Questions you should ask before buying the MAGiCARD Prima 8

The Prima 8 is MAGiCARD’s updated version of the Prima 4. It’s a high-end retransfer ID card printer with top-of-the-range encoding and printing technologies. In fact, it can print ID cards that meet some of the highest U.S. federal government standards. Like other MAGiCARD printers, the Prima 8 comes with a host of optional features to extend its utility.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best candidate for all applications. Here, you’ll find answers to the most critical questions you may have before investing in the Prima 8 for your organization’s card printing needs.

What can you expect from the Prima 8’s printing quality?

The Prima 8 utilizes retransfer printing technology. Retransfer printing involves printing on a transparent and flexible film. The film is then adhered to the card print side down. As the cutting-edge in printing technology, it has several advantages over conventional direct-to-card printing, for example:

  • Tamperproof: As the printing is underneath the film, the film will need to be removed to alter the visuals.
  • Durability: it takes longer for wear and tear to affect the actual graphics. The film also serves as an extra layer of protection for the physical card.
  • Flexibility: Retransfer printing is suitable for printing on uneven or irregular cards as a result of the versatile film.
  • Over-the-edge printing: Unlike direct-to-card printing, the film can apply right to, and over, the edge of the card. Not only does this look more professional, but it also protects your card better.

The standard Prima 8 prints in high-definition 300dpi, but a 600dpi option is available if maximum resolution is of the utmost importance. At 600dpi, you’ll be able to print CJK characters down to 1.3pt size.

With high-resolution and YMCK-color printing, you can expect top-quality graphics with crisp definition and sharp colors. This is vital for security cards with photo identification as well as a high-quality appearance.

Adherence to federal identification standards

The Prima 8 is FIPS certified, meaning it meets the U.S. federal government requirements for printing personal identification verification (PIV) cards. Featured on the GSA Approved Products list, you can rest assured that the Prima 8  will keep your business on the right side of compliance measures for security card issuance.

What is the Prima 8’s performance like?

The Prima 8 comes with both 100 card input and output hoppers to simplify the printing workflow. With a hopper-feed system, you won’t need to facilitate the printing process manually. In terms of speed, the Prima 8 can print up to 100 single-sided full-YMCK cards per hour. For double-sided cards, the speed will halve to about 50 cards per hour.

Without needing to be present for the actual printing, you could merely refill and empty your hoppers every hour for high-volume jobs. A printer lock will keep any unauthorized parties from accessing your already printed cards.

The latest in secure and practical encoding technologies

Prima 8 makes use of a range of the latest technologies to improve its utility and versatility in the face of the ever-expanding ID card printing needs of today’s businesses. The Prima 8 can produce cards according to MIFARE®, DESFire®, and iClass® smart card encoding technologies.

For magnetic stripe printing, the Prima 8 comes with ISO 7811-standard HiCo and LoCo encoders.

  • Single or dual-sided printing
  • Various encoding options:
    • Smart chip
    • Smart contactless
    • Magnetic stripe
    • And, any combination of the three
  • Holographic or UV film
  • EMV for inline personalization of payment cards

Other features you can upgrade your Prima 8 with are:

  • An inline laminator for single or dual-sided printing

Simple access logic can also be built into smart cards for more sophisticated security solutions.

The Prima 8 can also print invisible photographs or security stamps using special dye-sublimation Ultra-violet ribbons. This print isn’t visible to the naked eye and is an effective countermeasure counterfeiting of your high-security ID cards.

What type of cards can it print?

The prima 8 accepts ISO CR80 cards (85.6mm x 54mm or 3.375? x 2.12”), which is the industry-standard size for security, payment, or identification cards. The Prima 8 is also capable of printing on a range of the most common card materials, such as PVC, ABS, PET, PVH, and polycarbonate ISO blank cards.

As mentioned above, you’ll be able to create a range of different cards, such as contact, contactless, or magnetic stripe cards. Extra anti-counterfeit measures can be added using holographic or UV-film technology.

As such, the Prima 8 is ideal for producing identification within the enterprise, government, and payment spheres.

How do you interface with the Prima 8?

The Prima 8 comes with drivers and compatibility with most modern Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10 (32 and 64 bit) as well as Windows Server 2003 (R2 SP2), 2008, and 20012.

You can connect to the Prima 8 with either USB (1.1 or 2.0) or Ethernet cables. In the latter case, the Prima comes standard fitted with a secure IPSEC ethernet port. Via USB, the Prima 8 can support speeds of up to 480 Mbps.

In terms of physical dimensions, the Prima 8 has a height of 320mm (12.6?), width of 343mm (13.5?), and length of 330mm (13?). It also weighs 15.5kg (34.1lbs). The ideal operating conditions for the Prima 8 is 15ºC to 30ºC (59ºF to 86ºF), which goes well beyond the typical range for a temperature-controlled office.

Does it come with a warranty and after-sales support?

MAGiCARD is known for its excellent after-sales support. Each Prima 8 printer comes with a 3-year MagiCoverPlus warranty, which includes phone and online support. The warranty fully covers any replacement of the printhead for the duration of the warranty.

If your printhead does fail, they will ship a loan printer overnight until it has been replaced. This shouldn’t take long as the printhead consists of a field-replaceable unit that can be swapped in and out with ease by a trained technician.

What improved from the Prima 4?

In almost all regards, the Prima 8 is virtually the same product as the Prima 4. It features the same capacity, printing speeds, encoding technologies, optional features, and printing technology. It’s also compatible with the same operating systems and features the same interfacing technologies.

The dimensions, weight, and appearance are also unchanged while you get virtually the same 3-year warranty. However, the naming did change with MAGiCARD dropping the “Uno” and “Duo” monikers.

Is the Prima 8 the right printer for you?

Finally, how do you know whether the Prima 8 is the best solution for your ID card printing needs?

First of all, starting at over $4,000, the Prima 8 is a higher-end printer. If your organization doesn’t need top-of-the-range ID card security (e.g., with FIPS 201 adherence), you will be able to find cheaper MAGiCARD alternatives, like the 300 or 600.

The Prima 8 is also not the fastest MAGiCARD model. The 300 or 600 might also be more suitable if you regularly face tight deadlines or need to print at exceptionally high volumes.

However, if you have the budget, the Prima 8 features some of the most secure printing capabilities you can find. Invisible UV-film printing is an effective anti-counterfeiting measure, while FIPS 201-certified printing will put you in line with the strictest governmental standards.

The wide range of optional encoding technologies also makes it suitable for large enterprises with multi-tiered security protocols.

The Prima 8 is one of the best options for governmental agencies. However, it’s an equally suitable solution for corporate organizations or those in need of producing payment cards.

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