Review: Polaroid PoGo Portable Printer

Remember that song, “Hey Ya!” by OutKast? Good song, but overplayed to the point where everyone from your Grandma to your 4-year-old niece was shaking it “like a Polaroid picture.”

It turns out you can’t do that anymore. Well, with the picture at least. (What Grannie does at the nightclub in her spare time is her own business.) Polaroid will cease the production of its iconic instant film entirely by early next year. But don’t fret. Despite some recent troubles, the company is planning on launching a string of new digital products that will replace much of its antiquated (but cool) analog line.

One of these products is a portable printer called the PoGo. This black and silver box is just a bit larger than a deck of cards and designed to fit into a bag or the back of a pocket. To wit: The carrying case that was included with our sample looks like the rear pocket on a pair of dungarees.

Here’s how it works — you snap off a picture with your cam phone or Pict-Bridge enabled shooter and then send the image to the PoGo via Bluetooth or USB. The PoGo then prints out a borderless image on a 2-inch by 3-inch slice of thermal ZINK photo paper.

We synced it up with a Nokia N82 and N95 — two phones renowned for their image capturing ability. The pics we printed actually turned out fairly well. While colors are not totally accurate and the PoGo did crop the images slightly, we were still able to take a look at our shots and say, “Yes, that’s definitely a picture of the llama that spit on me.” The heat sensitive paper is well, rather sensitive. After J.B. printed out a pic of a Ferrari, he instinctively started shaking it to make it develop. Although the image was fully baked, the tight grip of his thumb and forefinger on the thermal paper actually discolored it slightly. Word to the wise: If you scoop up a PoGo, keep your shots away from moderate heat.

In the spirit of past Polaroid products, this one does not deliver crystal-clear prints, but it is damn fun. We wasted spent a good amount of time printing out hilarious snapshots of ourselves in a way that other photo printers can’t. That and the thermal ZINK paper has an adhesive on the back, making us giggle like a bunch of giddy 16-year-old girls at a sleepover when we decided to plaster a bunch of goofy images on an unfortunate get-gadget editor’s desk.

If you loved your old Polaroid instant cam, but are bummered out by the fact the company is discontinuing its film production, picking up a PoGo will probably ease the pain. That or you could cheer yourself up by bumping some OutKast.

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