C. Itoh CI-8E. (desktop laser printer) (Hardware Review) (Evaluation)
by Tom Benford
The C. Itoh CI-8E desktop laser printer is much more than an enhanced, beefed0up version of the C. Itoh 4. In addition to the CI-8E's being endowed with more speed, there are several other noteworthy features which set it apart from its sibling.
The CI-8E comes with 1MB of RAM standard, but this can be expanded to a maximum configuration of 5MB. The review unit was equipped with 3MB of RAM, a comfortable amount for all but the most grueling DTP or graphics applications utilizing many soft fonts.
Fourteen bitmapped and eight scalable fonts are resident in the CI-8E, and additional fonts can be added using HP-compatible font cartridges (there are two slots provided) or downloadable soft fonts. The CI-8E also incorporates C. Itoh's EEG (Edge Enhancement Technology) which smooths out the jaggies that are often present in curved areas of text or graphics. The EEG circuitry redefines the curved areas and remaps them, producing a smoother overall appearance. The scalable fonts consist of CG Times Medium in roman, italic, bold, and bold italic and Universe Medium in roman, italic, bold, and bold italic; the bitmapped fonts resident in both portrait and landscape orientations are 10-and 12-point Courier in roman, bold, and italic and 8.5-point Line Printer.
Parallel, RS-232C serial, and RS-422 serial interfaces are standard equipment on the CI-8E. Standard emulation capabilities for the CI-8E include HP LaserJet Series III (PCL5), Epson FX-850, and IBM ProPrinter XL24e emulations. A PDL cartridge is also available as an option for PostScript capability, and this cartridge adds 35 PostScript-compatible fonts which can be scaled or rotated.
A soft-touch control panel comprised of eight function buttons, four colored LEDs, and a 16-character LCD message display permits changing the printer's settings and also provides a window on the CI-8E's operational status. Setting up and using the CI-8E are very easy and uncomblicated; the menu-driven LCD panel is augmented by an excellent user's manual.
This eight-page-per-minute laser printer is conservative in the amount of desktop space it requires, measuring a compact 15.5 x 15.9 x 8.6 inches and weighing just under 31 pounds.
A 250-sheet multipurpose paper tray feeds paper into the CI-8E, while an output lever selects either faceup or facedown delivery modes. An optional second bin paper feeder which holds 300 sheets (list price, $175) and a 20-sheet faceup output tray (list price, $30) are also available as optional items. Transparencies, envelopes, and label stock can be manually fed into the CI-8E,
The C. Itoh CI-8E puts the features wanted by most users into one package, and it offers additional features as options for those users who need them--a most sensible arrangement. The CI-8E's 8-ppm output speed, relatively small footprint, EEG technology, good assortment of standard fonts, and serial or parallel interfacing combine to make it a printer worthy of serious consideration.
C. ITOH CI-8E--$1,695
C-TECH ELECTRONICS 2515 McCabe Way P.O. Box 19673 Irvine, CA 92713-9673 (714) 833-1165
Circle Reader Service Number 435