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The LaserWriter 12/640 PS was a monochrome laser printer from the LaserWriter series that was released by Apple Computer on June 17, 1996, replacing the LaserWriter 16/600 PS.[1]


The 12/640 PS could print at a resolution of 600-dpi from a Fuji Xerox P893 print engine that could output 12 pages-per-minute, or 8 pages-per-minute in an optional double-sided (duplex) mode. It utilized FinePrint and PhotoGrade to adjust individual dot sizes to simulate smoother edges and grays produced by higher resolution printers. The built-in multipurpose tray had a capacity for 80 sheets along with a 250-page cassette. With the ability to support up to 64 MB, it had the highest memory capacity of any Apple printer.[2]

The 30 MHz AMD Am29040 processor could rasterize images from PostScript Level 2 or PCL 5 printer data. The data could be transmitted through a LocalTalk network to its RS-422 serial port, or a direct PC connection to its parallel port. It also supports faster EtherTalk or IPX networking over a proprietary AAUI Ethernet port.[2]

Plus configuration[]

The LaserWriter 12/640 PS Plus is a special configuration that was announced at COMDEX on November 18, 1996 and released the following month. The printer's base memory of 4 MB was upgraded to 12 MB of RAM. The duplex option and additional sheet feeder with a 500-page cassette were also included. Upgrading the RAM to 24 MB would enable PhotoGrade printing in double-sided (duplex) mode.[3][4]

Included fonts[]

35 PostScript Type 1 fonts and 15 PCL fonts are included in ROM. 64 fonts in PostScript and/or TrueType format are also included on CD-ROM with the printer driver software.


The 12/640 PS was one of the last monochrome laser printers from Apple,[2] with the final model being the LaserWriter 8500 workgroup printer.[5]

Legacy support[]

Apple phased out support for printing over the old AppleTalk-based EtherTalk protocol in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).[6][7] Printing over TCP/IP is possible, but this requires configuring an IPv4 address over Ethernet by a Mac running Apple Printer Utility for classic Mac OS, Apple LaserWriter Utility for Windows, or TCP/IP Configuration Utility for Unix.[8]


  1. Apple Delivers Multi-Platform LaserWriter with Duplex Printing Capability, Apple Computer. 1996-06-17. Archived 2000-04-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 LaserWriter 12/640 PS, Low End Mac. 1996-06-01.
  3. Apple LaserWriter 12/640 PS Plus Bundles Duplex Printing and Additional 500-Sheet Cassette and Feeder in a Single-Box Printing Solution, Apple Computer. 1996-11-18. Archived 1999-02-03.
  4. LaserWriter 12/640 PS Plus, PC Magazine p.191-194. 1997-06-10.
  5. LaserWriter 8500, Low End Mac. 1993-10-01.
  6. Make Old Apple Printers Work in Snow Leopard by Adam Engst, TidBITs. 2009-10-06.
  7. Apple Filing Protocol Ethernet Networks, Classic Mac Networking, The Apple Fool. Accessed 2021-05-15.
  8. Network Printer OS 9 by MisterMe, MacRumors Forums. 2006-04-26.

External links[]

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LaserWriter series
LaserWriter | LaserWriter Plus
LaserWriter II : SC | NT · NTX | f · g
Personal LaserWriter : SC · LS | NT · NTR | 300 · 320
LaserWriter Select : 300 · 310 | 360
LaserWriter Pro : 600 · 630 | 800 · 810
LaserWriter 16/600 PS | 12/640 PS · 12/640 PS Plus | 4/600 PS | 8500
Color LaserWriter : 12/600 PS · 12/660 PS
Discontinued in 1999