I am wanting to buy either a Cricut Imagine or a Cricut Expression to make homemade cards. I wasn't sure which one was the better choice. I've researched on the internet the pros and cons of both. I know that the Expression 2 will be coming out this Spring too. I just wasn't sure which one to purchase. I am new to the Cricut world and would love any help you could offer. Thanks!
It depends what you are expecting out of the machine. The Imagine is the newest cutting system offered by Provocraft. I do not have it but I have read about it in the forum on cricut.com. It has had a lot of negative talk about it not doing all the things it is advertised to do and is limited in it's ability to do certain task such as moving around on the mat, working with the gypsy, etc. This machine has additonal cost of replacing ink cartridges. The cost of the machine is quite high as well, but I have seen it as low as 299 on the cricut site. It can't be moved around without having to recalibrate it and as of now only cuts up to 12x12. So for me the cons out weigh the pros which are that it prints and cuts and has carts that contain patterened paper images and you can get the exact color you need with RGB codes.Someone who has an imagine may give you more info on this machine. It just is not for me.
I have the expression and a baby bug (my kids). The expression is not as expensive as the Imagine they are 175 on the Walmart site (alot less then I paid for it) and can be purchased cheaper on EBAY and when the E2 launches I expect the price to drop more. I love this machine because I am a paper addict. I like having a huge stash of paper to choose from when cutting images. The expression is a cartridge based cutting system that allows you to pick the size and colors of any image on a cartridge. For cardmaking it has a lot of great features like auto fill which allows you to cut multiple images on a mat. You can cut up to 23 1/2 inches. Materials that need replacing are mats but you can restick them, blades, and you can get caught up in collecting cartridges. I have 60+. I also use a third party software with my expression (scal2 it increases the cricut's creative ability tenfold) which is not allowed by provocraft and currently there is a lawsuit to try and stop the ability of use with the cricut. I hope you understant the rambling I have offered you on my opinion of the 2 machines.
As the other poster stated, it depends on your needs. I have both machines and use them both. What I like about the Imagine is you can use it as the printer or cutter or both. I like having access to any color I want. It cuts better than the Expression. You can use all available cartridges with it. The ink lasts a long time. I have the original cartridges that came with the machine. I have had it since the release in September! It is really good for quick projects. It is not portable, but some people have moved theirs without having to recalibrate.
Now as the other poster said is right. Images does not have the capability to be manipulated like on the classic carts. However, the craft room is coming out and there might be the availability through updates. I really like the Imagine and have not been disappointed!
The Expression is great too. You can move the blade where you want on the mat. It can cut up to 23.5". You can cut thicker mediums on the Expression like thicker chipboard. The Imagine can only cut mediums that are flexible so cereal box board works.
I have a Cricut Expression and love it. I don't really know a whole lot about the Imagine, but am not really interested in it at this time. I really don't think I would use the print feature very much. The Expression 2 has a touch screen pad instead of the keypad overlays. I think it is a Limited Edition Anniversary version.
Anyways, to sum it up, I have an Expression, DS and also use SCAL2 and the setup works for me right now so that is what I will be sticking with!