The new Evolis Zenius needs little in the way of introduction. It has captured plenty of hearts with its throwback, almost archaic look, which belies the profusion of useful features it brings to match modern card printing needs. Next to Evolis Primacy, which has a more modern look, Zenius is the most prominent product put out by Evolis in recent years.

The regression in design is not indicative of the performance this card printer delivers; in fact, it is a clever way the manufacturer has devised to ramp up upgradeability. Pop off the sides, and you would see how easy it is to access subsequent upgrades. The model allows the addition of contactless and magnetic encoding, as well as smart encoding. Each of these is field upgradeable as well.

Zenius is Evolis’s first printer to join RFID chips with ribbons, and that has eliminated confusion as to how the ribbon should properly be added in the driver. The cartridge ribbon has also been moved to something more user-friendly than the old-spool style. The problem though is that it wastes more ribbon this way.

The input hopper in now in the front, leaving it safer on the whole from accidental bumping. The cards can be singly fed from the front of the printer, which is very convenient. Zenius comes with design software that lets you create cards and badges exceedingly quickly, bringing the use of templates, signature acquisition, 50 internal records, and the option to print 1D barcodes.

Evolis Zenius scores superbly when it comes to silent operation. You could be on the phone nearby and hit print, and the person at the other end would not hear the printer work. The print speeds of 400 monochrome cards an hour, and 120 full-color cards an hour are impressive as well. Zenius proves it is a product of Evolis, in that it does not compromise on quality. Ink coverage too is worth appreciating – more ink gets laid on the surface of the card than any previous Evolis printer could manage.

Taken overall, Evolis Zenius has a precious few drawbacks – such as ribbon waste – but it is a fantastic product when you consider its benefits. You can buy it as a basic starter kit, which has no basic kit webcam; or the complete starter kit, which has one. The cleaning kit, color ribbon, and 100 cards are available in both.