Magicard RioPro Duo Review
The dual-sided version of the Magicard RioPro is well-built and a decent option among available dual-sided models. We particularly like the Custom Holokote security feature that is only available on RioPro models. The main drawbacks for those not interested in the Holokote are: the price (the Enduro Duo offers similar performance for $1300 less); and the competition (the Evolis Primacy is a better overall printer). If not for the Evolis Primacy, the RioPro Duo would be our recommended dual-sided model for high volume use.
Magicard introduced the RioPro line in early 2011, using the base framework of the highly successful Enduro line. The RioPro is Magicard’s “professional” model, which means it is designed for higher volume environments, and also has some features and options not available on the Enduro. The main feature, and the best reason to buy the RioPro, is Magicard’s patented custom Holokote secure watermark. Holokote is a holographic effect (not a true hologram) that is layered into the clear overlay while a card is printed. The RioPro lets you to use your own artwork (such as a company logo) to create a security feature that cannot be duplicated by anyone else. To do holographic overlays on any other printer requires special ribbons and costs thousands of dollars.
Ribbon cost for the RioPro Duo is $0.28 per card (single-sided YMCKO) and $0.39 per card for dual-sided (YMCKOK) prints. These cost figures are about average, although some newer models do have lower media costs. The RioPro can accept both CR79 and CR80 sized card stock, and will handle thicknesses ranging from 20 mil to 40 mil. CR79 cards are primarily adhesive card stock used with proximity cards.
The RioPro Duo is slower than the competition, especially for a high-volume printer. Single-sided cards take about 31 seconds each and dual-sided (YMCKOK) takes about 40 seconds. By comparison, the Evolis Primacy does single-sided cards in 18 seconds and dual sided in 26 seconds. The output hopper is a disappointing 70 cards, which is a bit small for a machine that is designed for higher-volume use.
The warranty is an industry leading 3-years, and includes the UltraCover loaner replacement should you ever need a warranty repair. Odds are that you won’t, as the repair history for Magicard printers is one of the best in the industry.
Buy the RioPro Duo for the Custom Holokote, it really is a unique feature. If you don’t need the Custom Holokote, then go with the Enduro (much less expensive) or the Evolis Primacy (less expensive and better overall) instead.
Mag Encoder: Add $400
Custom Holokote: Add $550 to $650; may be purchased separately at any time