Taiwanese-made portable electronic typewriters of the Canon QS- series of the mid 1990s were sold around the world, in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and ranged from the QS-50 to the QS-700, with a wide choice of (100, 110, 200, 210, 300, 310, 400 and 550) models in-between.
The QS-50 is bottom of the range …
This QS-300 in my collection is middle of the range …
The QS-700 is the top of the range …
This Taiwanese-made MX-100 appears to be a lower-spec variant of the same series …
Unique to the QS-series (and possibly a feature lacking in MX- variants?) is a “Beam Marker” which allows you to accurately position a character on a pre-printed form.
Typewriters of the QS series also boast a “Quiet Sensation while printing” which explains the prefix. With a top speed of 14 cps they’re also Quite Speedy.
Into the 1990s, ETs improved in terms of their print speed and noise emission, but could not hope to compete with the near-silent stealth of the desktop publisher and the laser printer and were Quickly Supplanted.
The Canon S-300 (introduced in March 1987 and also sold as the UTAX T-3300) occupies the same ambiguous “portable-compact” territory as machines like the Brother CE-70. Functionality-wise, it sits at the top of the S-series …
The Canon S-200 (also sold as the UTAX T-3200, below) is a lower-spec model, without an LCD screen, and without any of the extra (Text, Mode, margin and tabulation) keys to the left and right of the main keyboard.
According to specifications the S-300 boasts (this example in my collection is *dead* so I can’t test this):
The “truly compact” AP-1500 (16 cps) is actually less compact (in terms of its footprint) and takes a larger ribbon, however the difference in “class” shows when you compare them side by side …
Weight-wise these two typewriters are similar, however the S-300 shares more in common with the AP-150 (July 1985, 15 cps), and takes the same ribbon. I guess the category it fits into could be “personal compact” as opposed to “office compact”: In other words, a cheaper, brighter, lower-level, more consumer-friendly version of a compact typewriter.
I *think* the Canon MX-300 (below) is the same typewriter …
Model name variants (possibly regional) confuse matters. Another example is this almost identical S-68S …
And this anomalous (I’ve only ever seen this one) Korean-made S-66 MX which is very close to the AP-150 in its keyboard layout …
Different, yes, but note the “vacant lot” immediately to the left of the Return key. The S-300 has the same thing …
The S-300S (S = more storage options?) has “a vacant lot” at the far left of its top-most row of keys. …
Should you find a working model S-300, or similar, let me know how it goes. Ribbon cassettes are still reasonably easy to find worldwide. The typewriters themselves, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly scarce. 😉
According to ribbon listings (which are not always reliable), this Canon S-16 portable electronic typewriter (made in Japan, circa 1986) is one in a series of four (S-13, S-14, S-15, S-16) portable electronic typewriters.
(I’ve yet to see an example of an S-13. If such a thing exists, I assume it’s identical to the S-14 but without 15 pitch.)
The S-16 has bells and whistles that the others don’t have.
An LCD display, for example, which, together with a Character mode/Display mode switch, and other display and memory-related keyboard shortcuts, differentiates it from the S-15, which appears to be otherwise identical …
SE-15 (above and below)
Dedicated Left and Right Margin keys, and Tab Set and Clear keys, set the S-16 and S-15 apart from the S-14, which only allows the margins and tabs to be set using a CODE key combination.
The S-16 is also smart enough to automatically raise the ribbon guide (ready for ribbon extraction) whenever you lift the lid. Again, the S-14 only allows the ribbon guide to be raised manually using a CODE key combination.
I know this because I have a Canon-S-14-Instruction-Guide (see PDF link below) but don’t have a guide for this Canon S-16.
A fully-featured, smart, portable electronic typewriter in executive grey. How can you possibly go wrong?
Problem is, the S-16 typewriter has a lot of features you could do without. FOR ONE THING, the bulky power adapter …
Canon S-14 (above)
… which you’re probably going to need because the optional Canon NiCd Battery Pack-30 and charger (both of which I don’t have) are discontinued, and therefore no longer an option.
Likewise, if you don’t have the memory card (I think?) which slots into the front left-hand side of the S-16 is going to be hard to find (should you want one).
And, thanks to that big bulky power adapter, you’ll also need a big bulky case …
Which is a nice case, but when it boils down to it ….
Yep. It’s all too much for a typewriter that’s actually not that pleasant to type on.
The S-16 isn’t a patch on the much simpler, albeit slower (not that you’d notice) Brother AX-10 (I like to think of the latter as the electrical equivalent of a Lettera 32).
In the case of the AX-10 (you don’t need a case for it) there’s no need to raise the ribbon guide in the first place. The ribbon cassette is easily removed and snapped into place.
Furthermore, you can swap the print wheel without having to remove the ribbon cassette at all.
But don’t get me wrong: the Canon S-16’s not all bad. For instance it has a Calculator function.
Press a CODE + C key combination and the typewriter transforms itself into this …
Now that is impressive!
Here’s the instruction guide for my Canon AP-1500 electronic typewriter.
Until recently, I didn’t know there was a small battery compartment on the underside of the typewriter devoted to a spell-checker function …
And hadn’t even noticed the large hatch on the right-hand side of the typewriter, which is where the spell checker/corrector card is inserted, or not, in the case of Oceania models …
According to Part 8 of the guide, this is in-built (at the cost of Multilingual Capability) …
I finally found an instruction guide for my Canon AP-1500 electronic typewriter. In order to purchase the instruction guide I had to purchase the AP-1500 typewriter that came with it ($15 AUD), and then ask the seller not to ship the typewriter since I already own an AP-1500 given to me for FREE in March last year.
The instruction guide came with three spare ribbon cassettes …
A faded and tattered sales quote secreted inside the pages of the guide reveals that the typewriter was purchased in Melbourne in March 1993, and that an “I.B.M. G/B TYPEWRITER” was traded-in …
It seems to me Canon took a leaf out of Olivetti’s book when it came to the sleek design of their AP-1500 …
Here’s the full instruction guide.
The typewriter-friendly couple who sold me the two Brother daisy wheels that prompted my last post, told me they’d long since got rid of the office equipment they once used in their real estate settlement business.
All, that is, except for one Canon AP-6110 electronic typewriter, which they asked me if I was interested in buying …
I had to decline, telling them truthfully I didn’t have room for it alongside my AP-1500—also manufactured in Costa Mesa, California—and now the only Canon wedge I own after I got rid of the yellowing AP-150.
Generously, they invited me in to inspect and photograph the AP-6110 …
… I made sure to record the serial number …
It’s big, with a space as big-as-a-cathedral on the inside …
The AP-1500 takes a large ribbon cassette too, but is much more compact …
The AP-6110 instruction guide is dated: Canon Business Machines Incorporated 1992. Which is about the year I expected, given the lighter key-tops that seem to be a feature of Canon’s last generation of office electronic typewriters.
It’s a full-size machine, too big to be classed as “compact”, but nowhere near as big as mammoth Canon typewriters like the AP-800 …
Now that’s a big Canon!
If you have one of these …
Chances are you need one of these …
You might also need the AP 300 Quick Reference Card:
A few sample screenshots are provided here, followed by the PDF link …
Canon AP-300 Parts & Functions
Canon AP-300 Keyboard
Replacing the daisy wheel
Removing and replacing the Ribbon Cassette/Correction Tape
Removing the platen
Copyright is owned by Canon Inc. This PDF (of the scans of an instruction guide I own) is offered as a free resource.
I’m supposed to be downsizing my collection (I have downsized my collection) and yet I took home another Canon electronic typewriter.
In mitigation, it was FREE and came with a spare (Micron 15) typewheel:
The typing feel (tactile key-tops, a quiet typing action, and with an impressive top speed of 16 cps) on these compact Canon office machines is excellent. The Canon AP1500 compares reasonably well against the Canon AP150. It has a slightly larger footprint, takes a bigger, fatter ribbon cassette …
… but is noticeably lighter in weight and has a sleeker profile:
The plastic shell on this Costa Mesa, Californian-made electronic typewriter appears not to be affected by same the yellow discoloration that afflicted the AP150. Different plastic? Or perhaps it was never exposed to sunlight?
One of these Canon typewriters will have to go — perhaps both if I come across another model I like better.
The AP1500 is the more basic of the two models. Take for instance, its simple-but-effective one-piece plastic paper rest:
I like it’s simplicity.
By my reckoning (looking at office supply listings) there are 48 distinct AP models to choose from, not including 21 second edition/special edition variants (with Roman numerals, E, X or S appended to the model number):
AP 110 II
AP 160 II
AP 200 E
AP 200 II
AP 200 X
AP 200 X-II
AP 210 X
AP 300 II
AP 300 X
AP 350 II
AP 350 X
AP 400 II
AP 410 X
AP 500 II
AP 500 S
AP 550 II
AP 800 III
AP 810 III
AP 830 III
AP 850 III
I finally finished scanning the instruction guide for the Canon AP150 electronic typewriter (in English). The whole guide (less the table of contents, some front matter, and the index which I ignored in the interests of avoiding scanning fatigue) comes in just under 10 MB.
If you have a problem uploading that, you can grab the instruction guide in two parts. Or if you own the AP100, you probably only need the first part (which doesn’t include the “Text Processing” section related to the LCD display):
Another scanning job for later is a guide for the Canon AP300, which I picked up on eBay (without the typewriter that goes with it). It’s much briefer and (like the AP150 guide) is nicely laid out with easy-to-follow flowcharts and diagrams.