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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Review: Polaroid Zip Instant Mobile Printer

Polaroid Zip Instant Mobile Printer

I'm back! Hopefully for good this time as my creative juices (eww, sounds kinda gross. Sorry!) are back in full flow. I'm so excited to get back into this and share things that I love, think and do with you guys! 

I expect a lot of you will have already heard of the Polaroid Zip Instant Mobile Printer (sold on Amazon here). I can't remember where I first saw it, but I do remember falling in love straight away. As someone who really enjoys taking photos but then never actually displays them anywhere, I thought the whole idea sounded perfect. Take a photo and you can have it stuck on your wall within a few minutes. Immediacy is the lazy man's friend. NO MORE EXCUSES.

The Zip is my first foray into the World of Polaroid and I have not been disappointed. The printer looks really smart and has the cute Polaroid rainbow stripes that make it instantly recognisable. Using the Polaroid Zip app (which annoyingly you have to use) you can 'quick print' (print the photo as is), 'edit print' or even use 'Secret view' to add secret messages in the form of codes so that only the intended recipient can read it. Then out comes (slowly, but not too slowly) a perfectly formed miniature of your photography. The quality isn't fantastic up close, but when you're dealing with a 2  by 3 inch photo this isn't such a big deal. 

The printer works using 'Zink' ('Zero Ink') technology. The scientist in me was intrigued. It basically means that the printer heats up the photo paper which turns the molecules embedded in the special Zink paper different colours depending on the temperature of the plate inside. This is both fascinating and practical, meaning you can carry your Zink printer around without having to worry about ink spillages.

Overall I love this little device and I'm sure I'll be getting plenty of use out of it. Due to the ease of use and the low cost of replacement paper I've even started printing a photo of the day, which I hope will be a great thing to look back on when I'm older :) I've listed some more pros and cons (in my opinion!) below:

Pros:
- Not *too* expensive
- Comes in four fancy colours (black, blue, pink, white)
- Looks smart
- Prints take about 7 seconds
- No ink or toner refills to worry about
- The Zink paper has a sticky back so you can stick your photos anywhere
- The app is relatively easy to use
- Paper refills aren't too expensive when bought in bulk (I bought 70 sheets at once)

Cons:
- You have to download the Polaroid Zip app
- You can only use one size paper, so photos have to be standard dimensions. Although I guess you could always cut the paper to fit
- I've had some problems printing high quality photos straight from my DSLR. In order to get them to print I have to pass them through some editing software and re-save. It's fine because that doesn't lower the quality of the final print (it wouldn't have been able to print it higher quality anyway) but it does add an extra step
- Sometimes the printer gets a little bit confused and displays an error message, but I've not found anything that hasn't been solved by the ole 'turn it off and back on again'

I think that's it! I would highly recommend the Polaroid Zip to anyone who loves photography and instant gratification. After the initial purchase it's cheap to run, low maintenance and just fun. 

Do you have a mobile printer? What do you think?
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