I wrote a rather lengthy email to Raise 3D directly, so I'll post it here.
So, what the new Pro series allows us to do that the current N2/N2+ can't?
The main feature I see is the moving nozzles for dual extrusion. I'm sure the feature works, I'm sure the test users who got one had a great time (I was not a tester). Without more technical details, without actually seeing first hand how this is implemented, without putting it in the hands of the novice who I swear can break anything, making the mechanism more complicated than already as seen in current versions- I see a ripe disaster and some very pissed off users in the future. It's like the ideal mechanism. It works just long enough a reviewer likely to get one on loan will never see the frustrating- what if you do want to change a nozzle situation. To them it works like magic- all the way until it stops working and then the frustration factor will fully kick in. If you cannot change a nozzle now, if you cannot level 2 nozzles if your life depended on it, a nozzle that also moves- just think about that for a second.
My first thoughts are:
While I like the new upgrades, there are 2 sides to this coin, existing owners and then new buyers. How I feel about it matters for both groups, but in slightly different ways.
Example 1, moving to a 32 bit motion control is generally a good thing. Upgrading stepper drivers is generally a good thing. That said, there are a few questions:
What firmware specifically is now running on the 32 bit motion control, and if it's just marlin ported to 32 bit- my enthusiasm drops significantly.
What specific stepper drivers were chosen? Are they soldered on the board with zero chance of upgrade? If they are TMC2130s, that's not really an upgrade compared to the newer TMC22xx series with Stealthochop 2. Further, who's to say in 6 months something better doesn't come along. Point being, soldered on drivers might be good for tech support- but limits the "Pro" user.
Also, we cannot forget that the system has not changed. Gcode is still streamed over a USB to serial logical data channel. There are still all the existing rate limitations. I'm just saying, moving to 32 bit in a standard Cartesian printer has limited gain, if you couple that with just porting over existing Marlin firmware, it's not exactly a ground breaking earth shattering upgrade. Again, read this for what it is. This is an upgrade, but how you may view it as a user, what it really means, what it will change in actual real world daily use side by side compared to an existing N series printer is not expected to be earth shattering to the point you should feel your current system is inferior, In fact, your current printer right now today can slap in TMC2224 stepper drivers for $10 each and likely be a better driver unless that's exactly what they chose.
Example 2 is the moving nozzle system. Face the facts, they can say whatever in marketing, we've seen claims before. Yes, I believe the repeatability of the nozzle position is that accurate. Sure, why not? It's just one number. The part that is not yet proven is that given just a single week of typical posts in this group- how do you expect a user to change a nozzle and not destroy the hotend or leak? It's a more complicated system, reusing the existing hotends, you still logically would have to mount and level both nozzles, we cannot get users to do that now. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe this is the new miracle of a century, but I walk away with a lot more questions than answers. Truth is, marketing at the Prosumer, they don't want you to change a nozzle, they want you to change a hotend or pay for a service.
I'm not doubting the new system does what is claimed or it's not that many of you think this is a good idea. But there is a gap between user skill and daily usage and required repair replacement on a more complicated mechanism that is not accounted for in these wish list features.
Filament detectors- already an upgrade and we've said this before, a bone simple system with limited detection features. If as rendered it's at the extruder- did anybody even think about how long pause (buffered gcode segments and those could be long segments) executes? This is why it's a bit too late if the detector is only mm above the actual drive gears of the extruder. Yes, small short segment prints use small short segments of filament- so if that's all you tested with- you think it works fine.
Heated bed upgrades- good. But, like everything else, some words and a picture VS actual production shipping and real world usage, you are hedging a bet on marketing. Again, the features sound nice, but until a couple hundred novice and pro users use this- we see how production quality is maintained, it's not a selling point I'm banking on, nor is it something I'm just dying to retrofit into my already working N series printers.
Optical endstops. If you managed to crash and damage a mechanical switch endstop, then logic says the same user is perfectly capable of bending the optical flag and crashing one of these. Accuracy never came into question in the first place, so this change, while good, is again not a game changer IMO. It's just different, not good or bad. If you really want, it's not hard or expensive to retrofit your existing, but if that was the case, why is that not a more popular topic?
Bondtech extruders- definitely a good upgrade. But again, for existing users, we already have this option and it doesn't require buying a new printer. On the other hand, how angry are some of you at tech support for claiming you voided warranty or they won't help if you upgrade, and yet in the back room, the company was switching to Bondtech anyway.
Again, my take is that for a new user considering this printer, yes, the upgrades sound great. If you are an existing owner, this does not mean your printer just became obsolete overnight.