Panasonic KX-P1123 printer. (Evaluation)
by Joyce Sides
How do you choose the right printer? Price comes first on many lists and often determines the quality and number of features you'll get. If you can afford a price tag of $400, you should take a look at Panasonic's new KX-P1123, a quality printer with a number of attractive features.
Just right for home, office, or school, this 24-pin printer offers multiple fonts, an easy-to-use push-button front panel, and simple installation.
Available fonts include Courier and Prestige in draft or LQ modes and proportional spacing and script modes. In addition, you can take advantage of the printer's bold, italic, double-height, double-width, and double-strike capabilities. Control centering attributes, set the margins, create three macros, or return to factory settings--all at the push of a button.
The KX-P1123 doesn't stop with an array of fonts. This printer adapts well to fanfold paper as well as to single sheets and envelopes in a variety of sizes and weights.
Special features such as printing in landscape mode, creating macros to store different print formats, dumping the data in hex format, and designing and downloading custom characters make this printer worthy of your attention. Less spectacular but no less important are the paper park and perforation cut functions that avoid paper waste and advance the paper to the tear position.
The unit comes with a 10K buffer, but for an additional $60, you can add a 32K buffer chip that comes with easy-to-follow instructions.
Even with all the extras, it only took me around 20 minutes to start printing in different fonts and producing quality forms from the command line and with Express Publisher. The easy-to-understand manual with all of its diagrams and explanations helped to speed things up. The KX-P1123 package also includes a maintenance and trouble-shooting guide.
I spent most of the 20 minutes of installation time trying to load the fanfold paper. Of the three methods of paper installation, the rear-feeding method proved by far the hardest to conquer. Since the tractors roll during paper loading, precision positioning of the fanfold sheets took several attempts. The paper would catch on one tractor but not the other. Once it was installed properly, I had no further trouble with the paper.
Although not the fastest printer I've used, this Panasonic printer is no sloth either. Printing at 240 cps in draft mode and 53 cps in LQ mode might cause a few delays, but a print spooler could remedy that bottleneck.
The KX-P1123 prints bit-image graphics at 240 dpi. There were a few jaggies, but that's to be expected in any dot-matrix printout whether it's text or graphics.
Don't look for compatibility problems from this printer. The two emulation modes, Epson LQ-850 and IBM ProPrinter X24, should work with almost any software package.
With a two-year limited warranty and technical support and customer service departments a toll-free call away, the KX-P1123 belongs on every cost-conscious shopper's list of printers to evaluate.