The Canon Smartbase PC1230D is a digital laser printer and copier. Canon markets it as an all-in-one unit, but the PC1230D does not include fax functionality while most other multifunction Canon printers do. The PC1230D is a Windows-compatible, monochrome printer and copier, which can print up to 12 pages per minute at 2,400 x 600 dpi, and its tray holds 350 sheets. Like all Smartbase models, the PC1230D requires no warm-up and it integrates the Canon all-in-one toner cartridge system. This means that there is very little maintenance and cartridge swapping is simple.
In terms of design, the Canon PC1230D is an odd beast. It clearly uses an old-fashioned office design, but Canon gears the functionality more toward the home user and possibly the home office. The biggest problem with the design is that it is wide and cumbersome, which can make it hard to place. However, if you have a spot for it, then the broad top actually makes the printer more accessible than many other affordable printers and copiers. But it won't fit on most desks and it is too big for many printer stands.
For the home user, the best aspect of this printer is that Canon PC1230D toner cartridges are affordable and simple to install. Home users want inexpensive and no fuss no muss, which is what this printer delivers. The quality of printed text is exceptional and even image quality is quite good, although as a monochrome printer, Canon does not intend it for image printing. This model in particular has earned a reputation for its durability, and as with any Canon printer, you also get first-class technical support via telephone or email.
At its best, the Canon PC1230D only manages to print or copy 12 pages per minute. While good enough for the home or a single-person office, it falls short in a small office environment. Another issue is the lack of fax functionality. Although fax is falling out of use, it is nice to have for those rare occasions when you do need it. Of course, removing the fax modem originally allowed for the cheaper price point. The PC1230D has been on the market a while now, and other manufacturers have begun to include fax features in similarly priced, similarly capable printer-copier models. In addition, the PC1230D does not include out-of-the-box support for Linux or Mac OS X, and it can be tricky to set up properly.