The 1020 was based on a plotter mechanism manufactured by ALPS. The same mechanism formed the basis of several other low-cost plotters produced around the same time, including the Commodore 1520, the Oric MCP40, the Tandy/Radio Shack CGP-115, the Texas Instruments HX-1000 and the Mattel Aquarius 4615. However, the 1020 connected via the Atari 8-bit's proprietary SIO interface, eliminating the need for an 850 serial/parallel interface module, but limiting its use to Atari 8-bit computers.
The 1020 was capable of 20-, 40- and 80-column text and graphics using a friction-fed roll of paper approximately 11.5 cm (4.5 inches) in width. Graphics were generated using one of four coloured pens to draw lines, using a combination of the horizontally moving pen barrel and the vertically scrolling paper to create diagonal lines.
- "What are the Atari 1020, 1025, 1027, and 1029 Printers?". faqs.org (Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions section). Retrieved 2015-03-22.
= Commodore 1520 / Oric MCP40 / Tandy/Radio Shack CGP-115 /..; made by ALPS [..] 20, 40 and 80-column modes
- "The Texas Instruments HX-1000 Printer/Plotter Photos". Hexbus.com.
Other printer plotters that use variants of the ALPS DPG1302 plotter mechanism include the: Commodore 1520, Tandy CGP-115, Sharp CE-150, Atari 1020, Mattel Aquarius 4615
- ANTIC VOL. 4, NO. 5 / SEPTEMBER 1985 / PAGE 42 (), "the 1020 daisy chains right into one of your disk drive ports"
- The Atari 1020 Color Printer Owners' Guide
- ANTIC VOL. 4, NO. 10 / FEBRUARY 1986 / PAGE 29 ()