Tandy DMP 202. (computer printer) (Evaluation)
by David Sears
Ever wonder if we'll see the end of the dot-matrix printers? Tandy seems intent on continuing tradition, and with the DMP 202 the company delivers a machine that closely resembles some of its early ancestors.
With two buttons to handle simple printer functions, a very plastic--but low-profile--look, and a compact footprint, this unit projects an attitude of low-end, can-do printing.
Emulating an IBM X24 printer, the Tandy DMP 202 handles both graphics and text from the Windows environment without complaint and does more than a fair job when you try its hand at DOS-based desktop publishing packages such as Express Publisher. Unlike early 8-pin models, this 24-pin printer can produce high-quality work, including near letter quality text. Print speeds clock in at 180 cps in the superspeed mode, bottom out at 33 cps for near letter quality work, and stabilize around 120 cps in standard draft mode.
As always, it's relatively easy to run paper through the tractor feed; it's the more than occasional jams that give you the headaches. Still, unlike some high-end dot-matrix printers, this Tandy printer never attempted to route paper incorrectly through its insides in a spiteful ploy to cause trouble. The single-sheet paper rack allows for trouble-free printing on either typing paper or stationery.
Not the fastest printer around but one of the lighter ones at 7.3 pounds, the Tandy DMP 202 could make an ideal companion for college-bound students worried about dragging their possessions up four flights to the dorm room. In the home office, on the other hand, the DMP 202 could see some action printing multipart forms.
The noise-sensitive, however, must stand clear. Like its forerunners, the DMP 202 becomes an irritating noise monster when it prints.
Aside from this failing, users who need only a moderate amount of printing done could find the DMP 202 a tolerable balance of quality output, print speed, and price. If this unit turns up in the Radio Shack sale catalog, you might consider picking one up.