We've always associated the Polaroid brand with sunglasses and instant piccies that plop straight out of the camera. You know, the
sort of shots taken by mischievous snappers eager to bypass the local processing store.
But that was before we came across the totally ingenious Polaroid iZone 550. Taking a leaf from the apple tree in terms of design,
this über-stylish 5 megapixel digital camera is a beautifully-engineered piece of kit that puts many a no-name camera to shame.
If you're new to the wonderful world of digital photography you're going to love the iZone 550, because operating this chic white
gizmo is easier than saying cheese. But don't be fooled by the idiot-proof functionality and sub-ton price tag; the 550 is rammed
full of features. As well as crystal clear 5.1 megapixel resolution, this fashionable little snapper boasts a 2" TFT LCD display,
16MB internal flash memory (upgradeable via SD Card), 4x digital zoom and video clip capability. It can even play MP3 files, so you
could, in theory, mime the harmonica solo from Karma Chameleon as you happily snap away - although we wouldn't recommend it; a
spittle covered camera is really rather yucky.
Despite this impressive feature list we thought we'd save the real revelation till last. No, the iZone 550 doesn't double up as a
mouth organ (although that would be good); it lets you print your piccies without a PC. That's right, in classic
Polaroid-cuts-out-the-middleman-fashion, the 550 is PictBridge compatible. This means you simply connect the iZone to any
PictBridge compatible printer and let the photos flow. It's easy peasy no PCeasy!
Of course, despite its PictBridge-friendly functionality, Polaroid know that most of you will also be using the iZone 550 in
conjunction with your computer, so they've been good enough to throw in a super sleek docking station for charging and downloading
purposes. Quite honestly, looking at the supreme build-quality of the 550 we can't work out why it isn't triple the price. But
we're not complaining - and neither will you be once you start snapping away with this chic box of tricks. Clever? It's totally