A portable instant printer which produces 3x4inch prints
The Polaroid GL10 Grey Label Instant Mobile Printer is a portable printer based around the ZINK technology – which stands for ‘Zero Ink’ – meaning replacement ink cartridges aren’t needed. It can accept a direct USB connection from a PictBridge camera, PC or Mac, and wirelessly from a compatible smartphone and be powered by mains or a battery unit.
You’d be forgiven for wondering how Polaroid would adapt their instant print technology to the world of digital cameras. After all, technology has moved beyond the point of needing an instant review via physical media since the rear LCD achieves that task. The GL10 removes the process of taking images, instead offering the ability to print out 3x4in results in under a minute.
A few blinking lights indicate the presence of a connection, and that the image is being processed, but otherwise the only indication of an image being printed is when it emerges. A USB connection is needed with a PictBridge-enabled camera to make use of the direct printing feature and the wireless connection is made possible by Bluetooth, although iPhone support is currently unavailable.
The end results are something of mixed bag, but do succeed in bringing the age-old wonder of Polaroid into the digital age. Shots maintain eye-catching colour reproduction but also appear over-sharpened and blacks lack depth. For a rapid print the quality is okay, but it's not to the standard of a Dye-Sub printer. A pack of 30 ZINK 3x4in sheets costs £14.99, making it far more expensive than an A4 equivalent, although as ink cartridges aren't needed this difference is negligible. The size of the prints is awkward for framing, but for a portable solution the results aren't without merit.