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The Canon Bubble Jet 10ex:

The Canon Bubble Jet 10ex:

The Bubble Jet is an inkjet printer for those who want laser-like output at an affordable 9 cents per page, and don't mind lugging around a 4.6 lb printer the size of a notebook computer. With the addition of an optional sheet feeder, you could even use the Bubble Jet as your primary printer, provided you do not need continuous form capability.

The Bubble Jet comes with a parallel port only and needs a serial-to-parallel adapter to connect to the 95LX.

By Sergio Casanova

After a few trials with the office's Epson printer, I decided I wanted a printer for my desk at home. I compared the quality of the Canon Bubble Jet with the quality of the Kodak (Diconix 180si); I decided on the Canon -- a parallel printer.

The BJ-10e weighs 4.6 lbs. (2.09 kg) with battery pack, and measures 12.25 x 8.5 x 1.88 inches (31.12 x 21.59 x 4.78 cm). Although larger than any of the other printers in this article, it's still pretty small (about the size of a notebook computer). The BJ-10e comes with an AC adapter, a connect cable, and one ink cartridge, and lists for $499. The optional NiCd battery pack, good for about 18 pages of printing when fully charged, lists for $50. A replacement ink cartridge costs $25. Battery and ink cartridges should be available from the dealer you purchased the Bubble Jet from.

The Bubble Jet is a quiet printer, providing 360 dpi (dots per inch) resolution on plain bond paper, envelopes, or transparencies. Built-in fonts include Courier and Prestige Elite (if you configure the printer and the 95LX for Proprinter emulation) and Sans Serif, and Roman (if you configure them for Epson LQ-510 emulation). Proprinter and Epson FX-80 emulation are available on the 95LX. Epson technical support said that Epson FX-80 emulation on the 95LX should work for an Epson LQ-510 compatible machine like the Bubble Jet. To access these fonts, you'll have to print from a DOS word processor such as VDE, or from Lotus 1-2-3. This is because MEMO cannot send the necessary control characters to change fonts.

The Bubble Jet only comes with a parallel printer port. Because of this, you must use a serial-to-parallel adapter to connect it to the 95LX. Depending on the serial-to-parallel adapter you use, you may also need one of the pin adapters from the HP Serial Cable Adapter Kit (HP 82224A). (See sidebar, page 8, on serial-to-parallel adapters.)

Bubble Jet Clones

Two other manufacturers use the Canon Bubble Jet engine and case as the basis of their printers:

Brother International markets the HJ-100i Ink Jet Printer, virtually identical to the Bubble Jet.

Star Micronics markets the StarJet SJ-48. According to a very favorable review in the Laptop Buyer's Guide & Handbook (Vol.10, Issue.6), Star Micronics made changes in the firmware and software which improved font handling, paper handling, and print quality. Unfortunately, the 13 additional Bitstream FaceLift typefaces included with the StarJet are impossible to use with the 95LX's built-in MEMO program.

Both clones retail for $499 (plus $50 for battery and $25 for additional ink cartridges), the same price as the Bubble Jet. These machines are essentially identical to the Bubble Jet, and require a serial-to-parallel adapter to connect to the 95LX. Since all three are essentially identical printers, check street prices to find the better deal.

NOTE: We have not tested the HJ-100i Ink Jet Printer or the StarJet SJ-48 with the 95LX, but since the hardware is virtually identical to the Bubble Jet, you should be able to connect them to the 95LX via a serial-to-parallel adapter.

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