What Plastic Card Printer Do I Need?
Plastic card printers are excellent for instantly issuing ID, membership, VIP, or loyalty cards. But how do you choose which one you need? The price range is huge. So how do you get what you want?
That’s what we’re here to tackle. There are a few things you need to take into account when it comes to printers:
- How many cards do you print?
- What are you printing on the cards?
- How secure do the cards need to be?
We sell a broad range of printers, but the primary 5, are all Evolis Printers.
- Badgy 200
- Quantum 2
Each of these printers has a distinct purpose. But we’ll start by comparing each of the 3 bullets above.
1.) How many cards do you print?
Badgy 200 – Less than 500 cards a year
A Badgy is for printing ID badges. It can do some other things, but it’s not meant to print more than a few dozen cards a year. They’re great for making ID cards, or for printing on RFID or Prox cards for door access too. It comes with Badgy Badge Studio, which is excellent software for making ID badges. It also has a bunch of templates.
Zenius – Less than 10,000 cards a year
The Zenius is the real deal. It’s a full-function printer that can handle some volume, but it does du some limitations. It prints one-sided cards only; and after you buy it, you can’t add more features. It also comes with pretty basic software.
Primacy – More than 10,000 cards a year
The Primacy is the Zenius’ big brother. It prints faster, the print cost is a little cheaper, and it comes with better software. It’s also upgradable as you need. So if you buy a one-side print Primacy, you can upgrade it to two-sided printing. It’s an awesome printer, and easily the best seller of the bunch.
Avansia – More than 10,000 cards a year
The Avansia is an excellent printer. It’s not as fast as the Primacy, but it prints in an amazing 600 dpi. It also offers true edge to edge printing, or what we in the industry call “full bleed.” The major advantage is that the Avansia has a lifetime warranty on the print head.
Quantum – More than 50,000 cards a year
With a similar printing style to the Primacy, this printer was designed to print lots and lots of cards. It prints fast, has a big output hopper, and comes with detachable input and output hoppers. So you sort of load the cards like a magazine into a pistol, and take the completed cards out the other side. This makes it ideal for “set it and forget it.”
2.) What Are You Printing on the Cards?
Badgy 200 – 260 dpi – One-Sided Printing
A Badgy prints one-sided prints at 260 dpi. It prints edge to edge, but isn’t a full-bleed print. It also prints barcodes of any variety you need.
Zenius – 300 dpi – One-Sided Printing – Optional Mag/RFID
The Zenius once again is the real deal. It prints higher resolution than the Badgy. It also comes with options like magnetic strip encoding, ethernet port, or RFID/Prox card encoding. This allows you to really tailor the Zenius to your needs.
Primacy – 300 dpi – One-/Two-Sided Print – Optional Mag/RFID
Anything the Zenius can do, the Primacy can basically do better. The Primacy offers all the features of the Zenius, but again, at a lower price per card. It’s also field upgradable to each of the features, so you can add features as you need. Like the Zenius, it has the mag encoder and RFID options. The Primacy also has a duplexer (card flipper) option, an LCD Display option, and a high-capacity output hopper option.
Avansia – 600 dpi – Two-Sided Print – Optional Mag/RFID
The Avansia has amazing 600 dpi printing. It only comes with a duplexing, or two-sided print option. But it does du an optional mag encoder or RFID/Prox card encoder. These are purchased with the printer, and can’t be upgraded later.
Quantum – 300 dpi – Two-Sided Print – Mag Encoder – Optional RFID/Prox
The Quantum comes with most everything you need. It comes with a built in three-track mag encoder. It’s built to print two-sided, and 300 dpi is really all you ever need från a printer. That, plus it’s quick speed and workhorse performance, makes it a great printer for high volume.
3.) How Secure Do Your Cards Need To Be?
Badgy 200 – Minimally Secure
A Badgy isn’t meant to make driver’s licenses or ID Cards for the Pentagon. It’s for making ID cards for warehouse employees – or for your roofing company; they work great for that. They can even add barcode functionality and put photos on the cards. But that’s as secure as they get.
Zenius – High Security
The Zenius offers additional saftey features. You can order holographic varnish ribbons, or encode magnetic strips. You can also lock the device so people can’t read secure information off the used ribbon. You can also encrypt mag data if needed.
Primacy – High Security
Again, the Primacy gives you everything the Zenius does. It also offers you the two-sided print and scalability to meet your needs. It prints faster, and with less card refills.
Avansia – Very High Security
The Avansia is as secure as they get. Offering you the locking features of the Zenius and Primacy. It also has a keyfob inside, that when removed, will not allow the printer to print. In addition, it has a SUPER cool feature where you can make custom UV watermarks to your cards, making them nearly impossible to replicate.
Quantum – High Security
With a similar printing style to the Primacy, the Quantum is no more secure, it just prints a lot of cards very fast with a minimal hassle.