Canon BJ-10E. (bubble-jet printer) (evaluation)
by J. Blake Lambert
Compact, light, and quiet--the Canon BJ-10e printer offers IBM ProPrinter X24E emulation and quality output.
The easy-to-use Bubble Jet parallel printer is more like a sophisticated dot-matrix than a low-end laser printer. While not particularly rugged, weighing four pounds and sized 12.2 x 8.5 x 1.9 inches, the BJ-10e could be used, with caer, as a portable printer.
In both High Quality and Economy modes, the BJ-10e operates at 83 characters per second (cps). The darker HQ mode uses a 36 x 48 dot-matrix; Economy mode uses a highly readable 18 x 48 dot-matrix. Text characters include proportionally spaced 5-, 6-, 8.5-, 10-, 12-, and 17-character-per-inch fonts, selectable from the control panel or by software control. You get bold, underlined, subscript, and superscript--but not italic--styles. The BJ-10e also uses downloadable fonts.
The Bubble Jet printer can produce graphics using 8-, 24-, or 48-dot formats and offers resolutions of 60, 120, 240, or 360 dots per inch, depending on which printer drivers your software provides.
Easily replaceable, the Bubble Jet's ink/printhead cartridge lasts for 700,000 characters. The printhead is part of the cartridge, reducing printhead wear problems.
The ni-cad battery pack operates the printer for 40 minutes on a charge of about ten hours.
The BJ-10e prints on 14- to 24-pound plain paper, in 7.2- to 14-inch lengths and in 7.2- to 8.5-inch widths. (Since the BJ-10e is not an impact printer, you can't use it to print multipart forms.)
A highly accurate feed mechanism makes feeding single sheets easy. You can adjust the paper position vertically with forward and reverse adjustment buttons. To print envelopes, just use the envelope-feed slot located in the botton and the printer stand that folds out to allow the unit to rest upright on its back.
The Canon ASF-6410 Auto Sheet Feeder is a useful option, but it holds only 30 sheets of letter, A4, or B5 paper. The printer stands vertically, and the sheet feeder attaches to feed paper through the envelope-feed slot. You can also manually feed paper with the sheet feeder attached.
A special DIP switch tells the printer whether you're using the sheet feeder. You'll find all the printer's DIP switches within easy reach and labeled with abbreviated descriptions.
You'll pay $90 for the ASF 6410 sheet feeder, $50 for a ni-cad battery, $25 for each cartridge, and $35 for a replacement AC adapter.
The manuals for the printer and sheet feeder are brief but thorough, with plenty of drawings to guide you. Unless you plan to design your own fonts or control the printer's graphics features through programming, you probably won't need the optional programmer's manual.