The BX engine
was formally announced at the Seybold Desktop Publishing Exposition
in September of 1992 by Canon U.S.A. Canon's announcement
was somewhat late, as QMS had already introduced the BX-based
860 in July of 1992. Canon touted the true 600 dpi engine
and ultra-fine toner, which produced excellent print quality.
To people familiar with the
Canon family of engines, the BX seemed like a LX engine on
steroids. The overall design and paper path are very similar,
but every part of the BX engine is much bigger and faster
than the LX. The LX was famous for being light and compact.
By following the general design scheme of the LX engine, Canon
was able to produce a B-size printer that is surprising lightweight
and easy to carry by one person. Introduction at the Seybold
show was very appropriate. Graphic artists had been asking
for a low-cost, tabloid-sized printer with excellent print
quality for years. Canon and the other laser printer engine
creators had been reluctant to support their demands because
they saw it as relatively small niche market.
Before the BX, most all of
the B-size capable laser printers were large high-speed printers
based on copier designs. These big machines were priced at
about $10,000 or more, and they didn't have the fine
print quality graphic artists needed for plain-paper typesetting. (Read more on BX history)