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It's been two years since Linotype-Hell introduced its DaVinci high-end PostScript color workstation amid cries that high-performance desktop products would "put high-end color into a coffin and nail the lid shut." But DaVinci has held its ground. And, with nearly 400 users in the field worldwide, it has just been enhanced with risc cpus to replace its original Motorola 68040s, with additional software functionality soon to be released and with a new pricing strategy. Has DaVinci strengthened its position significantly? Answering that was part of our objective in visiting the U.S. headquarters to see the current DaVinci product and in talking to three key users about their experiences.
In preparing this update, we wanted both to cover the details of the new developments and to see how the product has fared in the field. We'll come back to some user comments later.
Power CP with RISC CPU
As has been the case from the outset, DaVinci is offered in RS and CP models, although there are now Power RS (Retouching Station) and Power CP (Color Pagination) versions in addition to the standard (called Classic) ones. The Power label refers to the fact that they use risc processors -- two standard 50-mhz Motorola 88110s, one with 64 mb of ram and one with 32 mb of ram.
Linotype-Hell says early tests indicate the risc processors are providing at least twice the performance of the non-risc models. Because the old versions were extremely fast, a doubling of the speed is remarkable.
The Power RS provides a sophisticated collection of retouching and color-correction tools for high-quality image manipulation. The Power CP contains the functionality of the RS plus a complete selection of page layout and assembly features. Since only four RS workstations have been installed in North America, our focus will be on the new Power CP.
Version 3.0 software, which sports new functionality, more flexible workflows and additional productivity features, will be available as V3.0P for Power DaVinci (risc) and V3.0 for "Classic" DaVinci (non-risc).
Price cut. The new Power models not only boast greater speed, but also feature lower prices. The Power CP costs $140,000, down from $189,000 for the original version. The new price includes two 2.5-gb internal disk drives instead of …