If you still get warm and fuzzy thinking about those James Garner and Mariette Hartley Polaroid commercials, it’s time to let go of the past. Traditional film is barely hanging on, and Polaroid has completely ceased production of instant film.
But Polaroid hasn’t abandoned its interest in prints. The company is trying to rekindle the instant-print picture industry with its new Polaroid PoGo portable printer. This 4.75”x2.75”x1” device is the first to use Zink Imaging’s Zero Ink paper. Instead of shooting dots of ink onto a piece of paper, the PoGo uses a thermal head to heat up tiny crystals embedded in each sheet of paper. Polaroid says standard dpi rules don’t apply, but the resolution is comparable to 300 dpi and each sheet has about 100 billion crystals in it. Each pic will cost about 33 cents to print.
Fun yet flawed, the PoGo tries to recapture the fun of a Polaroid.
The PoGo holds 10 2”x3” borderless sheets of paper. On a full charge, you can get up to 20 prints out of it, if you’re lucky—not enough, in our book. It doesn’t help the PoGo that its power brick is about the same size as the printer itself.
When we connected our camera via the PoGo’s USB type A port, the printer cranked out a photo in 30 seconds. You can also hook up your Bluetooth-enabled camera phone to print pictures. Or maybe not. Three of our phones failed to print via Bluetooth. After browsing Polaroid’s list of approved phones, we came to the conclusion that you have a 50 percent chance of printing from your handset. It’s not Polaroid’s fault, though: Bluetooth is one of the most botched technology rollouts in history, but Polaroid will certainly get the blame.
That’s unfortunate because there’s a lot to be said for the PoGo’s fun factor. Each print has a light adhesive backing, so you can stick your prints anywhere. Image quality is average, but the PoGo isn’t about creating crystal clear photos. It’s about the instantaneous fun of being able to give a picture to someone right after you snap it.
The PoGo is definitely a generation 1.0 product, and as such, we recommend it only for someone willing to overlook its numerous flaws in image quality, battery life, and Bluetooth connectivity. We do, however, look forward to the second-generation PoGo.
Fun and truly mobile printer that you can actually take with you.
Power brick is huge; battery life must be improved.