Budget is always a factor when purchasing an ID card printer for a small business, educational institution, or an office setting. ID cards are very important for these environments as they can act as identification for employees, students, and customers in addition to having many more bundled features. When selecting a printer, it’s important to remember to find one that fits your needs based on the functions your business and organization requires. Below are some recommendations for printers that produce quality output for your printing needs and fall within a budget-friendly price range.
The Badgy100 is one of the most reasonably priced budget-friendly ID card printers on the market. The Badgy100 is specially designed for small businesses or institutions that only need to print in very small volumes. The style of printing is edge to edge meaning each card printed will contain a small white border around the edges of the card. The speed at which it can output cards is 45 second per card. One of the primary advantages of the Badgy100 is that it’s so compact that it can be stored away and transported quite easily. The print batches the Evolis Badgy100 is capable are quite small making it perfect for personal minimal use. The starting price for the Badgey100 is $549 making it one of, if not the most, inexpensive printers on the market.
The Evolis Badgy100 is available for purchase here: Badgy 100
The Badgy200 is the next step up from the basic Badgy100. The printer’s main objective to be able to handle heavier tasks and is geared more towards small organizations with a higher print demand than the Badgy100. As opposed to the ease of use of the Badgy100, this particular printer is not suggested for absolute first-time buyers due to the difficulty of the card refill interchange that this printer requires. The quality of output this printer is capable of is 200 dpi, a good resolution for an instant ID card. The hopper can carry 25 cards making it a decent printer for small purpose usage and small offices or events. The starting price of the Badgy200 starts at $699.
The Evolis Badgy200 is available for purchase here: Badgy 200
The Magicard Pronto is another printer designed for small businesses and organizations. This printer includes a type of security on the top layer of the card called the watermark. The watermark feature is more commonly found in high-end printers but that’s what makes this affordable printer such a worthwhile purchase. If advanced security is a must for your organization or business then this printer would be a great match. The printing style is also edge to edge just like the two Badgy printers, however, the Magicard Pronto is capable of much faster print speeds at a rate of 35 seconds per full-color card. The trade-off for the speedier print rate is the cards need to be hand fed into the printer since it does not include a hopper. The size is almost as small when compared to the Badgy printer but the heavier weight means less mobility. The starting price for the Magicard Pronto starts off at $850.
The Magicard Pronto is available for purchase here: Magicard Pronto
IDP Smart 31
The IDP Smart 31 printer is a comparatively high-end cheap printer and its superior print capabilities are more than justify the increased price point. The printing style is also edge to edge and offers top-tier security just like its competitors. The interchange for the card refill is a lot easier compared to the other printers with a containment of up to 80 cards in the input hopper and 25 cards in the output hopper. The difference that sets the IDP Smart 31 printer apart from the others is that it uses a direct-to-print technology for its printing process. It comes in a variety of resolutions from 300 to 600, all the way up to 1200 dpi. The higher the dpi, the more detail and refinement the prints on the ID cards will turn out. Just remember, the higher the resolution the longer the print rate speed will extend. With the least sharp dpi resolution the IDP Smart 31 can print out full-color cards in a rate of 23 seconds per card. There are two types of IDP Smart 31 printers, the single-sided printer and the dual-sided printer. For the individuals on a tighter budget, the single-sided printer is the best solution. The starting price for the IDP Smart 31 is $799.
The IDP Smart 31 is available for purchase here: IDP Smart 31
The Zebra ZC100 was specifically made with the widest range of applications in mind. This printer is adept at producing loyalty cards, event passes, and club membership cards. This means, of course, that it also produces excellent quality ID Cards. The Zebra ZC100 comes with a driver of multiple languages to assist the user an easier print experience. It comes with a built-in card hopper with a capacity of up to 100 cards from both output and input hopper. The print speed is quite fast at about 23 seconds per card for a full-color ID card - the fastest speed when compared to the other printers listed. The starting price for the Zebra ZC100 is $949.
The Zebra ZC100 is available for purchase here: Zebra ZC100
When selecting the cheapest printer, it is best to carefully consider the purpose of the cards, the quality needed, and any extra content on the cards that are integral for the business or organization. For example, the Badgy100 is the cheapest option on the list but it’s important to note that if the printer’s job is for long term usage and frequent printing, the cost of labor will outweigh the investment in the printer. It’s important to pick a quality printer that will save both time and money. If you believe your printing needs will scale up over time, it’s best to be prepared with a printer that can handle larger volume printing and heavier usage even if it is at a higher price point.