We tested Allure extensively when it was first introduced. The ability to use high quality pigment inks using profiles and under my own control is appealing. I'm also skeptical of Chromaluxe dye sub processes because their fade testing shows the magenta layer fading faster than the other two layers, indicating the panel may turn green. Chromaluxe fading tests better than unprotected chromogenic processes, but thats not particularly impressive because unprotected chemical prints are problematic. They don't compare them to pigment inkjets, probably because they really aren't in the same league.
There are a few challenges, one being the need to use a shear to cut the print after printing. Good news is they've addressed that issue, and as long as you can stay in standard sizes, the new panels are contained within carrier which eliminates the shearing after printing (so much better for DIY). I haven't tried them yet, but plan on bring some of them in soon.
Larger panels are challenging to load, as the weight tends to make them skew. I successfully printed 20x30 panels with my p9000 but have difficulty printing them on my older 11880 (which may have lost some of its' gripping power over the years).
To us the real challenge was the laminating step. Even with a good laminator (Seal 54) it is difficult to get the image clean enough to not have flaws, which with the glossy laminate are obvious and distracting. Also the laminate is easier to scratch than the scratch resistant moniker implies. I had a difficult time getting a perfectly laminated print.
Regarding final print quality, Mark will offer a much more thorough analysis, but I will say the ability to use pigment inks on a very solid inkjet receptor product offers control and quality which to my eye is superior to chromaluxe dye sub panels. There were some profiling issues, but working directly with BC we came up with a solid profile for the p9000 so I was getting exactly what I was expecting out of the product. I didn't have side by sides to compare the claim that they are "sharper" because they are printed at 1440 dpi vs 720 for chromaluxe followed by perhaps a slight "diffusion" of the dots as they are sublimated onto the aluminum sheet. But I did feel they were quite sharp, with nice transitions and gradations similar to a high quality inket print.
We are going to try them again, as we sell a lot of aluminum panels which are made by a 3rd party and frequently have small color and density variances that make them somewhat of a compromise for customers. I would really like to have the Allure panels available as an option for those wanting better print quality on the panels. We now have a "clean" room of sorts we designed for our face mounted acrylics, so perhaps this will make it easier to get a good laminate on the Allure product.
I look forward to Mark's review as well.