The DYMO DiscPainter is a very cool device that will appeal to some people, while others will find the cost of operation to be unjustified. This little printer is a must-have for budding musicians, photographers, business professionals, and amateur cinematographers.
The DiscPainter will paint awesome, professional-looking artwork on any CD or DVD - even it works with miniDiscs. This printer will allow your album art creativity to run wild. You are able to make collages of photos, freehand paintings, apply various picture stamps, text, color, and vary the opacity. It even will allow you to print the work you've done in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, QuarkExpress, and and other similar programs.
The included software doesn't quite give you the amount of creativity options that Photoshop does, but it does offer a lot of customization of your artwork nonetheless - I would compare it to the typical Paint program, which we have all used at one time or another. Basically, it's easy to use, and it gives you enough options to create professional-looking CD or DVD artwork.
Once you've put your artwork onto the on-screen CD template that the software provides, all you have to do is send it to the DYMO DiscPainter. The DiscPainter is a regular old ink-jet printer, and each ink cartridge ($39) will give you about 100 uses before it needs to be replaced. DYMO claims printing speeds of about 1 minute in fast mode, 2 minutes in default mode, and 3 minutes at the highest quality mode - these numbers were confirmed by PCMagazine's lab tests. So overall, the printer is relatively speedy when you consider the great quality artwork that it produces onto the CD or DVD.
The DYMO DiscPainter creates excellent artwork for your CD's and DVD's, and it does it in a speedy fashion, but the real downfall of this device is the cost of operation. The device itself costs $280. The ink cartridges cost $39 a piece, which puts the the cost per disc at $0.39 for the cost of ink alone. You also have to factor in the cost of the CD's, DVD's, or miniDisc's. DYMO recommends using waterproof glossy or matte finish CD-R's, which can cost about $0.50 a pop. The manufacturer claims a lifespan of the DiscPainter at 2,000 uses. So when you do the math, you are looking at roughly $1.00 per disc (printer, CD/DVD's, ink).
The cost of this device may be justifiable for some people (like the ones listed above), but I think for the average "Joe", the cost per disc may be a little steep. Still, the DYMO DiscPainter is a fun and innovative little printer (as much as a printer can be "fun"!). (Buy it here ).
Sources: PCMagazine, Crunchgear, DYMO
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog