In my search for expanding my collection beyond Smith-Coronas and Royals, I snagged this Olivetti Lettera 25. Admittedly, when the snagging occurred, I had no idea what I was getting. Sure, I had heard the name Olivetti–it sounds good, right?–but I had no idea that this was the least desirable in the Olivetti family.
The body feels of cheap plastic and looks even worse in its putrid beige. It takes a few minutes to get used to typing on it as the keys are very short and close together. The carriage return lever is of the fold-over variety, and is quite stubby even when fully extended. The ribbon selector appears to work well enough, but I can say that the shoulder bag is the nicest thing about it. It appears to be black leather–mind you, I don’t do leather–with a two-tone, brown racing stripe. Very European.
Once you get used to the size and spacing of the keys, it does offer a nice, snappy typing experience. But is that enough to keep it in my collection? That remains to be seen.
And as you can see, it does have its issues. Apparently, as do I.