Hello guys, just my two cents about the DE100, and overall printing solutions. I had a very long conversation with a Fujifilm/Noritsu technician, so my facts are based on that and also personal use and technical knowledge.
Fujifilm owns almost all ink production companies, for exemple, HP buys all their processed pigment from them, others companies do the same, this is important because, it puts Fujifilm in business advantage over a lot of companies.
The partnership with EPSON was kind of "stupid". No company likes to develop new products in house, is far more inexpensive to subcontract a far better company and allocate that development, and pay Epson to produce and assemble the printer. The agreement with epson was, "We (Fujifilm) sell all ink related products and paper and you (Epson) will produce dx100, exclusive, for us in the next 5/7 years, and after that, you can produce your own (D700). Well epson kid of shit on the deal and sold almost all technology to Chinese manufactures and start production on the Epson D700 year after. So after that deal was off with epson, and the market was open to everyone. (Aftermarket)
The print head was first used on the Noritsu D701 as a test run, since Noritsu was barely open they accepted anything (by the way, Noritsu now sells frying pans, yes frying pans!!), and the machine was very nice, 30k price, far less maintenance, affordable media and low electric build, and above all, fast printing. So after the test run, it was used in the DX100. Customers were spending so much money on their minilabs, this printer was revolutionary, almost the same printing price as in the chemical minilab but far more inexpensive in every aspect. It was like switching from analog to digital back in 2005/2006. Nevertheless, the print head is just dreadful, so tiny and small for a mediocre 100k lifespan, and the fact they choose 6 inks instead of 4 was not uplifting to the hole system. Problems didn't stop there, things like, motherboard malfunction, power supply issues etc.. where happening in a daily basis in machines with 10k, 20k prints. The cherry on top was the cooling fan, it had a life spawn of a tiny fish, it's just unacceptable.
A complete different unit. Develop in base from the older chassis, but nothing else. A new print head and rail design, by, non other than, CANON. Like it or not, canon does an amazing job in the printing department. The change to 4 inks was logical, the new head is able to produce the same output in image quality has the DX100 with just 4 inks. Taking in consideration that Fuji owns the proprietary ink develop, cartiges etc, is going to take a couple of years until we have certified aftermarket inks. Mitsubishi, already develops a paper for the fuji DX100 that also works on the DE100. Prices may vary from country to country, mainly because of VAT taxes. Has of January 2021, there is now other machine in the market to compete with the DE100, at least in Europe.
I had a DNP RX1, good printer, prices are fair, but the system is not perfect, the paper texture is not remotely close to a chemical minilab or even a good quality dry printer paper. It kind of looks like a print you make in a supermarket. There are a lot of printers available, but in the end, they come all from the same manufacturer, and the technology is in the top of the game for the last 5 years. If you have a sub 1000€ budget this is a good investment.
Its my favorite, I just love those gigantic machines, they are the pinocle of analogue technology! The out put its just perfect!!!!!!!!!! But, don't buy one if you print less than 100.000 prints a year, it super expensive to maintain, there are less and less parts for it each day. Its dying tech.
In the end: If you have a photo studio and need a solution for printing, you must do some calculations, all the printers above are for at least 20.000 prints a year, the sublimation a little less, and the minilab for more than 100.000. If you do fine art printing this is definitely not for you, go away!
If in 2021 you still print and sell prints I salut you my friend!! Thank you for keeping this awesome tradition alive. Sorry for my crapy English, stay safe, use film cameras and print away!
January 2021, LIP.