Ahead of its time: A small, lightweight computer printer

October 1980


Printing method: Impact dot matrix
Character set: JIS 128 or ASCII 96 (operator-selectable)
Character formation: 9 x 9 dot matrix (character part)
Print speed: 80 characters/second (normal characters)
Line length: 40, 66, 80, 132 (columns)
Dimensions: (W) 374 x (D) 305 x (H) 107 mm
Weight: 5.5 kg

Epson* developed and brought the MX-80 (known as the MP-80 in Japan) to market with the intention of offering a full-fledged printer for use with personal computers. The product was based on the precision technology that the company refined in its R&D of watches and miniprinters. As the industry's leading small, lightweight impact dot matrix printer, the MX-80 attracted a great deal of attention. This printer provided high-precision printing by employing a nine-pin microdot print head and bidirectional printing with logic seeking. Moreover, with its 9 x 9 character composition and user-selectable line length (40, 66, 80, or 132 columns), the MX-80 delivered highly advanced functionality and quality.

Subsequent to its release, the MX-80 elicited a great response around the world for its ability to meet the needs of the day; the year after it appeared on the market, it held a 60% share of the Japanese market. It was also received well in the United States, where its small size, light weight, and compact style made it a virtual standard for printers in the fast-growing American personal computer market. The MX-80 is, without a doubt, the printer that launched Epson's image as a consummate manufacturer of printers.

*Then known as Shinshu Seiki Co., Ltd. (name changed to Epson Corporation in 1982).