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Alps Color Printer



A while back there was a great discussion of color printers, which I read with
much interest as I was *in the market*. Check the archives. Someone suggested
the ALPS microdry printer, which I ended up getting. I went to Office Max to
see if they had one I could look at and the sales guy tried to dissuade me
saying that the ALPS was only good for artists and graphic designers. SOLD!

Good Points:

-Ink is waterproof and (supposedly) fade-proof.
-Individual replacement cassettes for each color of ink. Sorta like
typerwriter ribbon. About $5 or $6 each.
-Colors besides CMYB: White and four metallics: gold, silver, cyan, and
magenta. There is also a finish cartridge which over-coats printed photos to
look shiny...like a printing varnish.
-Awesome print quality; laser-like. Hubby is doing resumes and the difference
between this and our old HP black is phenomenal...and the HP has been pretty
darn good! I think it might be that since the inks are dry they don't bleed at
all...very crisp text.
-Built to handle heavier papers and cardstock. I have printed on 90# Arches HP
WC paper and perforated business card sheets with excellent paper feed and
printing results.
-This was the clincher for me: Ability to print on black and dark papers. The
manual gives instruction regarding this, but basically you print a run of
white and then print the colors as usual. This appealed to me because I am
primaily a calligrapher and work on deep-toned papers with light-colored
gouache a lot.

Draw-backs

-Limited in paper size to letter (8 x 10 max image size). I have actually
stretched this to 9 1/2 inch wide paper and a little longer than 11".  The
manual feed allows for the extra width, but I had to adjust the margins to
keep the image centered.
-Really only prints well on very smooth papers. Again I think this may be due
to the dry pigments... they don't sink into the texture of rougher papers like
wet ink would.
-Very slow print speed. This doesn't bother me, but would drive my graphic
designer friend nuts.
<A HREF="http://www.shopper.com/cmpny/105/04.html">
</A>Their website is at     http://www.alpsusa.com    (they are the Alpine
stereo speaker people)

As I was calling the toll-free number to ask if they had printers which
accomodated larger paper, the sales guy on the phone gave me a price that was
about $70.00 less than at Office Max ($289.00 [?] for the MD-1000) Since the
salesman at OM was not on commission, I ordered it right then, and have been
very pleased with the performance. Although I intend to make use of the
specialty inks, I haven't yet. Have only cranked out the basic black work-
horse stuff 95% of the time with a few nice colored prints.

That's all I know. I'm glad the question came up as I have been meaning to
thank the list for all the helpful info that is shared here.

Beth Weiss
Minneapolis


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