Spicy Tuna Roll
Truly a pocket picture printer. Lots of fun. No ink required.
Image output is mediocre at best.
Most people’s first experience with the Japanese spice called wasabi teaches them to never approach it again. It would be a shame if folks were similarly averse to Dell’s Wasabi PZ310 printer, which offers fun, spontaneous, albeit tiny, prints.
For the most part, the Wasabi is a kissing cousin of the Polaroid PoGo printer that we reviewed in the July 2008 issue. Both printers use Zink’s zero-ink technology. A thermal head heats up crystals embedded in the paper itself. Send a photo to the Wasabi, and a minute later, a 2x3-inch print pops out. A light adhesive on the back of each print lets you then plaster the image of your family, friends, or pet to any object that deserves to be cute-ified.
The Wasabi uses a slightly smaller power brick than the PoGo and adds a button to reprint the last pic. We found image quality to be similar to that of the Polaroid PoGo. We can say that, as with the PoGo, output from the Wasabi is not particularly sharp or colorful, and is occasionally splotchy. These aren’t exactly the words you look for in association with a photo printer, but the primary draw of the Wasabi and its ilk is the fun factor.
The Wasabi is a fun gadget. If you’re at a party and snapping camera phone pics and you whip out the Wasabi to give away prints, the partygoers will think you’re one cool dude. If you tried whipping out an inkjet and balancing it on the bar to do the same, you’d set off the dork alarm.
It helps that the Wasabi runs off of a replaceable lithium ion cell and can print using Bluetooth. When we tried the PoGo a year ago, the Bluetooth printing was horrible. Blame that on Bluetooth and the carriers—a combination akin to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup made with shards of broken glass and shoe polish. Now a year later, with phone firmware updates in place and newer handsets, we had far better luck with the Wasabi and Bluetooth. That doesn’t remove our warning, though: Bluetooth printing is about as reliable as a high-mileage Yugo.
Like the Polaroid PoGo, the Wasabi is a bit of a one trick pony, but it does it well and for about 20 percent cheaper than its Polaroid counterpart.