【NEC】 NB-3000 and NH-3000 Intelligent Serial Printers

In June 1975, NEC announced these "intelligent printers", which achieved high-speed, high-reliability and low-cost, and began sales as systems, standalone units and OEM.

These printers eliminated mechanical parts, reduced the number of parts to 1/10 the previous amount. By converting 80% of the equipment to electronics and using microcomputers, the system achieved higher speed, low noise, high reliability, maintenance-free performance, smaller size and lower cost.
The NB-3000 "Badminton printer" employed a plastic molded type head, which weighed about 6g and was shaped like a badminton shuttlecock. It had a printing speed of 40char/s, and could print 128 character types.
The NH-3000 "High Printer" could print at a high-speed of 180char/s using the dot impact system.
These printers had diagnostic/testing functions.
Cumulative orders for the NB-3000 exceeded 16,000 units by March 1978.
The SP-40 badminton printer was marketed to personal and office use, and two years later it secured the top share in Japan. Exports to North America began in 1976 under the name "Spinwriter", and successor machines held the top 3 slots in terms of market share in the early 1980s.

In 1978, NEC announced the NB-3300 and NH-3300 which further enhanced performance and reduced size and weight of the above models. Throughput was improved by 30–40% over previous machines due to the improved printing speed, bidirectional printing, and one-step advance for continuous spaces and linefeeds. It also enabled output of high-density graphs.
Even with the power supply built-in, weight was halved, and length in the depth direction was reduced by 1/3.

Intelligent Printer Specifications
Model name High Printer
Badminton printer
High Printer
Badminton Printer
Printing system 7×9 dot Static type 7×9 dot Static type
Character types Alphabetic, Numeric, Kana, Symbols 128 types total
Max. number of printed characters 132char/line 136 or 163char/line
Character spacing
10 10 or 12
Line spacing
3 or 6 6 or 8
Copy capability 5sheets, including original 6sheets, including original
Printing speed
180 40 - 55
Printing noise 60phon Max.
External dimensions(mm) Model without keyboard 600(W)×455(D)×225(H)(Without power supply section) 600(W)×415(D)×210(H)
Weight(kg) 35(without power supply section) 33(without power supply section) 24 24
Announcement date June 1975 September1978 April 1978

NH-3000 High PrinterNB-3000 Badminton PrinterModel with keyboardNB-3300 Badminton Printer