Polaroid GL10 Instant Mobile Printer hands-on

First unveiled at the CES tech show in Las Vegas back in January 2011, the Polaroid GL10 Instant Mobile Printer is the first product from the Lady Gaga Grey Label range to hit the shops.

We first caught a glimpse of the printer in Vegas when the singer - who is also Polaroid's creative director - announced the new range at a packed event at the show, but it's only now that we've been able to see it up close.

The idea behind the GL10 is that it can be used to print digital images that would otherwise be forever stuck on your smartphone or computer, never to see the light of day again. Images can be transferred via Bluetooth and then printed in under a minute. You can choose between full bleed 3 x 4in prints or stick to the traditional Polaroid white border if you prefer. 

Prints are produced on Zink paper, which uses cyan, yellow, and magenta dye crystals that are heat activated to produce images, so there's no need for any ink cartridges. The paper is designed to be water-resistant, smudge-proof and tear-proof.

The printer is currently only compatible with Android, BlackBerry and Windows handsets, with no support for iOS. However, Polaroid assured us that it is currently in talks with Apple and hopes to have iPhone compatibility in place by early 2012.

We saw the printer in action with a BlackBerry handset - selecting and printing the snap was a very smooth process taking well under a minute, in fact it was closer to around 45 seconds. The snaps themselves are only ever going to be as good as the camera phone, but they were pretty good nonetheless.

The printer itself is extremely lightweight and as it uses a rechargeable battery it would be easy to carry around for mobile use. Although it's not pocket-sized it would be easy enough to slip into a bag or laptop case. The grippy rubber finish, combined with a brushed silver panel gives it a premium look and feel - something that we're told that Lady Gaga herself actually had a substantial say in. According to Polaroid MD Graeme Chapman, Gaga does actually attend design meetings and has a great deal of input into the products, rather than just slapping her name on the box.

The remaining products from the Grey Label range - the GL20 glasses and the GL30 camera - are due to hit the shops in 2012.

The Polaroid GL10 Instant Mobile Printer is available now from Amazon and Firebox. Yours for £119.99.