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The Kodak Diconix 180si:

The Kodak Diconix 180si:

The 180si is a four-pound ink jet printer for those who want letter quality (190 dpi) output at an affordable 12 cents per sheet. The 180si is the only portable printer we found with tractor, as well as sheet feed capability.

The 180si comes in a serial port version, making it simpler to connect to the 95LX.

By Trevor Cradduck

The new Kodak Diconix 180si printer (successor to the Diconix 150 Plus) is a very satisfactory, lightweight, portable printer.

The package includes the printer, AC adapter, and one inkjet cartridge. Five NiCd C cells will cost you about $15 from Radio Shack. Additional inkjet cartridges run about $19.95. The inkjet cartridges it uses should be available from the dealer you buy the 180si from (the same cartridge as used in the HP ThinkJet portable printer and should also be available from your local HP dealer).

The size is 5.08 x 27.4 x 16.5 cm (2 x 10.8 x 6.5 inches), which means that it can fit into a brief case, although it is a tight fit. It weighs in at 1.3 kg (2.9 lb) without the batteries; the battery brings the weight up to about 1.8 kg (4 lbs). The 180si comes with an external 9V DC power supply.

The print quality, though not comparable to a laser printer, is acceptable for a printer of this type (see print sample, previous page). It has four fonts: Prestige 10, Prestige 12, Helvetica and Gothic; each is available in either draft (68 cps) or letter quality (21 cps). The 180si accepts both sheet paper (manual feed) or fan-fold paper (tractor feed). You can also print transparencies, although you need to be careful in your choice of transparency to be sure that it will take the ink. The 180si emulates the Epson FX-85 or the IBM Proprinter, both of which are options on the 95LX. This means that print modes such as superscript, subscript, underline, italic and bold are all possible if you use a word processor that supports those features (MEMO does not). The printing action is very quiet.

The 180si uses 5 NiCd "C" batteries, which are neatly tucked away inside the paper roller. The batteries are recharged by the printer's power supply and the printer can run on either the power supply or the batteries. Kodak says the batteries will give you 50 minutes of printing, but I have not tested this. I assume this would depend on the charge status and "memory" of the Ni-Cd cells. It takes about 10 hours (overnight) to recharge the fully depleted batteries. ("Memory" refers to the fact that Ni-Cd batteries, if repeatedly only partially charged, lose the ability to hold a full charge. The battery will "remember" the level to which you've been charging the batteries and only accept that level of charge in the future.)

The connection to the 95LX is made using the serial cable from the HP Connectivity Pack (HP F1001A) and the 9-to-25 pin Printer adapter that comes with the HP Serial Cable Adapter Kit (HP 82224A). (The printer adapter has a small printer icon on it.)

I paid $399 (Canadian Dollars, the Diconix 180si with serial interface retails for $419 in the USA). This makes the 180si competitive with other portable printers I looked at. The Diconix 180si is a very convenient portable for the 95LX. It definitely beats having to cart an HP Laser IIIP around!

iPhone Life magazine


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