I have tested the slimmest ultra-portable typewriters &here are my thoughts as a travel companion

We have prepared  a special VLOG and BLOG for you as we dive into the world of ultra-portable typewriters.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've always dreamt of owning a typewriter that I could take with me anywhere, anytime.

But let me tell you, my dream has often been shattered by some harsh realities.

That's why today, I want to discuss 5 of the slimmest ultra-portable typewriters ever made.

However, I must warn you, this blog is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows.

We're going to talk about why these typewriters may tempt you, but also why you should think twice before investing in them.


Before we jump into our list, I want to clarify that we won't be including typewriters like the Hermes baby or Rocket with metal frames and Olympia splendid models.

While they are flat, they're not as thin as the typewriters we're about to discuss.

Plus, these well-built typewriters are known for their durability and reliability. So, let's keep them aside for now and focus on those slim typewriters that can fit anywhere in your house and easily fit into your backpack, weighing less than 4.5kg.

Now, let's get down to business. After ten years of working with typewriters, I am confident in sharing my experience and perspective. So without further ado, let's start with our top 5 thinnest typewriters, starting from the thickest between them at 


Antares typewriter

Coming in at number 5, we have the Antares portables. Now, this typewriter is the epitome of 'one man's trash is another man's treasure.' I actually got my hands on it because the previous owner wanted to throw it away.

After cleaning it up, I realized why it was on the brink of being dumped. The mechanism was barely moving, and the typewriter had accumulated a lot of gunk on the inside.

Now, let me tell you, there's nothing positive I can say about the Antares. Its mechanism is incredibly fragile, and the loud friction noises make it less than pleasant to type on.

 While it weighs 4.5kg with the lid on and 3.85kg without the lid, don't be fooled by its weight. The base may be heavy, but the internal components leave much to be desired.

And at a thickness of 7cm, it's not even comparable to more reliable typewriters like the Hermes baby or Olympia Splendid.

To add insult to injury, the Antares typewriter has one of the weakest line spacing mechanisms that can easily break or dent with heavy use.

As someone who has worked with typewriters extensively, I have to say that Antares makes it to my top 10 worst typewriters ever made. Needless to say, I always avoid working on them.


Gossen Tippa typewriter

Moving on to our number 4 spot, we have the Gossen Tippa.

Now, this typewriter is an interesting case. It's elegant, compact, and flat. It doesn't look like any other typewriter out there, and I initially loved owning it.

However, when it comes to typing, it's a whole different story.

The Gossen Tippa, weighing at 4.6kg with the lid on and 3.7kg without, boasts a depth of only 28cm and a width of 29cm. I

t's impressively thin, standing at just millimetres shy from 6cm. But unfortunately, it falls short in some areas.

The line spacing mechanism, for example, wasn't smartly designed. As the typewriter ages, the lever tends to bend due to continuous pressure, ultimately hitting the top cover and leaving marks if not readjusted and lifted up.

One issue that makes me hesitant to commit to this typewriter is the carrying lid.

 It opens by pressing two buttons, one on the left and one on the right. If you're lucky enough to have both buttons intact on your lid without being snapped, the inner clips can easily dent.

This makes the process of opening and removing the lid annoying, as extra pressure can damage the clips over time, and without enough pressure, the lid won't open at all.

Despite its flaws, the Gossen Tippa has some redeeming qualities. The glass-topped keys make for a delightful typing experience, and the straight edges give it an elegant look.

 Plus, who can resist the loud dinging bell that's rarely found on ultra-portable typewriters?


GROMA Kolibri

Now we reach the third thinnest typewriter, the GROMA Kolibri.

This typewriter may seem like a slick and stylish option, but let me tell you, it's not as it seems.

Although the typewriter only weighs 3.65kg only have a thickness of 5.5cm , My personal experience with this typewriter has been quite awful.

In fact, I had to sell my first one as a semi-working typewriter due to multiple issues that made it unreliable and time-consuming to fix.

One of the major problems I encountered with the Kolibri is its carriage advancement.

The size of the carriage compared to the rails and the height of the typewriter creates a lot of friction, making it sluggish and not ideal for long hours of typing.

And let's not forget about the main spring, which is one of the worst ever built for a typewriter.

It's located in an extremely tight space on the left side, making it fragile and hard to fix or adjust.

Another unreliable mechanism is the return lever. It's squeezed into a limited space, leading to sticking or unwanted jumps of the carriage.

Now, I won't go into too much detail about the space bar mechanism, but I have to mention that it is loud and can be easily rendered useless by any small dent.

Lastly, the shifting carriage on the Kolibri is unexpectedly heavy for an ultra-portable typewriter. Trust me, I've typed on many portables and ultra-portables, but this one is much heavier.


Groma GROMINA typewriter

Moving on to another GROMA typewriter, the Gromina.

While this model may be candy to the eye with its slim and portable design, it falls short in terms of functionality.

It weighs 3kg with its wooden base, so nearly 2.5kg without the base and it’s the second thinnest typewriter I ever used as it has a height of 5cms only.

The first issue I noticed with the Gromina is the wide and bottomless space bar, which is connected within the main frame. Any small dent or accident can affect its functionality.

Typing on the Gromina is not bad, but the position of the key arms at 180 degrees angle away from its platen roller plus the weak links underneath, make it require more pressure for a proper strike & time to get used to typing on it.

Another problem lies in the limited space to squeeze in the spools. Plastic or slightly wider spools can cause uneven movement and put pressure on the ribbon holder, especially when shifting the carriage to use the Caps keys.

And just like the Kolibri, the return levers on the Gromina are a pain to use. They have limited space for control and can be problematic over time.

Inserting the paper and adjusting the pressure from the rubber rollers are major challenges with this slim typewriter and when the lever gets loose as time passes by, it will not add the needed pressure on the paper leading to alignment issues.

Plus, the line spacing mechanism limits the feel while typing, especially for those with larger hands or thumbs.

That’s a lot of NO Nos when it comes to using a GROMA..


ROOY typewriter 

Now, let's move on to the slimmest typewriter ever made, the ROOY, also known as the MJ ROOY or ROXY.

This French-made typewriter certainly wins the title in terms of slimness with a height of 3.5 cm while its above its slip in carrying case that has a height of 4.5cm and a weight of only 3.7kgs.  

but unfortunately, it falls short in many other aspects.

Working on a ROOY can be a struggle.

The flat keyboard feels hollow, and the design of the key arms is truly unique, but not in a good way. They seem to be created to fit within the tight space (case), resulting in a less-than-desirable typing experience.

The ribbon mechanism in the ROOY is beyond complicated, with lots of loops and corners under the lid. It's not the most user-friendly design.

Last but not least, the return lever on the ROOY is unreliable and lacks the satisfying ding of a traditional typewriter. It's just not a typewriter I can imagine using for more than a minute.


 Remember, each of these typewriters has its quirks and drawbacks, but they still hold a unique place in typewriter history.


Walid Saad

Mr and Mrs Vintage Typewriters. 

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