The typewriter gods work in mysterious ways. This Brother CE-70 compact electronic typewriter came with an Anelia PS print wheel

You may recall I inadvertently gave one away with a Brother WP-1600D word processor in January this year. Serendipitously, I now have a replacement.

The gently concave key-tops on this typewriter reminds me of those on my Silver Reed EX-42 …

While the EX-42 is “simply” more attractive, the Brother CE-70 is the better typewriter, at least on paper.

It’s so good, in fact, it should have been given a mention in my recent post about better-than-average compact electronic typewriters.

According to my 1986-87 Edition 9 of the German Office Equipment catalogue Info-Markt Ratgeber, the CE-70 has a top speed of 15 cps, which puts it on a par (speed-wise) with larger Brother (CE 550, CE 650, CE 700) compact electronic typewriters.

The same reference also tells me the CE-70 was first manufactured in 1983 …

I’ve mentioned before the overlap between portable and compact typewriter categories. Sure enough, the lower spec and lower speed (13 cps) Brother CE-50/51 and Brother CE-60/61 machines (1983) are listed as “portable” in Info-Markt Ratgeber Edition 5 of 1984-1985. This despite them having the same maximum writing width and paper width as the Brother CE 68 (1984) and the CE 70 (1983), which are listed as “compact”.

Allowing for a few errors and inconsistencies between the different editions of the Info-Markt catalogs (which are nevertheless an invaluable reference), platen width is clearly not the only factor when determining category.

The lower spec, lower-speed CE-30, for example, is bigger than my AX-10 portable electronic typewriter, yet it does not have the features that would qualify it for “compact” status.

Even though it takes the same larger, higher capacity, ribbon cartridge used in other CE-series machines, it’s just light enough to be classed as a portable (and it has a carrying handle)  …

Brother’s tabbed print wheels are the same size on all models. Indeed, it’s the consistency in the design and the quality of Brother electronic typewriters in all three categories that puts them ahead of their competitors. (Look at the portables, compacts, and full size machines produced by Silver Reed, for example, and you’ll see a distinct lack of consistency in terms of both their design and their quality.)

No need to explain why Brother (and this 1984 CE-70 typewriter) are still going strong.

No instruction guide as yet, however a Quick Reference “Operating Guide” tucked underneath the front of the keyboard is better than nothing …

You only have to lift the CE-70 (or check out the advertising from the time of its release) to know it’s not a portable machine.

It’s classy, very classy indeed …

… and comes with an abundance of functions …

… which, without an instruction guide, I’m presently unable to elaborate on. Impact control is hinted at on the LCD screen …

I also haven’t figured out (it’s not obvious) where and how to attach the clip-on auxiliary paper guide …

A future instruction guide and a follow-up post will hopefully explain all.  🙂