If you want to give your CDs that professional touch, designing and printing an inlay is a good place to start. With the quality of printers available on market, most would be hard pushed to tell the difference between a professionally mass-produced cover and one knocked out in the office or at home. But it's all a bit of a letdown when you come to the CD itself.

Usually you have two options - stick to the reliable, but slightly shoddy looking, hand-written annotation or purchase a CD sticky labelling kit and pray nothing happens to separate CD and said sticker when they're inside the drive.

Step in Primera with the Signature Z1. A thing of beauty it is not - beige almost certainly isn't the new white - but the results more than make up for its lacklustre looks.

The Z1 prints directly on to the CD surface from a ribbon - this limits you to a single colour and only allows you to print on four areas of the CD, but the results look distinctly professional.

Clip a blank CD into the Discman-type holder, load up the software, enter text and mono graphics and click print. Around a minute and a half later you have a perfectly labelled, legible CD ready for burning.

While the results are fantastic, the Z1 does leave a little to be desired in operation. The software is basic to say the least, but it does the job. Slightly more annoyingly, it has no batch mode - requiring a confirmation before each CD is printed and another click to say it's done, which can become annoying. It's also fairly loud as it completes a job and worst of all some discs were wasted when the ribbon jammed.

You also have to purchase discs certified for printing on, which could prove hard to come by in your local shop.

Primera Signature Z1: Specs

  • 200dpi ribbon CD printer
  • USB interface
  • requires certified media
  • replacement ribbon £12 (200 print areas per ribbon)
  • 235x184x70mm
  • 200dpi ribbon CD printer
  • USB interface
  • requires certified media
  • replacement ribbon £12 (200 print areas per ribbon)
  • 235x184x70mm

OUR VERDICT

If you want to give your CDs a professional touch and are prepared to put up with its shortcomings, the Z1 will do the job. The potential for wasted CDs due to ribbon jamming isn't great but, given the cost of blank media, isn't too great a concern.

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