The world's most in-depth and scientific product reviews

Polaroid ZIP Review

This printer has very few checks in the pro column
Polaroid ZIP
Credit: Jason Peters
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $100 List | $200 at Amazon
Pros:  Great app, easy set-up, okay resolution
Cons:  Orange cast, streaking, poor fidelity
Manufacturer:   Polaroid
By Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Apr 6, 2020
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
33
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Color - 35% 2
  • Black and White - 35% 3
  • Print Capabilities - 15% 3
  • Operating Cost - 10% 6
  • Set-Up - 5% 9

Our Verdict

While we are certainly fans of the mini printer format, we were not impressed with this machine. For the money, there are several models that outclass this printer — several of which are covered in this review.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Polaroid ZIP
This Product
Polaroid ZIP
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $100 List$800 List
$799.99 at Amazon
$500 List$350 List$100 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
33
88
86
67
58
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Great app, easy set-up, okay resolutionMany print dimensions, several print mediums, low-cost prints, high image fidelityLow cost per print, many print mediums, competitively pricedConsistent color, easy set-up, broad format optionsEasy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes
Cons Orange cast, streaking, poor fidelityPhysically large, pricyDifficult to set up, no roll paper, big footprintMicrobanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areasMicrobanding in larger formats, off skin tones, over saturation
Bottom Line This this machien struggles to compete with the other mini printers in the classThis pro-level machine provides users with nearly all the printing options that a serious photographer could ask for in a desktop unitIf you’re in the market for a full-size printer then this relatively inexpensive unit is a decent option with the main drawback being the set-upThis printer yields high-quality images at a reasonable priceA quality mid-size machine that will appeal to the casual user
Rating Categories Polaroid ZIP Epson SureColor P700 Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Expression Photo... Canon PIXMA TR4520
Color (35%)
2
9
9
6
6
Black And White (35%)
3
9
9
7
6
Print Capabilities (15%)
3
9
8
8
5
Operating Cost (10%)
6
8
8
7
5
Set Up (5%)
9
6
5
5
6
Specs Polaroid ZIP Epson SureColor P700 Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Expression Photo... Canon PIXMA TR4520
Resolutioin (dots per inch) 314 x 400 5760 x 1440 4800 x 2400 5760 x 1440 4800 x 1200
Max photo deminsions (inches) 2" x 3" 13" x 129" 13" x 39" 13" x 44" 8" x 10"
Cost per print (4" x 6" or mini print) $0.50 $0.37 $0.38 $0.45 $0.58
Machine deminsions (HxWxD inches) 0.9" x 2.9" x 4.7" 20.19" x 14.44" x 7.34" 25" x 14.63" x 7.75" 6.3" x 18.7" x 14.5" 7.5" x 17.2" x 11.7"
Printing technology In paper, thermal-activated dye Inkjet (Piezo DOD) Inkjet (Theromal DOD) Inkjet (Piezo DOD) Inkjet (Theromal DOD)
Print time per 4" x 6" (or mini print) 31 seconds 83 seconds 66 seconds 34 seconds 128 seconds
Color palette (ink cartridges) N/A Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black and Matte Black Black, Gray, Light Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray, Red Black plus color cartridge
LCD screen No Yes Yes Yes No
Touch Screen No Yes No No No
Battery Yes No No No No
Memory cards supported N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ink type N/A Pigment-based Dye-based Dye-based Pigment (black) and dye-based (color)
Roller paper No Yes No No No
Connectivity NFC, USB Micro-B, Bluetooth Hi-Speed USB 3.0 (1 port), 100Base-T Ethernet (1 port), 2.4 GHz (802.11n) and 5 GHz Wireless (IEEE802.11 b/g/n/ac)6, Wi-Fi Direct 6, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Epson Print Layout for iOS Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet (10/100), Wireless1 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.5/5.0GHz), Wireless PictBridge iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, Alexa and smartphones; Ethernet networking, andard Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, USB Host, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, Wi-Fi Direct 5, Ethernet 10/100
Hi-Speed USB
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n wireless networking, 2.4 GHz)
Operating system requirements Android, iOS Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later; Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7 (32-bit,64-bit) Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X v10.11.6 - macOS v10.15, 14 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile Windows 10 8/8.1/Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Windows Vista (32-bit , 64-bit)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.12.x6
Windows:20 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac:21
Mac OS X v10.10.5 - macOS v10.13 (High Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:22 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and Fire OS (Amazon Fire) devices
Scanner No No No No Yes (bed and feed)

Our Analysis and Test Results

What sets the Polaroid ZIP apart from the class is its poor image quality and its abandonment of the vintage Polaroid film look. The ZINK film it uses is great. It has an adhesive sticker back, and in other printers it yields quality results. Not so with the ZIP. For a greater return on your dollars, look to other mini printers in this review.

Performance Comparison


Credit: Laura Casner

Likes


Truth be told, we didn't really like this printer. Sure, it has okay resolution. It's also true that the accompanying app is one of the better in the review, and the set-up was breezy. Yet, all that is irrelevant because its photo renderings were poor.

Credit: Laura Casner

Dislikes


We are not going to kick a product when it's down. All we can say that, considering all the other similarly priced mini printers out there that produce impressive images, you don't have to settle for low-quality results.


Value


This printer is not a good value. For the same amount of cash you can get yourself a much better machine.

Conclusion


The Polaroid ZIP was, unfortunately, a disappointment. Throughout the reviews of mini printers we repeatedly referenced the fun and excitement that Polaroid instant prints created, and how the mini printer technology is bringing that energy back to parties and social gatherings. It's too bad that the ZIP wasn't the leader in this revitalization.

Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer