A personal laser printer is now a pretty straightforward thing. All the technology was worked out years ago and although there are refinements, the only way you can continue to attract new buyers is to reduce the price. Canon’s Laser Shot LBP-1120 is a personal laser with a very reasonable asking price of around £100. At this price level it’s aiming at the one-per-desk business market, but also at the home, where people may consider a laser printer for regular correspondence and a colour ink-jet for the fancy stuff.
The LBP-1120 has a conventional ‘bread bin’ design, with a curved front and top surface and paper feeding from a near-vertical slot at the back of the machine’s top cover. It feeds through and around the drum and exits from a second slot, at the front of the top cover. There's a switch on the front panel, which diverts pages to an alternative paper-up output, though this is directly onto the desktop. A multi-purpose feed, for envelopes and special media, sits directly in front of the main feed slot.
Canon quotes the feed tray as holding 125 sheets of paper, which is modest even for a personal laser, but when you take into account that this is for 65gsm paper, which is very thin, you realise it's likely to take less than 100 sheets of normal 80gsm copier paper. If you print with it regularly, you're likely to have to keep on restocking the bin.
This kind of hidden specification pops up again in the quoted resolution of the LBP-1120. It’s said to be 2,400 x 600dpi, but when you look at the spec sheet more closely, you see the 2,400dpi is the result of print enhancement software and that the optical resolution is a straight 600dpi.
There are no controls on the printer at all and just a single blue indicator to show when it’s powered up and receiving data. It’s entirely controlled through software and even dispenses with most of its internal memory by using innovative file compression techniques as its driver sends page data through to the printer engine.
Installing the integrated drum and toner unit is very straightforward. The curved top cover of the printer hinges forwards and you slide the unit directly into the heart of the machine.
That's the only physical setup you need, other than to connect a power cable and a USB 2.0 lead which, unusually, you do before installing the Canon software driver. Installation of the driver from the supplied CD is again very easy and requires little technical knowledge.