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31-7-2018 15:29:58  #1


Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

It takes several hours of typing to discover the pros and cons of each typewriter.

When I bought a SM9 (the 68-9 version), I immediately realized why everyone says so many good things about this machine. It's amazing and has all features that a portable can have. It's definitely on the top 5 of portable typewriters.

However, the more I typed, the more I began to realize some things that bother me. First of all, the touch is a little paradoxical: it's comfortable and really soft, but when it's fully pressed and hits the bottom it receives a kind of shock. It feels like that there's nothing to cushion it's impact, like the SM3 has. Although the segment shift is a virtue, I prefer the softer cushioned touch of the SM3 with the carriage shift. I tend to type around 4 hours a day. After 2 hours on the SM9, my fingers start to hurt a little from its impact. Plus, the keys on the keyboard stay too close one to the other. I jam the keys quite often, and sometimes this pisses me off haha. Finally, I always had the feeling that the SM9 is a somewhat "cheaper" typewriter than its predecessors, in terms of material and solidness. For these reasons, I began to consider the SM3 a superior machine than the SM9. 

But then, a few days ago, I decided to come back to my Olivetti Lettera 32. And how surprised was I to realize that I type a little more comfortably with it than with the SM9. In the first minutes, it feels like a worse machine, but hours of typping tend to show its advantages in relation to the SM9. The touch, although a little more stiff than the Olympias, doesn't produce that shock feel, which makes it better for longer typing, in my opinion. Plus, I found the keyboard more suitable to my fingers. I don't jam the keys, at least I rarely do. And it's such a light weight machine, I can carry it so easily between the bedroom and the living room, that it makes me like it even more. Finnaly, I also realized that the height of the Olympia SM9 keyboard is bigger than the Lettera 32. I found the later more comfortable. After realizing all this, I'm eager to try an Olivetti Lettera 22, that some consider even better than the 32. Since they were both produced in Brazil, I can find them for around R$ 50 ($12-15) each.

Overall, I think today that the Lettera 32 is a better typing machine than the SM9. I also think that the SM3 (4) is a superior machine than the SM9, and that the segment shift doesn't pay off. It's better to get use with the carriage shift than with the impact of the SM9 touch.

And what do you guys think? Is there someone that also prefers the Lettera 32 over the SM9? Share your experiences!

 

 

31-7-2018 18:39:38  #2


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

chicoliro wrote:

... it's comfortable and really soft, but when it's fully pressed and hits the bottom it receives a kind of shock. It feels like that there's nothing to cushion it's impact, like the SM3 has.  

The SM3 has cushioned keys, the SM9 doesn't; regardless, I've never used a SM9 that had the "shock" touch characteristic you described. It's possible that your machine has an issue, and if it was mine I'd investigate the matter further because the SM9 is an exemplary model.  

chicoliro wrote:

And what do you guys think? Is there someone that also prefers the Lettera 32 over the SM9?

Certainly not myself. The Lettera models are nice ultra-portables, and perform well in that role, but I'd never choose one over any of the SM models.
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

31-7-2018 18:54:06  #3


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

Hum if it has an issue, where should I begin investigating? I bought from a man that said it was hardly used. I cleaned it partially with mineral spirits, specially the segments. The keys do have a nice the touch. The impact happens when they hit the end. And this is only noticeable after a few hours of typing.

I wouldn't pick a Lettera 32 over a SM3. But I do think it can have some advantages over a SM9.

     Thread Starter
 

31-7-2018 22:28:32  #4


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

Just to back up Uwe here, for what it's worth, I have several SM9 machines, and the shock feeling you mentioned is something I have never experienced with any of them even in extended typing sessions.  Good luck with fixing whatever the problem is.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

01-8-2018 08:01:30  #5


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

Maybe my choice of vocabulay didn't make myself clear. What I mean by schock or impact is just the uncushioned touch of the Olympia SM9 when compared with the SM3. Maybe the word shock suggests a much worse feel than what I meant.

     Thread Starter
 

01-8-2018 08:46:01  #6


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

Right now I do not have an SM9 (one is on the way, or it might be an SM8, not entirely sure) but I do have an SM3 and two Olivetti Lettera 32s and an Olivetti Lettera 22. Each are very appealing in their own way. If I had to choose, I think I would take the SM3 first, but the Lettera 32 was the first in my collection (both) and I have a sweet spot for them. Not sure this helps 

 

01-8-2018 15:57:56  #7


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

gnuyork wrote:

Right now I do not have an SM9 (one is on the way, or it might be an SM8, not entirely sure)...

If the tab stops can be set from the keyboard it's a SM9. If the tab stops have to be manually set from the back of the carriage it's a SM8.
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

03-8-2018 10:05:13  #8


Re: Olympia SM9 vs Olivetti Lettera 32

Uwe wrote:

gnuyork wrote:

Right now I do not have an SM9 (one is on the way, or it might be an SM8, not entirely sure)...

If the tab stops can be set from the keyboard it's a SM9. If the tab stops have to be manually set from the back of the carriage it's a SM8.
 

Just arrived and I opened it up. It's an SM9 (keyboard tab stops)... and I didn't realize this until after I won the auction, but it appears to be a long carriage version. I might not have bid if I noticed, but it was a quick bid that I didn't really anticipate winning, but it was a nice surprise that I did.

 

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