Nakajima AX-90

Nakajima’s AX-90 portable e.t. (circa November 1989) is something of an oddity. For one thing, the LCD screen is built into the ribbon cover, which flips open towards the front of the machine:

Less of a design choice and more of a design flaw:

Two inset “dials” either side of the platen, rather than a conventional platen knob and paper release lever, however, are a deliberate design choice:

The Olympia Carrera MD (a barely disguised Nakajima AX-90) has the same “dials”:

As does the Facit T100 (a less obvious Nakajima AX-70 clone):

Another design characteristic these e.t.s  share is Nakajima’s “bat-eared” cassette wheel:

Nakajima reverted to the use of a 100 character non-cassette wheel on later (I think) e.t.s. like the AX-65:

Size, weight and typing speed-wise (11 cps), the AX-90 and the AX-65 are similar:

The ribbon cassette’s the same across all AX series:

The typing action on the AX-90 manages to be quieter yet crisper, the only downside being a very sluggish line spacer.

In spite of its defects, indeed because of its idiosyncrasies, the “bat-eared” AX-90 (also sold in Europe as the Walther TW-90) is an interesting choice for the collector (or at least this one).