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  • 1984

Hardware Description

The Apple Scribe Printer was a thermal transfer printer made by Apple and first introduced in 1984 alongside the Apple IIc for a relatively low retail price of $299. It was a thermal printer, but was a significant advancement over the old Silentype. It could print on regular paper (instead of special heat sensitive paper), and could print in four colors. It could do this using a unique heat-transfer method and a wax-impregnated ribbon. It could print in a “near letter quality” mode (with overlapping dots) at 50 cps, and a draft and graphics mode (80 cps). Its major limitations, however, were a print quality that overall was often not as good as some dot-matrix printers, a ribbon that was expensive and needed to be replaced often, and a slow printing speed which was a function of its unidirectional print head. The Scribe was eventually discontinued due to these problems and low sales. The Scribe was the first printer offered using the Snow White design language that would later characterize many of Apple’s products. It was also the first printer to use same creamy off-white color first used on the Apple IIc and its peripherals, a trait which would continue with Apple’s other printers until 1987.