I have an old inkjet printer from 1991 that still 100% works (Kodak Diconix 180si), HP still even makes the ink cartridge for it. The Kodak Diconix 180si is basically a portable version of the HP QuietJet or HP ThinkJet printer from the 80's. The maximum resolution the Kodak Diconix can do is 192 x 192 dpi , which is identical resolution that the HP QuietJet can do also.

I was comparing the resolution of this printer to something like a modern letter quality dot matrix impact printer, like for example the Epson LQ-590 or Epson LQ-590II, which from the specifications have a max DPI of 240 x 180.

So what DPI resolution is technically better: 192 x 192 or 240 x 180?

I know that the horizontal DPI of the Kodak printer (192 dpi) is better than the horizontal DPI of the Epson printer (180 dpi), but also the vertical DPI of the Epson printer (240 dpi) is better than the horizontal DPI of the Kodak printer (192 dpi).

  • 5
    Most of the answers will be opinion based. A lot depends on how good your eyesight is as to whether you can spot the difference.. An old printer will have worn out parts so the print quality may not be as good. There is often visible banding on older printers.
    – cup
    Aug 10, 2021 at 4:42
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    One thing to take into consideration is that a lot of printers couldn't use the highest DPI width wise fully. They were not able to put two dots next to each other.
    – UncleBod
    Aug 10, 2021 at 7:10
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    Ink Jet and dot matrix are two different ways of printing. The way the ink is placed on the paper differs, which will influence how the dots looks. Also the type of ink will most probable differ. The only way to say what is better is to print something on both printers and compare.
    – UncleBod
    Aug 10, 2021 at 7:16
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    Former Diconix owner here: a lot depended on the paper. Regular paper was a bit blurry, while the expensive (and messy) chalk-coated HP paper produced really crisp output. An LQ-850 in hex-density mode prints at 360×180 dpi (skipping every other horizontal dot), but each of its pins are 0.2 mm wide (1/127 ") so there is considerable dot gain. As the Diconix gets a new print head with every new cartridge, it should stay crisp. It's complicated, and I think it's right that this was closed as the results are subjective. Fun printer, tho': you could hear the ink droplets!
    – scruss
    Aug 11, 2021 at 18:41
  • @scruss I know about the special ink and special paper that HP made for these printers, but If I look online what the paper was coated with, the only answer I could find, that the paper was wax coated, couldn't find anything about it being chalk coated. HP no longer makes the special paper or the special ink cartridge for that paper ( hp 92261a ) , but they still make the ink cartridge for regular paper ( hp 51604a ). Aug 12, 2021 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Math says that a 180 dpi dot is 6.67% larger than a 192 dpi dot. While a 240 dpi dot is 20% smaller than a 192 dpi dot.

Since height is more important than width in variable width fonts, I’d say that 240x180 is better.

  • Wouldn't additional resolution in width be more important than height, since most strokes in letters are vertical. This would be valid for any font (not just variable width).
    – Glen Yates
    Aug 10, 2021 at 20:29
  • @GlenYates that's a valid question. Lot's of capital letters, and "descenders", though. (I can't help but remember 7-pin dot-matrix printers, and how bad "q", "y", "p", "g", and "j" looked.)
    – RonJohn
    Aug 10, 2021 at 20:49

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