Unboxed: Polaroid Two instant camera

Back in January, we predicted that Polaroid would take another bite of the instant imaging apple in our Big in 2009 feature, and the Polaroid Two la

Back in January, we predicted that Polaroid would take another bite of the instant imaging apple in our Big in 2009 feature, and the Polaroid Two landed on our desk today, packing all the tech of the hugely neat PoGo into a digital camera.

And it landed with quite a thunk. This is no pocketable pretty boy – but, bearing in mind that it houses Polaroid's close-to-witchcraft inkless Zink technology (which works by heating up thermal paper to produce each image) then you can make a few concessions on its 7.6 x 3.7 x 11.8cm bulk. In fact, it looks scarily similar to the sketches we did in Jan (see below), although we were a bit optimistic when it came to a feature-set. We predicted a 10MP sensor and built-in WiFi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we got is a 5MP sensor, no WiFi, 4x digital zoom, a fixed-focus lens and an SD card slot. But did we mention that it instantly prints out little, business card-sized images, complete with sticky backs? And that's why it's a bit mean to berate the Polaroid Two for not winning any tech spec prozes – Polaroid has always been the ultimate gadget gimmick. How amazing is it to see your prints instantly churn out before your very eyes? It's a testament to the tech wonder of Polaroid that this process still manages to set the heart of even the most jaded gadgetista a-flutter.

And to be fair, the suite of imaging options were more than we expected from such a basic camera, with manual settings for ISO (up to 400), white balance and shutter speed. And all your images are displayed on a large 3in LCD screen. There's the option to shoot and print in mono and sepia tints, as well as a rainbow of colour filters, and you can choose from an impressive 16 pre-programmed shoot modes, including landscape, sports, "splash water", and, inexplicably "portrait man" and "portrait woman". The images themselves print out in under 40 seconds (in fact, in our test, Pac Man was with us in 20secs). They are 300dpi, and surpassed expectations in terms of colour quality and sharpness.