Hands On Review of the Epson DiscProducer CD/DVD Autoprinter
It was just two months ago that I wrote about the official release of the new DiscProducer Autoprinter from Epson. Would this print-only version of the popular DiscProducer Publisher live up to the high standard of its counterpart, or would it fall short of my expectations? It’s time to answer those questions and more as I present to you my hands-on review of the Epson DiscProducer Autoprinter!
From the outside, there are no visible differences between the Publisher and the Autoprinter models. They both feature the same heavy-duty construction and front-loading design that allows them to be stacked on top of each other or with other equipment. While the Autoprinter is slightly lighter than the publisher, it still weighs in at over 50 lbs. You might want to get a friend to help you lift it out of the box!
The key difference is inside: the Autoprinter unit can only print on CD and DVD discs, while the Publisher unit has the ability to burn CDs and DVDs for all-in-one disc production. Price-wise, the Autoprinter costs about $745 less than the Publisher unit.
Setup and Installation
With the Autoprinter out of the box, I began the setup process. The Epson DiscProducer PP-100AP Autoprinter includes a fold-out Quick Start Guide to help you get started. First, I inserted the set of six ink cartridges that came with the printer. They are hidden behind a special panel on the front of the machine.
Each cartridge clicked into place with a satisfactory noise and feel. These cartridges may seem expensive at $240 for a full set, however their high capacity allows them to print up to 1,000 discs or more depending on your artwork.
Next, I placed the software installation disc into my computer’s disc drive. The Total Disc Maker suite installed very quickly, and I connected the USB cable when prompted. The installer wanted me to specify whether I was using the printer or publisher, which I thought was a little unusual. Less than 20 minutes after opening the box, everything was installed and connected and I was ready to go!
The DiscProducer Autoprinter includes Epson’s Total Disc Maker software for designing and printing disc artwork. You can use this software to design your own artwork or to import artwork you made in another program. For the purposes of this review, I tried both methods.
For the first test, I chose a photo of some neon signs at night on a black background. I also used the Total Disc Maker software to design a disc with a wide variety of font sizes so that I could see how good they looked at different sizes. With both projects saved, I placed a stack of white inkjet hub printable DVDs in the input hopper and clicked the Print button.
Printing and Operation
Printing the full-color disc was surprisingly fast! The on-screen job manager showed an estimated print time of 2 minutes per disc, but it did not feel like it took that long at all. The other thing that surprised me was that the printer was whisper quiet, even when sitting directly in front of the machine.
By far the most impressive thing was the print quality. The full color printed discs had excellent color reproduction with smooth gradients and rich solids. Skin tones seemed little light, but it may have been the artwork I was using.
The one that really blew me away was the text disc. Epson’s Total Disc Maker software allows you to do text as small as 3-points! Not only that, but it came out clear and readable with smooth corners and crisp edges. You would be hard pressed to find another printer that can do small text this well. No other printer I have used (whether inkjet or thermal) can pull this off like the Epson did!
Everything else about the Autoprinter performed well. I sat through several runs of discs and not once did the machine have trouble picking or dropping discs. I could see every precise movement of the robotic arm through the transparent window on the front cover. I could also see the cool white light inside the machine, which I thought was a real touch of class.
Perhaps the only drawback to this machine is the price. The Discproducer Autoprinter costs almost $500 dollars more than a Bravo Xi Autoprinter, which also features a 100-disc capacity and a robotic loader arm.
The price of the Epson and its ink cartridges may be hard to justify for lower volume production environments, but the serious business or professional user will find that the DiscProducer Autoprinter is a solid and reliable machine that is worth every penny.
For more detailed specifications or to purchase this unit online, please visit the Epson DiscProducer DVD/CD Publisher at CDROM2GO today. For a limited time, all customers who order this unit through CDROM2GO will receive a free box of printable media and Free Ground Shipping.