Apple Announces New High-Resolution Laser Printer

Cupertino, Calif., January 23, 1985--Apple Computer, Inc. today announced the LaserWriter high-resolution laser printer.  The new product allows business users to produce near typeset-quality text and art department-quality graphics from their personal computer workstations.   The LaserWriter--printing such documents as newsletters, overhead transparencies, business forms, memos, brochures and reports--can be shared among a work group of up to 31 people using AppleTalk*,  Apple's low-cost personal network.

The printer, which is an integral part of The Macintosh* Office, provides flexibility and quality of output usually restricted to printers costing several times as much.  The LaserWriter achieves full-page 300-dots-per-inch output through a Canon* LBP-CX10 engine, a powerful built-in computer designed by Apple and a software language called PostScript*.

"The LaserWriter is a breakthrough in visual communication that will change the way people do business on paper," said Barbara Koalkin, Macintosh Office products marketing manager.  "To a large extent, business people are judged by the quality of their written documents and presentations.  We designed a shared printer that brings near typeset-quality output to the desks of these office workers.

"The LaserWriter not only replaces daisy-wheel and dot-matrix printers, but in many instances it obviates the need to go to an art department or print shop for typesetting and paste-up."

The LaserWriter Has Networking Built In

The LaserWriter has the AppleTalk Personal Network built in, so that one printer can be shared by up to 31 people in a work group.  In addition to the AppleTalk port, the LaserWriter has an RS-232 port to connect it to devices outside AppleTalk that use this communications standard. Through a built-in program to emulate the Diablo* 630, a popular daisy-wheel printer, IBM* and IBM-compatible personal computers using WordStar* or other IBM PC software can print directly on the LaserWriter with no software modification.

Key business software available for the Macintosh computer will produce output from the LaserWriter without modification.  This software includes Jazz*, the integrated business-software package from Lotus Development Corp.; the Microsoft* series; and all Apple* Macintosh software.  In addition, new applications are being developed for Macintosh to take advantage of the LaserWriter, including Aldus Corp.'s PageMaker*, a package that allows users to design and compose layouts for such publications as newsletters, data sheets and brochures.

"We at Lotus are impressed with the quality and capability of the new LaserWriter printer," said Eric Bedell, Lotus' Jazz marketing manager. "Letters, reports, forms and presentations created on Jazz look incredible when printed on the LaserWriter.

"We believe that Jazz and the new printer offer the business professional the opportunity to create some of the highest-quality output available in today's microcomputer marketplace."

The LaserWriter printer accommodates the many sizes of paper, transparencies, envelopes and labels that offices use.  It can print up to eight pages per minute, and at a rate of two or three pages a minute for even extremely complex graphics.

Vendors of complete systems have shown interest in including the LaserWriter in their product offerings to businesses.  One such company, Metaphor Computer Systems, has signed an agreement with Apple under which it will include the LaserWriter in its information retrieval and analysis system marketed to product marketing and financial departments of Fortune 500 companies.

LaserWriter Provides Flexibility for Transparencies and Reports

Apple designed the high-quality LaserWriter to serve a wide range of office needs, both for written reports and for transparencies used in business presentations.  For example, the printer can integrate unlimited combinations of text and graphics on a single page, for reports, brochures and newsletters. It can print the very small type sizes needed for forms as well as the large type sizes needed to make transparencies for presentations. Also, the printer incorporates actual typefaces and fonts used in traditional typesetting, such as Helvetica* and Times*, which are preferred in producing forms and newsletters.

"The LaserWriter will revolutionize presentations, one of the main ways people communicate with each other in business," Koalkin said. "Previously, transparencies for these presentations were done by hand or by art departments. Now, the LaserWriter provides the quality of art department transparencies faster than could be done by hand."

Underlying the LaserWriter's versatility is an interpretive programming language called PostScript, developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated.  This flexible page- description language was created specifically for high-resolution printers and typesetting machines.

A powerful feature of the PostScript language is that it stores fonts as mathematical formulas, or "outlines," rather than as a bit map for every size, style and orientation of a typeface.   Using these outlines, PostScript can direct the printer to generate characters in a wide range of point sizes, from three points up to more than 720 points, limited at the high end only by the size of the paper. (Seventy-two points measures one inch.

Besides text characters, PostScript also directs the production of extremely high-resolution line art and graphics.  In fact, the graphic capabilities of the LaserWriter exceed even those possible on the Macintosh screen.

The LaserWriter is the first personal-computer printer to be awarded license to use the original Helvetica and Times typefaces.  Times is the most common typeface for newspapers, and Helvetica is the most popular for business forms.

Also built into the printer are Courier and a mathematical Symbol font.  The printer can also support all of the current Macintosh typefaces.  Apple will be releasing additional "downloadable" fonts for the printer, selected from the typeface libraries of the International Typeface Corp. and the Mergenthaler, Linotype,  Stempel, Haas typeface library.

The software is device-independent, which means that any workstation, including the IBM PC, for instance, can take advantage of the LaserWriter through PostScript.  Similarly, Macintosh applications can print on any PostScript-compatible printer or typesetter, with no software changes.

"PostScript is being viewed by the printing industry as the first widely adopted page-description standard," Koalkin said.  "As demonstration of this fact, Linotype, a division of Allied Corporation, is announcing a line of AppleTalk- and PostScript- compatible typesetters.

"Macintosh users will be able to hook up their machines to these high-end phototypesetters over the AppleTalk Personal Network and achieve resolution of up to 2,540 lines per inch."

Hardware Built to be Reliable, Powerful

The LaserWriter contains the most powerful computer ever designed by Apple. At the heart of the LaserWriter is a 12-megahertz Motorola* 68000 microprocessor.

The printer's computer also includes 1/2 megabyte of read-only memory (ROM), plus 1 1/2 megabytes of random-access memory (RAM).  This powerful computer is necessary to provide the flexibility and quality of output that businesses need for their day-to-day printing requirements.

The LaserWriter's Canon engine contains the laser and the printer's mechanical parts.  The engine was designed for easy servicing without the mess normally associated with adding toner to printers or copiers.  Components that need regular replacement, including toner and the imaging scroll, are isolated in a removable cartridge for convenient access.  Cartridges last for 2,000 to 3,000 pages, after which users easily remove and replace them without calling a service representative.

Price and Availability

The LaserWriter printer will sell for a suggested retail price of $6,995, including toner cartridge.  It will be available in March 1985 in the United States and Canada through all Apple distribution channels, and in June 1985 internationally.

Apple, the Apple Logo, and AppleTalk are trademarks owned by and Macintosh is a trademark licensed to Apple Computer, Inc.
Canon is a trademark of Canon Inc.
PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Diablo is a trademark of Xerox Corporation.
IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
WordStar is a trademark of MicroPro International Corporation.
Jazz is a trademark of Lotus Development Corporation.
Microsoft is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
PageMaker is a trademark of Aldus Corporation.
Helvetica and Times are trademarks of Allied Corporation.
Motorola is a trademark of Motorola, Inc.

LaserWriter Product Specifications

Marking Engine:
Canon LBP-CX laser-xerographic engine
Controller hardware contains: 12mhz 68000, 1/2 Meg of ROM, 1 and 1/2 Meg of RAM, AppleTalk* and RS-232C interfaces.
Print Quality:
All text and graphics printed at 300 dots per inch.
Built-in Fonts:
Times*, Times Bold, Times Italic, Times Bold Italic, Helvetica(, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Oblique, Helvetica Bold Oblique, Courier, Courier Bold, Courier Oblique, Courier Bold-Oblique and Symbol are built-in.  Underline, Shadow and Hollow styles for the above fonts can also be generated. Full international character sets.  Supports all Macintosh fonts as downloaded bitmaps.
Built-in Font Sizes:
Full range of sizes from 4pt on up.  Limited at the low end by the resolution of the printer and at the high end by the size of the paper.
8 pages per minute maximum throughput.  Actual performance is application and document dependent.
AppleTalk and RS-232C.
Printing Protocols Supported:
POSTSCRIPT* and a subset of Diablo( 630 command set.
Recommended Duty Cycle:
Less than 4000 pages per month.
Printing Material Feed:
Automatic from paper input cassette. Manual single sheet feed.
Printing Materials:
Best results with 16-21 lb. single sheet copier bond.  Can use most letterhead and colored stock from 8-34 lb.  Can also use standard overhead transparency material.  Envelopes and labels supported via manual feed.
Printing Material Sizes and Capacity:
Supports Letter, Legal, A4, and B5 sizes.  Input cassette holds 100 sheets, output tray holds 20 sheets.
Maximum Printable Surface:
Width (inches)
Length (inches)10.912.510.510.0
Width18.5 inches
Depth (body only)16.2 inches
Depth (with trays)28.2 inches
Height11.5 inches
Weight77 lbs.
US Model115 VAC (1 10 percent) 60Hz
European Model220 VAC (1 10 percent) 50 Hz or 240 VAC (1 10 percent) 50 Hz
Safety and Environmental Compliance:
UL 660F listed
CSA LR49439 certified
FCC Class B
BRH certified Class I laser product
Operating50-90 degrees F (10-32.5 C)
Storage32-95 degrees F (0-35 C)
Operating20-80% relative humidity
Standby10-80% relative humidity
Operating0-8200 feet
Non-operating0-49000 feet
Audible Noise:
Operatingless than 55 dB (A)
Standbyless than 45 dB (A)
Times, and Helvetica are trademarks of the Allied Corporation
AppleTalk is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
Diablo is a trademark of Xerox Corporation
POSTSCRIPT is a trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.


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20525 Mariani Avenue
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Renee Rodrigue (408) 973-2042