We were a little disappointed when the Polaroid GL10 Instant Mobile Printer showed up. Not really anything to do with the device itself, mainly because our expectations were so high. This is the first device to be shipped under Lady Gaga co-designed Polaroid Grey Label, and as such we were expecting if not exactly a meat dress, at least something a little more interesting to the eye. But then when you’ve got camera glasses that show the picture on the lens, and a camera that prints from itself, a portable printer was always going to be the most boring of the line.
Polaroid GL10: Controls
That’s not to say it isn’t a perfectly capable little device though. About the size of a paperback, it’s small enough to take with you to festivals or on holiday, and it’s pretty lightweight, too. It feels well built as well, with a rubber underside, so you’ll be confident chucking it in your luggage without having to make a bed of cotton wool. Controls are pretty foolproof – you send pictures to it over Bluetooth or using the USB or mini USB ports on the side, and there are three lights that flash to indicate low battery, when it’s connecting to a device, or a paper jam. The battery is rechargeable for portable use, good for 35 photos on a full charge. You can send photos to it using your phone or computer, and it prints them off just like that. Simple.
Polaroid GL10: Features
Our unit was the first to reach the UK, as such we didn’t have the driver from Polaroid and so weren’t able to load on pictures via USB. But over Bluetooth it is as easy as synching, entering the four digit passcode, then waiting. And waiting. It did seem a little erratic, with some pictures taking about 20 seconds before the printer started whirring and the print emerged like a tongue being very slowly stuck out at us, while others come out almost instantaneously. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with file size either.
Polaroid GL10: Pictures
The prints themselves are 3- x 4-inches, and are water- smudge- and tear-proof. They come out dry too, so you won’t need to shake them like a Polaroid picture. Quality is good, though a lot depends on the camera you use: snaps zapped from our HTC Desire HD were a little washed out and grainy, while those from our Nikon SLR came with vibrant colours and sharp edges. There were some faint vertical lines on all of the pictures though, some more noticeable than others depending on the background.
Polaroid GL10: Verdict
The GL10 is a tough and fun little device that does the job quickly and without much hassle. It's not cheap; you get 10 sheets in the box and its £12.99 for 10 more. Quality’s not amazing, and maybe you would expect better for the price, but then at this size the pictures are more for sticking on the fridge than framing.
Polaroid GL10 launch date: Out now from Firebox
Polaroid GL10 price: £119