A surprisingly capable, compact machine. The Gossen gives the Adlers a run for the money.
They tell you not to pick favorites, which is generally good advice however sometimes just the fact that you aren't picking a favorite says something. This was a machine that I was counting on enjoying. I have a soft spot for some of the later versions of the Tippa, so my hopes were high for this one, however what I simply hadn't counted on was how much more than that I was going to enjoy this one. Currently I am pretty pleased with the state of the ultraportable portion of the collection.
I don't tend to do too much writing on the road, so there's less need for a truly compact machine. Plus, with the Model 2 and S in the Tippa family, both in script, then the Kolibri in Pica QWERTY, it was hard to imagine what this Gossen Tippa was going to bring to the table, aside from looks.
While we're on the looks, that's certainly part worth selling — the burgundy red with the glass keytops make for a striking look. Black across the spacebar and the paper table, then the bright red on the backspace and the margin release on the upper left. The crinkle paint pattern is very subtle on these, in contrast to the deep ridges of the Olympia shells and others. One detail I only appreciated after a time were the weight reducing cutouts on the sides of the frame. With the weight reduction and the surprisingly flat format, this machine would be an easy traveller.
One of my favorite features on these are the folding return arms - they rotate 180 down and there is a small hook with a spring. As you push the arm around, it just pushes the hook out of the way, allowing it to catch and stay out of the way when you close the lid. For awhile I thought the correct way to free the return arm was to pull back the hook, however just recently I realized that shifting the carriage lifts it over the hook and letting it snap free. This machine also has a few other unusual features like the pencil and eraser holders on the sides of the base. (It also is one of the few machines I've ever seen that has a paper guide on the RIGHT side of the carriage) It's also uncommon to find these ultraportable machines with the half spacing on these tiny platens!
There's also a knob on the left side of the frame that seems to be some kind of impression control. ‘The manual describes it as being the Anschlagregler which translates directly to "stop control," though I'm sure there's a better translation out there. When it comes to usability, it has most of the challenges you would expect from a compact machine, for example the return arm has a short travel to advance the lines, which can require some force; especially problematic if the feet are hardened and the machine then attempts to fly off the desk. Overall though, this one is an elegant addition to the Tippa line!
Sadly, the smooth metal of the spacebar doesn't hold the paint especially well, and this paint seems to want to flake off.
Thankfully, little bit of enamel paint and some clear nail polish make it nearly invisible at a distance.