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
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:
¹The EX-30 and the EX-32 portables were also sold as the 85EP and the 87EP.