Plastic card printers are immensely useful, especially if you regularly need personalised plastic cards, for example identification cards, membership cards, VIP or loyalty cards. Identification cards in particular are a common way for any business to boost security around an establishment and to track visitors for better overall access control.
If you want an instant card that is durable and long lasting, it is a great idea to invest in a plastic card printer. These printed cards are customisable, durable, and can also incorporate security measures as required. Nowadays, plastic card printers are being used by a range of industries, including corporates, education, government, health, hospitality, leisure, retail, transportation and finance.
One of the leading brands for card printers is Evolis, which offers a substantial range of top quality plastic card printers that are affordable and versatile, well-suited for diverse applications. Easy to use and with a compact design, Evolis printers are eco-friendly and offer unsurpassed performance. They are also often field upgradable. Among the most popular are two latest Evolis printers, the Evolis Primacy and Evolis Zenius plastic card printers.
The Evolis Primacy card printer is fast, powerful and versatile, capable of single sided and double-sided printing with a card lifespan of 1-3 years. In a year, Primacy can print more than 30,000 cards with high card security levels. Encoding options include magnetic stripes, smart contact and smart contactless.
Primacy is well-suited for medium and large runs, and to print in batches as it personalises cards in a high photographic resolution. The printing speed is 225 single sided colour cards per hour, and 140 double sided colour cards an hour. In monochrome, the printing output reaches 1,000 cards per hour.
Due to the large 100 card capacity of the Primacy feeder and hopper, there is greater flexibility and autonomy in printing. The compact size of the Primacy printer makes it suitable for offices as well as over-the-counter applications for example in shops, banks, and events.
The Evolis Zenius is compact, easy to use and cost effective, a great printer for quick personalised cards. Equipped with edge to edge printing technology and 300 dpi resolution, the Zenius excellently renders any printed design onto the cards.
The Zenius is most suited for individual or small runs, with plenty of flexibility in terms of design. The printing speed is 30 seconds for a colour card with a capacity of up to 150 colour cards an hour. In monochrome, the printing speed is 7.2 seconds per card, with a capacity of 500 cards an hour.
If you are looking for a printer for instant single sided cards, then the Zenius is a great choice. It is also space saving and quiet, and can be set up in any environment with minimal disturbances. The Zenius is ideal for printing employee badges, access control badges, membership cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, transit passes, and more.
Factors to consider when choosing a card printer
If you are considering investing in a plastic card printer, then there are plenty of options available for you in the market. To narrow down on a specific plastic card printer, consider the following factors:
- Portability: Will you need to move around the plastic card printer or will it be stationed at one position only?
Primacy: Although compact, the Primacy printer is slightly larger than the Zenius and heavier as well, with a total weight of 4.1 kg (9.1 lb) and dimensions of 24.7 x 20.5 x 48.7 cm (9.7 x 8.1 x 19.2").
Zenius: In terms of portability, the Zenius is easier to move around and requires less space than the Primacy printer. The weight of Zenius is 3.3 kg (7.3 lb) and dimensions are 19.5 x 20.5 x 31.0 cm (7.7 x 8.1 x 12.4").
- Card volume: How many plastic cards are you expecting to print? Will they be needed quickly or is speed not a factor?
Primacy: The Primacy can print over 10,000 cards in a year. In addition, it prints fast and the print cost is also relatively cheaper than other printers. The software is also upgradable so you can easily shift from one-sided to two-sided printing as required.
Zenius: The Zenius is more suited for printing less than 10,000 cards a year. As a full-functional printer, it can handle a decent amount of volume, but there are certain limitations. For example, it prints one-sided cards only and there isn’t an option to add extra features.
- Image quality: What image quality are you expecting on the final printed card? How precise should the details be?
Primacy: The maximum resolution of the Primacy is 300 x 600 dpi for colour printing and 300 x 1200 dpi for monochrome. Therefore, you get more detailed printing and better quality of images with the Primacy.
Zenius: The Zenius has a standard resolution of 300 dpi which is great for basic printing needs, especially for smaller volumes. However, more detailed images may not show up as well with the Zenius.
- Security: Do you require additional security features on the printed cards? Will the cards be required to store data?
Primacy: There are a range of security features supported by the Primacy, including holographic printing, encoded magnetic strips and smart encoders, all supported for two sided printing.
Zenius: All the safety features offered by Primacy are supported by the Zenius printer as well, but in single-side printing format. Additionally, you can also lock the device so unauthorised persons cannot access it.
Primacy Vs Zenius Specifications:
|Card Thickness||10 to 50 mil / 0.25 to 1.25 mm||10 to 30 mil / 0.25 to 0.76 mm|
|Print Speed||YMCKO: 225 Cards per Hour (16 Seconds per Card), Monochrome: 1000 Cards per Hour (3.6 Seconds per Card)||YMCKO: 150 Cards per Hour (24 Seconds per Card), Monochrome: 500 Cards per Hour (7.2 Seconds per Card)|
|Maximum Resolution||300 x 600 dpi (Color), 300 x 1200 dpi (Monochrome)||300 dpi|
|Card Tray Capacity||Input: 100, Output: 100, Reject: 50||Input: 50, Output: 20|
|Connection Interface||Ethernet, USB||USB 3.1 Gen 1|
|Memory||32 MB||16 MB|
|Dimensions||9.7 x 8.1 x 19.2" / 24.7 x 20.5 x 48.7 cm||7.7 x 8.1 x 12.4" / 19.5 x 20.5 x 31.0 cm|
|Weight||9.1 lb / 4.1 kg||7.3 lb / 3.3 kg|
|Operating System Support||Linux, Windows, Mac OS/OS X||Windows, Mac OS/OS X|
|Transport tickets, Payment cards, National ID cards, Student cards, Employee badges||Employee badges, Access control badges, Membership cards, Loyalty cards / gift cards, Transit passes|
Both Primacy and Zenius printers by Evolis are highly rated and have excellent performance, offering superb image quality and strong features. Primacy and Zenius also support the same card types, namely PVC cards, composite PVC cards, PET cards, ABS cards, and special varnished cards. However, based on your needs, one may be more suitable than the other.
If you have entry level needs and lower volumes of printing, the Zenius is a great printer, with excellent speed and good quality prints. If you require double-sided printing, large volumes of printing and more precise images, you can consider a Primacy printer.
Reach out to POS Plaza for more help in identifying and purchasing the best plastic card printer for your specific needs.