Odd to think that “Three Stars” is the meaning of the name of the company that gave us the “Galaxy” smartphone. In a way it sums up the impact of Korean manufacturers on the universe of the electronic typewriter.

Samsung SQ-3200 with French keyboard (above)

Samsung SQ-3000 (above and below)

Samsung did have some impact though. They, their affiliate Packard Bell, and Sharp (Korea) were worthy of mention in …

"Portable Electric Typewriters From Singapore"

… the determination of the 1991 United States International Trade Commission in Investigation No. 731-TA-515 (preliminary) Under the tariff act of 1930 (an investigation into electronic typewriter dumping and its effect on the domestic U.S. market):

“The world market for PETs¹ PATs² and PEWPs³ is dominated by many of the same firms that compete in the U.S., primarily Smith Corona, Brother International Corporation, and Olivetti, as well as other firms such as Canon Business Machines and the Korean operations of SHARP, SAMSUNG and PACKARD BELL who sell considerable quantities for export around the world.”.

Samsung’s SQ series of portable electronic typewriters comprised the following models …

  • SQ-1000
  • SQ-1030
  • SQ-1200
  • SQ-1250
  • SQ-1300
  • SQ-1500
  • SQ-2200
  • SQ-3000
  • SQ-3200
  • SQ-W1050 (word processor)

… models which appeared in a number guises. The SQ-3000, for example, was also sold as the “Silver Reed” EX 133 MD …

… many of these were “Made in China” after Samsung moved their electronics manufacturing to China in the early 1990s …

Samsung SQ-1000 …

Silver Reed EX 133 … not a patch on earlier ’80s Silver Reed EX series machines such as the EX-42/44 …

It seems no expense was entertained in the manufacture of the SQ series, as evidenced by their easily-discoloured ABS4 plastic shells …

… and their cheaply printed (rather than laser etched, double shot, or dye sublimated) ABS keycaps — the legends of which run the risk of being rubbed out due to over-vigorous cleaning …

Removal of the QWERT as well as the dirt!

~

If you own a wedge, especially a ’90s wedge, you can expect plastic. But a plastic ribbon cassette mounting bracket? That’s taking plastic too far …

Incidentally, the SQ-3000 takes a Brother ribbon cassette which, along with Olivetti’s Praxis 35 ribbon, seems to have been used on many Japanese wedges …

The type wheel (unlike those of Brother, Sharp and Panasonic) comes without a plastic sleeve, and without the luxury of resin-tipped spokes …

The typing action on the SQ-3000 is noisy and the keycaps have a loose, cheap-computer-keyboard feel to them, especially the Return key which refuses to respond unless you hit exactly the right spot.

When it came to other Samsung models I doubt things got much better.

The only non-SQ example I could find online is this ET-45S (Type Ace 2 or Type CE 2?) typewriter, which appears to be a thermal device …

Despite the thumbs-up logo, Samsung typewriters get a big thumbs-down from me.

Three star company, one star typewriters.

¹ PETs: Personal Electric Typewriters

² PATs: Personal Automatic Typewriters (with text memory)

³ PEWPs: Personal Word Processors

4 ABS is short for “Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene”. ABS (and other polystyrene blends) will gradually turn yellow over time when subjected to ultraviolet light, a component of sunlight. Most keyboards have keycaps made of ABS.

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