Brother AX-325

The Brother AX-325 is one of an extensive range of portable electronic typewriters manufactured in the USA, UK and (later) Malaysia and released over a decade which spanned the mid 1990s through to the mid 2000s, thus making it difficult to pin down the year of manufacture based on Brother’s serial numbering system – a one digit year code which follows a month code at the start of each serial number. A GX- prefix was used predominantly (but not exclusively) in the USA, where these typewriters were often marketed as “Correctronics”.

This 1994 charcoal-grey USA-made Brother AX-325 portable electronic typewriter shares the same scalloped design as my UK-made Brother AX-440; the same slightly asthmatic print carrier, the same slightly arthritic wheel, the same stated top speed of 12 cps..

Also “minimalist”, the user guide has no front or rear cover, simply comprising one double-sided sheet of paper which folds into 16 pages.

In this case, of course, there’s no LCD screen, no eco-friendly sticker.

The charcoal-grey body, in stark contrast to the white keys, is an improvement on uniform grey-beige.

Another improvement, and a difference, is the hand grip on the underside of the machine (although the user guide still calls it a “handle”).

Compare this to the fold-out “handle” on the UK-made AX-440:

I say “improvement” because the hand grip definitely feels more secure than the handle does.

It’s also more in-keeping with the overall “minimalist” design, which is exemplified by the door-less cord compartment on the rear:

The profile of these typewriters has what I like to call a “float” (think of the floats on a sea plane). The left-hand platen knob is built into the “float”:

Whoever designed it also decided (quite rightly) there was no need for a paper bail when the ribbon cover could easily do the same job.

No point wasting plastic needlessly, which is why the keyboard cover also doubles as a paper rest.

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