Polaroid’s Z2300 digital-camera-and-printer combo.

Polaroid rolled out a new camera this week, a neat little pocketable thing called the Z2300. Idea is to take a midlevel point-and-shoot and incorporate the small Zink printer, allowing you to make a 2×3 print of your digital photo on the spot. (I’ve been joking that it should be called the TwoStep, because you shoot, then decide whether to print.) I’m pleased to see that the camera itself has 10-megapixel resolution, which is more than enough for snapshooting (yes, yes, I know there’s more to it all than pixel count, but the basics have to be there first). I’d like to know whether this item uses the same print head as the original PoGo printer (in which case the printed photos will be a little bit coarse) or the later one from the GL10 (which is a lot better). Does not appear to be Bluetooth-enabled for downloading photos to a computer, which is a shortcoming, but it does apparently have automated software for posting to social-media platforms. It also has a microphone and speaker, though the specs say nothing about whether it can shoot video, so that’s a little mysterious. I do like the white front panel with the rainbow stripe, which will surprise nobody who reads this blog.

Putting photos on paper rather as opposed to screens is now a niche business, as Polaroid (not to mention Kodak) learned the hard way. But as niches go it’s a significant one, and it’s hard to argue with these folks for continuing to try to inhabit the on-the-spot printing business. The GL10, introduced with a splash last year, was a pretty nice product, hamstrung by its inability to talk to an iPhone wirelessly. This device has a different barrier to adoption—it’s principally a standalone camera, when you already have one on your cell phone that is not vastly inferior—but it’s a charmer, and if it prints cleanly and well, it may find its market. The product introduction is August 15, and if I get to try one out around then, I’ll post about it once more.

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