2018: One thing that might catch you out, should you not have the instruction guide, is a “Cassette Ribbon Holder” (more like a release lever) to the left of the ribbon cassette …
You can’t just simply lift out the ribbon as you do on most other wedges. You have to “Release the Cassette Ribbon Holder (d) from the Correctable Film Ribbon by pulling it to the left.” See Below. Also, the sprocket will not be properly engaged if you don’t push the Cassette Ribbon Holder (to the right) and back into position after inserting a new ribbon.
The Silver Reed EX-30 appears to be identical to the EX-32, but without the benefit of a parallel port:
The EX-34 and the EX-36 (I haven’t come across an EX-34N or an EX-35) are higher-spec and come with an LCD screen. They also have a dark body shell which is less affected by yellowing (although the key-tops are still vulnerable) …
In addition to a parallel port, the EX-34 and EX-36 have a memory card slot at the front-left of the keyboard:
The EX-32 has the same expansion slot, in this case protected by gritted teeth:
A “multimedia” EX-36 is featured in the following YouTube video:
You can find the Operating Manual here. This is a free resource and should not be offered for resale.
¹The EX-30 and the EX-32 portables were also sold as the 85EP and the 87EP.