Introducing the new Magicard Rio Pro 360

Magicard Rio pro 360 id card printer

It may have come onto the market around three months later than planned, but it looks like the Magicard Rio Pro 360 has been worth the wait.

Magicard experienced problems getting the printer out onto the market early in January, so took some extra time to make sure they got everything right before releasing it.

The RioPro 360 replaces Magicard’s hugely popular RioPro. You could say it’s like the cooler, faster and smarter younger brother.

So what’s changed?

  1. It’s faster.

To be fair, the old Rio Pro didn’t exactly hang around, but the new Rio Pro 360 ups the game. As soon as you hit ‘print’, it jumps into action. It’s capable of printing a monochrome card every 5 seconds (that’s 750 cards an hour), and a colour card every 18 seconds, or 200 per hour.

For those of you who need to print high volumes of cards at speed, this increased efficiency will be welcome news.

2. It’s smarter.

ID card Printer 360The 360 is powered by an embedded Linux-based CPU, or LYNK. The marketing blurb likens it to ‘having a brain onboard’. This is what enables it to work fasterenabling seamless communication and the secure processing of ID data. This LYNK recognises USB and Ethernet and allows you to integrate with most third-party applications locally or in the cloud.

We’re told that its next iteration will include WiFi connectivity, though that’s not available just yet.

3. It has sharper print quality. 

The LYNK onboard brain also gives you a wider colour spectrum to choose from which makes for improved print quality. Expect sharper and richer colours.

As well as being good from a branding perspective (the marketing department will be pleased), it also means that photographs come out clearer which is good for your ID cards.

4. It gives you more options for secure cards. 

Rio Pro 360 ID card

Magicard printers are well known for their secure HoloKote® watermarks, it’s what gives them a distinctive position in the card printer market.

For those of you who don’t know, all Magicard printers come with the ability to print a transparent watermark over the entire face of the card, for extra security.

You can select standard watermarks from the card printer’s driver.

With the 360, up to 10 Custom HoloKote® watermarks are available. This gives you the option to have your logo or specific design laid over your cards. If you have different departments or sister companies, you could have a watermark for each.

The embedded LYNK allows for the secure online delivery of these bespoke HoloKote®  watermarks directly to the printer.

Some things haven’t changed though.

The 360 still comes with rewritable technology, Magicard’s leading 3-year Warranty and their technical support.

Rewritable printer Rewritable card printer

Another point of difference for Magicard printers is the fact that they come with rewritable technology.

This means that as well as producing colour cards through dye sublimation printing, they can also print rewritable cards through thermal imaging. This means they don’t use a ribbon to print – they ‘heat’ the image on, and then use heat again to erase it afterwards.

Rewritable cards are ideal if you also print temporary ID cards, say for Visitors or Temporary workers. You print a card when the visitor arrives and erase all the information when they leave, then keep the card for the next time.

This is ideal for data protection, particularly with the GDPR breathing down our necks.

You can print and erase the same card up to 500 times.

Bear in mind that you need special rewrite cards to use this function, you can’t use regular plastic cards. They generally only print in blue or black.

Three-year warranty for peace of mind

The Rio Pro 360 comes with Magicard’s 3-year UltraCoverPlus warranty, which is designed to ensure you can keep printing whatever happens. The warranty includes:

  • Replacement of a damaged printhead
  • A replacement printer if yours has to be shipped to the manufacturer for repair
    First-class supportMagicard are well known for the quality of their technical support. As well as an online portal full of self-help guides, training videos and downloads, they have a network of technical support engineers ready to help, many of which are UK-based.Made in Britain Rio Pro 360 Made in Britain

    One other thing that you may not know is that Magicard Printers are the only ID card Printers that are made in Britain – their Headquarters and manufacturing centre is in Weymouth, Dorset. So as well as the knowledge that you’re buying a quality card printer, you can also give yourself the satisfaction of ‘Buying British’.

    We currently have an introductory offer on the Magicard Rio Pro 360: buy a single-sided printer for £999 + VAT and we’ll upgrade you to the Double-Sided at no extra cost and throw in EasyBadge Lite ID Card Software too.

    Rest assured that the 360 uses the same consumables that the Rio Pro did before it, so there isn’t a whole new suite of ribbons to consider.

    Find out more information about the 360 on Magicard’s website.

Rio Pro 360

Year End Special Offer: Buy 2 ribbons, get 100 cards for free

Plastic card Printer ribbons offer









With the end of the financial year fast approaching, and those ID card and membership card projects stacking up, there’s never been a better time to stock up on your card printer ribbons.

Especially when you can some blank cards thrown in for free.

This offer covers the full range of colour and mono printer ribbons for Magicard, Datacard, Evolis, Easybadge, Javelin, Fargo, Zebra and Smart plastic card printers.

Order any two ribbons and we’ll include 100 Dyestar blank white plastic cards (760 microns) for free.

Simply add the Dyestar cards into your basket and quote RC17 at checkout.

But hurry, this offer is only valid until 31st March, 2017.


*Offer valid until 31st March, 2017. VAT and Delivery charges apply.

The Magicard Rio Pro & why it’s a belter of a card printer

We get to test and play with a lot of ID card printers at the Card Network, and like our children, we try not to have a favourite.

But the reality is, some ID card printers naturally stand out. It could be in terms of the functionality they offer for the price, their ease of use, or how good they are at delivering the job they’re designed to do.

The Magicard Rio Pro is one of those card printers.

Here are the reasons why, including the main reason we’d buy it.

Magicard rio pro side
The Magicard Rio Pro – available in single or dual sided

Magicard Rio Pro Front







Who it’s designed for

The Rio Pro is “designed for professionals”. By which Magicard means that it’s designed for organisations that print high numbers of ID cards, and who are looking for sharp images and a professional quality of print.

Magicard’s printers are also targeted at organisations where security is important, which is where their patented HoloKote® watermark feature comes in (more on this later).

We’re talking about companies with requirements for hundreds to thousands of ID cards, and particularly those that need the cards to perform more functionality, like act as an access control or smart card.

If you only have 20 staff to badge, and have no encoding requirements, you don’t need all the capabilities offered by the Rio Pro. There are more cost effective ID card printers out there on the market.

Reasons we think it does the job brilliantly


  • Print up to 500 mono cards per hour, or 150 colour cards per hour
  • Batch print with the 100-card feeder, or print one-offs with the hand feeder

Print Quality

The Rio Pro provides edge-to-edge printing, and the sharpness of images and text is as good as any we’ve seen.

Magicard say that the “superior printing quality is enhanced by ICC profiles that seamlessly map colour between software and the printer.” Whatever ICC profiles are, they seem to work.

Magicard rio pro id card sample

Enhanced Security through HoloKote®

This is Magicard’s main point of difference when compared to other ID card printer manufacturers, and it’s a good one.

The Rio Pro comes with Magicard’s patented HoloKote® technology, which adds a standard transparent watermark to your cards when they’re printed. Tilt the cards up to the light and you’ll see this layer across the entire surface of the card.

This gives your cards an added layer of visual security, and makes them more difficult to copy. Four different designs can be chosen from the printer driver. You don’t need an extra ribbon for the HoloKote®, it’s printed through all standard Magicard ribbons.

You can also buy their HoloPatch cards which add an extra security feature – a highly-visible gold seal onto the card.

Add-on functionalityID card Rio Pro

The Rio Pro is scalable, so it can grow with you. There are various options available to ‘add-on’ if/when you need to:

  • Upgrade to the Duo for double sided print – this can be done ‘in the field’, you won’t have to send the printer back
  • Various encoding options. If you need your ID cards to also work with your access control or time and attendance system, you can incorporate the necessary magnetic stripe or smart card encoding
  • Custom HoloKote®. If you want greater security than the standard HoloKote® offers, you can have a custom HoloKote® security mark created by Magicard to your individual logo or design.

But here’s the main reason we’d buy it


The Rio Pro is fast, reliable and provides great quality dye sublimation printing.

But what really makes it stand out is the fact that it also has rewrite capabilities, and is equally good at both.

The benefits of rewritable technology Rewritable temporary ID card

Swap to the rewritable function, insert a rewritable plastic card, and the Rio Pro will erase and re-print the same card up to 500 times.

By using thermal imaging (no ribbons are used for this function), the printer will erase all previous data on the card and print new information in its place.

This functionality is brilliant if you regularly print temporary cards, for example for Visitors or Temporary workers. Rather than chucking the card in the bin at the end of the day, you simply erase it, ready for the next one. Your only cost is the cards – you don’t need to purchase ribbons, which is where it becomes really cost effective.

Remember that you have to use special rewrite cards, which generally print in either black or blue.

Read more information on how rewritable card printers work.

Other things we like

  • Free support from the Magicard team

If you’re not sure how to use a particular feature of the Rio Po, or you hit a few printing bumps along the way, you can call or email Magicard’s technical support team for help. They’ll help you get the most out of your new printer.

  • Free 3 year UltraCoverPlus warranty Magicard warranty

This is a big plus with the Rio Pro. Magicard’s no quibble warranty is highly regarded, and with this model, you get their 3-year UltraCover Plus thrown in.

This means that they will repair any printer issues and replace a damaged print head for free, no matter what the cause of failure, for three years from purchase date.

It also provides what’s known in the industry as a ‘hot swap printer’; meaning they’ll send you a loan printer if yours has to be shipped back for repair.

Special offer

We currently have a special offer on the Magicard Rio Pro of a free upgrade to Dual sided, while stocks last.

If you would like some free card samples so you can see the quality of print before you buy, please contact us.

Further specs can be found on the Magicard site.

Magicard logo CMYK


How to include holograms & watermarks on ID cards

Protect your ID cards from copying and tampering

Realistically, anyone could copy your photo ID cards if they have half a brain and a dye sublimation printer. It might not be totally perfect, but it’s likely to be good enough to fool a security guard or event officials.

Put a hologram or a watermark layer on the cards and it’s a different story.

What is a hologram anyway?

Hologram bank card
Look for holograms on your credit cards

Holograms are 3D images built in layers, making them multi-colour and multi-level. This is what makes them very difficult to forge. Flex one of your bank cards, or hold it in a different light and you’ll see a Holographic image visible and shining in 3D.

The gold standard in card security 

Having a Hologram on your ID cards is the gold standard in security, especially if the Holographic design is unique to you. They simply can’t be faked in one (or two) dimensional print.

So how do you get one on your ID cards?

Contrary to popular belief, holograms aren’t printed as part of the card; they’re added on as a layer. Some printers do this by using what’s called a holographic overlaminate – a roll of film put over the surface of the card. Some companies use blank overlaminate to strengthen the durability of the card (great for heavy-duty use, for example outdoors), but embed a hologram onto it and it gives the card anti-counterfeiting protection too.

Creating your own custom 3D image in high resolution does come at a price

The large card printer manufacturers will custom print your own Holographic images, either directly onto a ‘bank’ of ID cards or onto bespoke overlaminate film ribbons. HID for example can print large quantities of Holographic Foil cards with your own unique hologram that you can then overprint with individual data and photographs using their Fargo printers. But origination fees are expensive and turn around can take up to 8 weeks.

Need a cheaper solution?

If your budget won’t quite stretch to a bespoke Hologram (and let’s face it, most SME’s budgets don’t), then you might want to consider a standard over laminate or watermark graphic on your ID cards instead. Although this provides a more basic level of security, it still gives protection from card alteration or tampering.

And better still, it’s included free of charge in some printers.

Magicard’s HoloKote

Magicard pronto printer
HoloKote is included as standard – no extra costs

Magicard’s patented HoloKote technology is built into the majority of their card printers including the very attractively priced Magicard Pronto (you can snap one up for just £637).  This anti-counterfeiting feature prints a frosted watermark graphic across the entire face of your ID cards during the normal printing cycle that gives the appearance of a hologram. There are no extra costs to do this and no consumables like holographic lamination ribbons to buy – it’s all built-in.

The Pronto comes with a choice of four watermark designs to choose from. Bear in mind though that this does only provide basic security – anyone with the same printer could theoretically produce exact the same cards with the same watermark.

This won’t worry those who are just looking to deter opportunists. But for situations where the risk is greater, you should consider upgrading to the likes of HoloKote with a custom key logo. Magicard can produce your own unique ‘logo’ panel that you then insert into your printer (currently available on their Rio and Tango models) for less than £400. This then prints your own unique logo watermark onto your cards.

Read more here.

Evolis and standard holographic laminates

Holographic film
Be aware: holographic films have a shelf life of around 1 year

Many card printer manufacturers have standard holographic designs available as an overlaminate film ribbon. For example, you can buy overlaminate ribbons for Evolis printer models including the Zenius and Primacy for around £60. Choose from a generic, genuine Globes or world holographic design. The ribbon slots into your printer and overlays the holographic image on each card. The ribbon is good for about 350 cards, after that you’ll need to buy another. Also bear in mind that this type of ribbon has a shelf life – typically around one year.

Read more about Evolis printers