Comdex, the world's largest computer trade show, concluded in Las Vegas recently with little excitement. Few new products were shown. The high note during the week was the emphasis on “desktop publishing.” By combining a personal computer, non-impact printer (laser and ink-jet), and appropriate software for a total cost of under $10,000, a small publisher can produce camera ready pages comparable in appearance to those of large publishing houses. The key is the non-impact printer, which can be used to “paint” letters, markers, and pictures on paper. Almost any font or design can be achieved. Sales of this type of system are expected to top 100,000 units in 1986 and may rise to a million units by the end of the decade.
While only a few vendors showed total systems, more than 30 had non—impact printers. They were not all small and inexpensive. Some of the high-speed ink-jet printers had price tags as high as $12,000.
Small publishers—who for years have feared technology—may get a real boost from technology.