Dymo DiscPainter: Frustration-Free Disc Labeling, Finally!
The Dymo DiscPainter has emerged as one of the best printers out there which serves the sole purpose of making your blank CD’s and DVD’s look professional. The convenience factor is undeniable: you just place a disk (inkjet printable only) into the printer, and two minutes later, a sleek and smoothly printed disc emerges. There are no paper trays, no sticky labels to apply, and no messy handwriting. This product is ideal for businesses with the constant need to make individualized multimedia discs for potential clients, presentations to the rest of the office, and promotional discs for consumers.
But for home consumers just looking to spice up their digital music/video collection, BE WARNED, this product may not be for you. It is just way too costly.
Design and Size
With no need for a paper tray, the Dymo DiscPainter is small, sleek, and certainly not an eyesore. With dimensions of 4.33” x 10.62” x 5.71”, the printer is a little bit wider than a CD/DVD and is shaped like a shoe. Weighing 2.65 pounds, the unit isn’t truly portable, but it is easy to take on the road.
The DiscPainter is ready to print less than five minutes out of the box. Just load the ink cartridge, install the software, and connect via USB cable, and your PC or Mac is ready to start painting.
“Discus for DYMO” is the software included with the DiscPainter, and it is similar to most CD Label-Making software and shareware which is available on the World Wide Web, but significantly easier to navigate. There are templates to label CDs, DVDs, and Mini-CD (80mm ring); there are also templates for jewel cases of various sizes.
The software is fun to play with and easy to use (my parents wouldn’t have any trouble designing a disc). The ways to decorate discs are endless: there are 316 pre-loaded canvas backgrounds, 1,560 clip art items, a paint feature, and 92 fonts. Text can be typed in 10 different ways (horizontal, vertical, bent around the disc, spiral, etc).
A software feature that stands out is the “Photo Collage,” where you can import photographs from your own personal collection and stamp them around the ring of your disc. It is very customizable, with the ability to choose the size, spacing, angle, and diameter of the pictures.
Should you choose not to use Discus for Dymo, the DiscPainter is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, SureThing, QuarkXPress
With the ability to print 1200 dpi, the Dymo DiscPainter print quality is above your average inkjet printer. Colors are vivid, and edges are smooth. However, it is not a perfect print job. Because the printer lays the ink down in a circular motion (as the disc spins), you can see the faint rings of ink, and it especially stands out in areas of one solid color. If you have an above-average inkjet printer (such as Epson or Canon), it can achieve the same quality by printing on a 8” x 10” disc-label template (available at any office-supply store).
Printing time ranges between 1-3 minutes, depending on your print preferences (dpi, grayscale, economy, etc), and a major benefit to the DiscPainter is its consistency and dependability. It is very difficult for this product to fail: there is no paper for the printer to misalign/chew up, and discs are loaded very easily.
Drying time was VERY fast, and the ink did not smear.
At a whopping $280.00, the Dymo DiscPainter is expensive. Unless you plan on making hundreds of discs and place a very high priority on convenience and reliability, the cost just doesn’t make sense compared to using 8” x 10” label sheets, your own home printer, and a label applier (similar to the Memorex Expert CD/DVD Label Maker).
Aside from the price of a printer, the two outside costs are ink and discs.
When you want to print in the highest quality (whether it be photos, documents, or disc labels), printer ink is always a financial burden,regardless of the printer. Most cartridges average $30-$40, and rarely last as long as advertised. The Dymo DiscPainter can print 100 discs on one cartridge ($40). It’s reasonable to assume that a typical inkjet printer could print 50 sheets of 2-disc-label stickers on one cartridge. In terms of ink use, the DiscPainter and commercial printer are even.
The Dymo DiscPainter only prints on inkjet-printable blank discs, which are more costly than regular blank discs:
Prices from OfficeDepot.com:
Maxwell 50-pack DVD+R Printable $40
Maxwell 50-pack DVD+R Regular $30
*0.20 more per disc
Maxwell 100-pack CD-R Printable $56
Maxwell 100-pack CD-R Regular $40
*0.16 more per disc
Advantage: Regular Blank Discs
Total Cost of Printing
The DiscPainter costs $280.00. This means that your first 100 discs and their labels are going to cost close to $3.50 per disc.
The Memorex Expert CD/DVD Label Maker costs just $22.00, and includes the label applicator, plus 138 labels which are printed on your home printer. This means your first 100 discs and their labels will cost close to 70 cents.
The Smart Move: Getting the labels you apply yourself
I would recommend getting the Dymo DiscPainter if:
- You need to quickly label a few discs
- You plan on labeling 300+ discs over the course of a year
- You can spend $280 without regret
- You are frustrated with printing on disc-label stickers
However, if you are at home looking to make some labels for your home video/audio collection, the Dymo DiscPainter is not worth it. Disc-label “stampers” are now available which don’t create that frustrating air-bubble which older versions did. Combined with a quality color-printer you might already have, and easily downloadable free software (or Adobe PhotoShop), it’s just as easy to make your CDs and DVDs look “sexy,” while saving a bundle of money.
Street Price: Approx. $250.00
System Requirements for Dymo DiscPainter*
500 MB RAM, 700 MB Hard Disk space, USB 2.0 port Windows® XP and Vista, Mac®OS X v10.3/10.4/10.5 Leopard
*System Requirements and Images provided by the Manufacturer