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