Seiko Epson Corporation, known simply as Epson, is a Japanese company that has been in operation since 1942. It is currently one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronic components. Its massive portfolio of products includes a wide range of printers, scanners, home theater and multimedia projectors, televisions, desktop and laptop computers, integrated circuits and much more. Though based in Nagano, Japan, the company has a number of subsidiaries located throughout the world to serve its base of global customers.
Epson was backed by an investment from the Seiko Group, which started as a producer of watch parts. It developed and commercialized numerous timepiece technologies from the 1940s through the 1990s. To the current day, Seiko Epson is still heavily involved in the business of watch making, with the products being sold through a subsidiary known as the Seiko Watch Corporation.
The company jumped into the printer business in the 1960s, introducing the world’s first mini-printer in 1968. Labeled the EP-101, this electronic printer would eventually lead to the birth of the name Epson. Epson printers took off quickly as the company unveiled the TX-80 dot-matrix printer in 1978, followed up with the new and improved MX-80 in 1980. The latter would soon become the best selling printer in the U.S.
Epson launched the world’s first genuine laptop in 1981 with HX-20. This unit was truly portable at the size of 3.5 lb, featuring a full-sized keyboard, two Hitachi CPUs, an LCD screen, built-in rechargeable batteries and support for a storage device and dot-matrix printer. Epson printers continued their dominance into the 2000s, making way for a new line up of products that included digital cameras and imaging solutions.
Epson has been at the forefront of technology for more than 60 years, revolutionizing the printer industry while quietly perfecting one of the most successful brands in history.