Friday, June 06, 2008

Latest Zink Milestone -- PC Mag on the Polaroid PoGo

The Zink/Polaroid partnership announced at January 2008's Consumer Electronics Show has borne fruit, in the form of shipping product, at least review units, and one of the first made its way to my favorite reviewer, PC Magazine's M. David Stone. In his June 4 review, David shares some interesting findings on the new $150 Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer that's based on Zink's "Zero Ink" technology. I've covered Zink "early and often", including their Demo 2007 launch to the CES 2008 partnership announcement.

In addition to his usual hands-on insights, Stone offers a great perspective on the corporate positioning at work here with Polaroid and the PoGo.
Aside from the obvious change to digital technology, the one big difference between the Polaroid experience then and now is that it's not about the camera. It's about the printer. The premise is that many, if not most, people are walking around with their own cameras, often in the form of cell phones, so all that's missing is a printer. Polaroid has added the missing piece, so you can print from PictBridge cameras, as well as from phones and other devices that can print via Bluetooth.

It's also interesting that the usual printer trade-offs that industry denizens have to come to know and love understandably shift a bit when defining a new product category. For example, print quality (PQ), in this case, the color fidelity in the 2"x3" prints from mobile-phone-captured photos, may not be paramount. Stone's somewhat forgiving of PQ that he calls "far from ideal", accepting that it may be ok in this format and application, and factors such as water and scratch resistance weigh heavily on the positive side.

A great and informative, if a bit mixed, review as well as a major milestone for Zink.

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