Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 3, NO. 11 / MARCH 1985


Starting at $238
by CHARLES JACKSON, Antic Staff Writer

If you're an Atari microscreen artist who feels you absolutely cannot wait a moment longer to make color printouts affordably, then the Okimate 10 Personal Color Printer (Okidata, $238) or the Seikosha GP-700A Color Graphic Printer (Axiom, $ 599) might be just what you're looking for.
  However... as you can see from the accompanying illustrations, neither printer delivers color pictures that look as bright and sharp as your video display.  And we had to spend much of a workday tinkering with the color registers of our sample file before getting any acceptable results.  Also, lettering with black ink was not as good as the Gemini and Epson dot matrix printers we're used to.
  But you can judge each printer for yourself.  For our test illustration we chose a microscreen sent to Antic by Jennifer Brabson of Springfield, Virginia.  On this page we show the Okimate and Seikosha printouts, along with a photo of the actual video image and black-ink text printouts.

microscreen photo


The Okimate 10 comes with a BASIC program that will make color printouts from most Micro Illustrator and Super Sketch picture files.  The program can only be used with an 800 XL computer, or a 600 XL computer with a memory expansion board.  You'll also need a copy of DOS 2.0S.
  The Okimate is a small, quiet thermal printer that prints 8" x 5 1/4" color images on either single sheet. or tractor feed paper.  Once we loaded the program, it took 35 minutes to reproduce our sample Micro Illustrator screen.  You must choose colors carefully, if you want your final print to resemble the original screen display.  The program can accurately represent only 15 of the Atari's 128 available colors.
  Okidata technicians said a 128-color version of the printer program would be available later this year.
  The printer's "once through" color ribbon cartridge ($6.69) contains enough ink for about five microscreen prints.
 Okimate color printout

The Seikosha is considerably larger, noisier and more expensive than the Okimate-but it runs five times faster.  The Seikosha took only seven minutes to print our sample 8" x 5 1/4" color image, and two minutes to generate a 4" by 2-5/8" image.
  The Seikosha accepts MicroPainter, Graphics Master, Graphics Magician and any other 62-sector Graphics 7.5 or Graphics 8 picture file, and can be used with any Atari computer having at least 48K of memory.
  The Seikosha's rewindable ribbon cassette holds four small inking cartridges.  When a color is used up, only its cartridge need be replaced.  Manufacturers claim each ribbon cassette can print the equivalent of 500 full-page letters.
 Seikosha Color Printout

Okidata Corp.
532 Fellowship Rd.
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
Axiom Corp.
1014 Griswold Ave.
San Fernando, CA 91340
(213) 365-9521