The best ID card printers for colleges and universities

Photo ID card printing is an essential task for every college and university, so ensuring you have the right ID card printer for the job is crucial.

If you’re simply looking for pointers on which ID card printers will meet the high-volume requirements for enrollment, we can help.

we’ve picked out five that are ideally suited to life at a fast-paced university or college. 

Best ID card printers for educational organisations (2020)

1. IDP Smart 51 GDPR Secure

The IDP Smart 51 is one of Digital ID’s most popular printers and with good reason. The option of the GDPR Secure model makes it an appealing option across many sectors, but it is particularly true when it comes to education.

Its lockable ribbon cartridge and standard Kensington lock ensure it’s one of the most secure printers available. IDP’s Smartmark technology also gives you the option to add an extra visual layer of security to the cards themselves.

Compared to the older Smart 31, it also benefits from a 10% increase in print speeds, ensuring it is capable of meeting your demands come enrolment time.

During a standard seven-hour working day, the single-sided model can produce up to 5,000 monochrome cards or 1,475 full-colour cards. IDP products feature an industry-leading five-year warranty too, so you needn’t be worrying about upgrading all that often.

2. Zebra ZXP Series 7

Zebra ZXP Series 7

The Zebra ZXP 7 is a firm favourite for university and college staff. Why? Exceptionally high print speeds and impressive reliability scores ensure it can handle even the largest of enrolments, while also producing near-photographic like prints and crisp, clear writing.

Based on a typical 35-hour working week, the ZXP Series 7 can produce almost 50,000 monochrome single-sided cards – that works out at 1,375 cards per hour. Full-colour cards are produced quickly too, with up to 300 being printed in a single hour.

It’s a little larger than the average ID card printer, although this is a small sacrifice to pay given its high-volume capabilities.

3. Magicard 600

The Magicard 600 is one of the newest direct-to-card printers on the market, and as such is the perfect choice for the 2020/21 academic year.

We understand the importance sustainable procurement plays within the education sector, which is why the 600 might just be the perfect choice: for every Magicard printer currently bought through Digital ID, Magicard has committed to planting a tree helping to reforest the globe and helping reduce CO2 emissions.

The printer itself also features a ribbon data shredder feature, meaning that just like the IDP Smart 51, it’s fantastic for those establishments that need to be extra security conscious. Magicard’s standard HoloKote also allows you to add watermarks during the printing process, upping the security the cards offer too.

The 600 has also been designed with fast printing in mind. It can produce up to 190 full-colour cards per hour and, with an input hopper capacity of 100 cards, it’s a sensible choice for those with high-volume needs.

4. Fargo HDP5000

Fargo HDP 5000

Need to produce complex card designs? Then you’re best off looking at retransfer printers. Unlike direct-to-card machines, they transfer designs onto a film which is then applied to the card.

This allows for a crisp, high-quality image and long-lasting card. One of the best machines to do this is the Fargo HDP5000.

Capable of printing up to 138 full-colour cards per hour, it’s one of the faster retransfer cards on the market. Its large hoppers also ensure minimal interruptions during print runs.

What’s more, it’s an ideal machine should you need to encode smart cards. Fargo printers are made by HID, meaning add-on modules for encoding Proximity, iClass and Indala are available with the HDP5000, to name but a few.

5. Evolis Primacy

Evolis Primacy

The Evolis Primacy has been designed to be as intuitive and as user-friendly as possible. Combine this with its fantastic reliability, a three-year warranty and high-volume capability and it’s easy to see why so many schools, colleges and universities are choosing the Primacy.

It can print up to 225 full-colour cards per hour, putting it at the top of the class if you need to produce ID in double-quick time.

Evolis is also a manufacturer that takes its commitment to the environment very seriously, meaning that you can rest assured that the materials used to create its consumables and the printer itself are sustainable.

This only adds to its appeal as a printer fit for an educational establishment. It’s also one of the easiest printers to carry out a ribbon change on too – yet another bonus.

Not quite ready to buy?

If you want more advice on creating effective ID and access control systems for an educational establishment, the best thing to do is contact our team directly.

We deal with hundreds of schools, colleges and universities across the UK so have a wealth of experience in creating efficient, cost-effective solutions for the education sector.

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