Smile please you are about to be printed could mean Polaroid is out and about.
Over the years life at Polaroid must have seemed like a series of “ups and down” as the company struggled to cope with different marketing conditions. My first experience of Polaroid was with its rather bulky camera that would automatically deliver an instant black and white print of the captured image you have just taken. Applying a quick fixative would help ensure the print did not fade later.
Unless you are quite young you (or your parents) will remember the Polaroid camera. Take an image and it was printed on rather yucky paper and the image that soon faded if left in sunlight. This is something rather different.
It is 12x7.5x3.5cm and weights 315grams. It is predominately matt black with the tops and side silver grey. It is a conventional digital camera with the Polaroid Zinc printer built in. However unlike the earlier offerings you do not have to print everything. In fact should you wish take ten or twenty images and then only print what you want as it has a TFT screen where you can review everything you take.
When opting to display your digital images, you are almost spoilt for choice. Yet another digital picture frame demands by attention.
XSU-00850B is hardly the most memorable or descriptive title for a product. In fact it gives nothing away at all about the purpose of this particular piece of kit from Polaroid. To clear up the mystery, this is an 8-inch digital picture frame with Alarm Clock/Calendar functionality.
I first saw a pre production unit of this tiny printer at the start of the year, I got a working unit around a month or so ago, here just in time for the Christmas party season is my review.
It is very small and runs in a built in rechargeable battery so you can happily print with no mains power around. It is 12x7x2.2cm and weights 220grams. It will fit easily in a bag or at a push in a pocket. The special coated paper comes in packs of ten or thirty. The sheets are 7.5x5cm. Images can be printed direct from a camera or phone using Bluetooth or by direct connection using Pict Bridge.
As part of its recent updating of its product portfolio, Polaroid has added to its range of digital photo frames.
In the past I have looked at a couple of Digital Photo Frames from Polaroid. These have been of the smaller (7-inch) variety. Now it is the turn of a larger model. This is the Polaroid 10.2-inch Digital Photo Frame (XSU-01050B model) with support for MP3 music files. The products 10.2-inch display screen, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1024 x 600, is surrounded by a bevelled reflective black frame that increases the unit’s dimensions to 12.625 x 8.25 inches (W x H).
While this is a digital photo frame it also plays music and can even play .AVI movies both sound and video, in fact it is a rather nice product all round. There has to be a minus point and my tests have produced two.
It is 32x21cm around the outside, if you have it flat against something it is 4cm thick if you use the fold out flap stand this adds another 11cm. The viewable area of the screen is 22x13cm giving the notional 10.2inches. In theory it can be controlled from the buttons on the rear of the unit, in fact to start a screen show you need the supplied remote control. This is the watch/clock battery type with ten buttons and of course the ubiquitous five position joystick.
Following the recent Polaroid event I was able to check out one of the new products on display. This combined the ability to display digital images and report on the weather.
The tasks covered by multi-function devices continue to expand into new areas. A recent example of this can be seen with a new digital photo frame from Polaroid. Not content to displaying favourite photos, this device, with the less than memorable designation of XSU-00770B, brings together a 7-inch digital photo frame combined with current weather information.
This is far more than a standard photo frame in a body not that much bigger. It is also a wide angle frame so images taken in the newer formats display full screen, however standard images can be enlarged.
The Polaroid frame itself is black and 25x18x3.5cm. The screen itself is 15.5x8.5cm this gives the 7inch diagonal measurement. Under the screen is an LCD display 15.5x1.5cm that displays indoor temperature and humidity as well as outdoor temperature and the likely weather. I found the latter was not that believable but the outdoor temperature was correct as this was sent by the provided wireless sensor that you place somewhere outside.
You know you are in for a variety of visual treats when the Polaroid gang are in town showing off the latest range of products (and that doesnt include the strong rumour that Kylie was in the immediate vicinity).
The new offerings feature digital photo frames; digital cameras for all ages; LCD TVs; a portable photo printer; and a PMP (Portable Media Player). First up are a couple of digital photo frames that both feature a black bezel. The XSU-0770S is a 7-inch model with a contrast ratio of 250:1, brightness of 300cd/m and a 480 x 234-pixel resolution.
Perhaps it was not love at first sight but a Polaroid LCD HD ready unit quickly took over my living room in the role of providing my viewing pleasure.
The times, according to Bob Dylan, are "a-changing" This 60's observation by the American folk singing currently rings true with the one-eyed monster that has taken up residence in most living rooms. I am referring, of course, to the television set and the changes that are being brought about by the combination of LCD technology and the forth-coming switch-over to digital rather than analogue broadcasting.
This is far more than just a digital TV as it has a range of connectors enabling HD and perhaps at the size is ideal for connecting via VGA to a PC or notebook, I certainly tried them all.
I find it strange when a 32inch or greater TV has VGA connection as I doubt many would use it as a monitor apart from an emergency. But a 20inch I think is more than likely to be the reverse unless it is utilized in the bedroom. It is 49x38x6.5cm with a stand of 28x15cm that raises it 4cm above the desk or stand.
With the increase in digital photos, it does seem appropriate to display them using modern technology.
It was over two years ago that I first laid eyes on a digital photo frame. This was during a period when Microsoft started pushing the concept of a digital home based around Windows Media Centre and the Xbox. The digital photo frame, at that time, seemed like a throw-away idea but gradually it has gained wider acceptance and now a number of companies, including Polaroid, are offering this type of device for the modern home environment.
After my recent review of the excellent Analogue TV from Polaroid I took little persuading to look at their brand new digital offering.
The Polaroid Definia is totally black not only the screen surround but also the speakers mounted below the screen. First the dimensions, it is 83x58cm and the rectangular stand (23x51cm) raises it 7cm above the base. It is a maximum of 10cm thick and the actual screen is 69x39cm giving the notional 32inch diagonal measurement, (actually 31.
Photographs, like memories, can fade or become lost over time. Protections from Polaroid is at hand.
Past generations would store their precious photographic memories in albums or, in some cases, old shoe boxes and the like. Every so often they would be brought out to bring memories flooding back to those viewing the images. Nowadays we rely more on the digital format, rather than the paper variety, of these images that are links to past events and earlier versions of ourselves.
Not a name big in digital cameras but certainly the name for Instant prints as the Polaroid Instamatic was (and as far as I know still is) the name for instant pictures, here however a conventional digital camera.
It is two tone grey with a silvered ring around the lens. A seven mega pixel offering a year ago would have been a really powerful offering. It has the standard 3x optical but they - unfortunately - still use the optical x digital to produce a figure of 12x something that most companies have been shamed out of doing. The only real use for digital zoom on a camera is to zoom into part of a taken image on the display.
Polaroid is a name traditionally linked with instant film and sunglasses. They have however been
at the forefront of a number of technical developments over the years. Now they are capitalising
on that heritage to enter the high-definition TV market.
We'll be taking an in-depth look at Polaroid's Definia Range in December. This is a little sneak
preview of the Polaroid range. Paul Smart recently
was impressed with the results. The Definia range take that core technology and integrates a
digital (Freeview) tuner.
This is an Analogue TV but it has almost any connection at the rear so with a digital PVR you have a new TV with the ability to view and play HD.
This is the first TV I have reviewed that is supplied with a screwdriver. Yes it is self assembly - of the stand - the screws are provided as are the screw holes and after a couple of minutes it is ready. A good idea should you ever need to relocate it as the box for a 32 inch TV is tiny only just bigger than the screen so the stand needs to be flat in the boxes back.
A number of companies have produced photo frames, most however are no bigger than seven inches, so this at 50% bigger could well be worth a look, it also can play music.
It looks like a red wooden frame with another white spacer frame inside. The total external dimensions are 31x25cm. It has 3.5cm of depth, if you support it on a desk a snap in black plastic fitting fits into the black back of the unit and it leans slightly back in either portrait or landscape mode just like a traditional photo frame. The internal white spacer frame is 2.2cm wide top and bottom and 2.5cm wide at the sides.
Following its acquisition by the Petters Group Worldwide in 2005, Polaroid has undergone a change, maybe not of image but certainly with its range of products.
Certain names have the ability to bring memories flooding back with the effect that you have the totally wrong impression of the current situation. Take, as an example, Polaroid. My immediate thoughts, when invited to the company's product briefing, were of instant cameras that were bulky and produced instant snaps. Later, perhaps, I would have probably thought of sunglasses.