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Polaroid P-500 review:

Polaroid P-500

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The Good Fast print-to-print time; simple operation; powered by the film pack's internal battery.

The Bad The small, 2-by-3-inch print size may be a bit too tiny for some; indexing prints is not always easy.

The Bottom Line Lightweight and always juiced up, this portable printer is a take-me-along, must-have accessory that's fun and easy to use.

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CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

The Polaroid P-500 Digital Photo Printer merges both old and new technology to deliver the type of instant prints we all know and love. Although it doesn't have the sophistication, range of controls, or image size of some other standalone digital instaprinters, the P-500 is easy to use, has a great user guide, and shows that Polaroid hasn't lost its common touch. The Polaroid P-500 Digital Photo Printer merges both old and new technology to deliver the type of instant prints we all know and love. Although it doesn't have the sophistication, range of controls, or image size of some other standalone digital instaprinters, the P-500 is easy to use, has a great user guide, and shows that Polaroid hasn't lost its common touch.

Cheap and easy
Weighing just more than a pound, the P-500 costs $249 and outputs an image size of about two by three inches. Since the P-500 uses Polaroid Type 500 instant film, which has built-in battery power, there is no need for supplementary batteries or an external power cord to run the printer.

Operating the P-500 is also as simple as pie. Just open the film compartment, insert the film pack, snap the door shut, and hit the On button, which will instantly eject the pack cover. Next, open the sliding side door, insert a CompactFlash Type I or a SmartMedia card (using the included adapter) and you're ready to print. The P-500 outputs only images shot in JPEG, so if you're shooting in TIFF or other formats, consider yourself warned.

If available, you can use your digicam's DPOF (Digital Print Order Feature) to select the photos you want to print, but this entails working through your digital camera's LCD menu, which may take some time. You can also make a note of the shot number in the camera's LCD monitor for input to the P-500, but that won't work if the printer doesn't support your digicam's file numbering system, which is the case for a small minority of digicams.

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