This 1994 charcoal-grey USA-made Brother AX-325 portable electronic typewriter is the Official Typewriter of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It’s a typewriter that was happily looking forward to a future that didn’t happen.
It 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.
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, of course, 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.
Also “minimalist”, the user guide has no front or rear cover, simply comprising one double-sided sheet of paper which folds into 16 pages.
A bit awkward to read, however the upside is, its easy to scan in two-page pairs.