Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 145 / OCTOBER 1992 / PAGE 97

Kodak Diconix 701. (ink jet printer) (Evaluation)
by Ralph Roberts

The Kodak Diconix 701 inkjet printer--from the people who sell film in those little yellow boxes--might be your answer to one or both of two questions. First, do you need a printer that's as portable as your laptop? The 701 works either from AC-or from a battery power pack. Second, do you want laser printer-quality graphics but can't afford a laser? The 701 provides 300 x 300 dpi resolution in a very small package.

Portable enough to take on the. road but powerful enough for the office, the 701 is a fully functional letter quality printer. It takes up less space on your desk than a sheet of paper and weighs only 5.9 pounds, including battery. It's 2.4 inches high, 7.68 inches deep, and 11.7 inches wide. A sheet feeder is built in, allowing you to print as many as 30 pages at a time. For portable use, the optional battery is the same as that used by many popular video camcorders.

A Microsoft Windows driver is included for instant compatibility with Windows applications. The popular HP Deskjet Plus and IBM ProPrinter X24E printers are emulated, which means that most programs can easily use the 701.

Print speeds approach those of laser printers. Up to three pages per minute in draft mode or two pages per minute in quality mode are possible (200 cps in draft, 120 cps in quality mode). Regular plain paper can be used, including letterheads and forms. Ink-jet transparencies can also be printed, enabling you to make last-minute preparations for presentations on the road. The printhead, a replaceable self-contained ink cartridge, is good for approximately 800 pages in standard-text draft mode.

Several fonts of different sizes are built into the printer. These are Courier at 5-, 6-, 10-, and 12-cpi monospaced; HEVTA (Helvetica) at 10-point proportional; Courier at 10- and 20-point proportional; and Gothic at 15-, 16.67-, and 20-cpi monospaced. Also included are hundreds of ASCII characters and symbols, coded graphics, and country-specific characters.

The 701 belongs to a new class of computer hardware that Kodak calls "mobile computing equipment." While mobile equipment has the light weight and small footprint characteristic of portable equipment, it provides greater "horsepower" and capabilities. The 701 was designed not only to be a full-featured desktop unit but also to be light and small enough (and, with battery power, portable enough) to take into the field.

Kodak's marketing strategy is to offer mobile printers as affordable alternatives to other types of desktop printers. The 701 is less expensive and a good deal lighter than most laser printers but prints very close to the same quality. It can also run from batteries, which laser printers can't do.

I installed and tested the 701 with a number of programs and had no problems. Installing the printer driver included for Windows let me (using Adobe Type Manager) print more than 200 fonts to the 701 using Windows 3,1. I also printed a number of 256-shades-ofgray photographs using

Aldus PhotoStyler. The results were just short of amaz-- ing for such a small printer. It really is a viable alternative to laser printers.

The Kodak Diconix 701 gives you AC or battery-powered 300-dpi printing in a powerful little package.