Admittedly, my interest in wedges (and use of puns) may have gone too far, but how are you meant to evaluate one wedge if you only have the one?

This Mario Bellini  designed Olivetti ET Personal 55 electronic typewriter follows on from my first wedge experience – a Japanese-made Brother CE-30.


So  how do these two 80’s wedges stack up?


As you can see, they stack up surprisingly well!

In favour of the Brother Ce-30:

  • One piece lid is more secure and generally feels more robust than the flip lid and keyboard cover of the ETP 55
  • Brother wedges have a better printwheel mechanism. The Brother printwheels are easier to insert – unlike the ETP 55 you do not need to remove the ribbon cassette first – plus Brother printwheels come complete with a tabbed plastic sleeve. By comparison, the exposed Olivetti printwheels seem vulnerable and naked
  •  The Brother does not pretend to be something it’s not (it’s a Japanese wedge made in Japan – the ‘Italian’ ETP 55  was manufactured in Singapore)

In favour of the Olivetti ETP 55:

  • The Mario Bellini design (of course)


I liken it to a Star Wars  Kom’rk fighter ship – a product of its time, yet futuristic…


ETP55_rightelephant2 ETP55_leftelephant
  • Smaller and lighter than the Ce-30…


  •  A softer, quieter typing action compared to the action of the CE-30 which I likened to a nail gun
  •  The ETP 55 came with this very nice Esteem Pica 10 printwheel…

Personally though, I prefer the down-to-earth appeal of the Brother CE-30.  I’ve never been much of a Sci-Fi fan!