Sep 15

Black Thermal Printers – Microtech Xpression Vs Rimage Prism

Microtech are now providing the Xpression printer instead of the OEM Rimage Prism Printer. Really these printers look the same on paper but what are the like to use? We’ve been running the two printers here so thought we would see how they compared.
Xpression Black Thermal Printer

Xpression Black Thermal Printer

Rimage Prism Printer

Rimage Prism Black Thermal Printer

I have to say that I’ve been using and supplying the Rimage Prism for over 13 years and it is the best Black Thermal printer I have come across in this time. I’d not had good results with other black thermal printers (Primera Inscripta & Older CopyPro Printers) so I was interested to see what the hype was with the new Xpression printer.

Appearance – Now this seemed a good place to start but basically they are both box printers and I have to say neither were designed for looks. So we’ll void this comparison now.

Printer Tray - One of the main issues with other thermal printers was that the tray was week and flimsy. When you’re using a combination of heat and pressure to print you need to make sure that the printhead has something solid to press against. The Prism always had a solid tray that consistently opened to the same place each time. The good news is that the Xpression is the same. The disc is clamped edge to edge on the Xpression rather than middle to edge but it still seems nice and solid.

The Xpression prints onto the discs as the tray goes in where the Prism prints as the tray comes out. I’m not sure this matters but thought it was worth a mention.

Print Quality - Both are 300 x 600 dpi printers and I have been able to run the same job on both printers and cannot tell the difference. Black Thermal Printers are only really good at printing logos and text but there is nothing out there that’s better for speed, cost & quality.

Printer Ribbon - They can actually use the same ribbon but the nice thing about the Xpression printer is that the whole printhead system lifts up so it’s easy to replace the ribbon. One of the most annoying things with the Prism is that you had to feed the new ribbon under the head before sticking it to the roller. The Xpression wins this one for me.

Xpression Printer Open

Xpression Printer Open - Easy Ribbon Installation

Speed- Black Thermal Printers are as fast as it gets and there is nothing to separate these two when doing a straight forward print. If you’re using the Image aligner camera on a Microtech then the Prism is fractionally quicker. The prism is able to clamp the disc without fully closing the tray. The Xpression has to close the tray and then re-open to the clamped position. OK, we’re talking a second or so extra time but it is technically slower when used this way. Maybe I’m taking this to seriously now.

Cost per print – As these two printers can use the same ribbon then the cost is the same. For a top to bottom print on either printer will cost less than 2 pence per print.

Noise - The Prism has always made some strange noises but the Xpression does seem a lot quieter and not so harsh with its movements. This makes it a better fit for an office environment.

ConclusionAll in all these are two great printers that are very hard to separate. The main difference between them is that they are available on different duplicators now. The Xpression on a Microtech Xpress seems to be the best solution about at the moment. The 600+ disc capacity and flexibility of the Xpress brings out the best in a Black Thermal Printer. Adding an ImageAligner to your Xpress also makes this a great solution for adding text or images to pre-printed discs.

Get in Touch – We would love to hear about your experiences including tips or advice so please feel free to leave a comment or email us and we can post something for you.

For more information on these printers or the duplicators they can run on please contact us on 01264 335118, email info@handisc.co.uk or visit www.handisc.co.uk