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Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera coming August 15th (hands-on)

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The Polaroid Z2300 takes pictures digitally and prints them; it launches August 15th for $159.99.

Gallery Photo: Polaroid Z2300 hands-on photos
Gallery Photo: Polaroid Z2300 hands-on photos

Since retiring its iconic camera, Polaroid has been getting back into the instant photography business by combining digital imaging with a built-in printer. Now it's announced the Z2300, a stylish and more powerful alternative to the tiny PIC-300 with a smaller form factor than the Z340 launched last year. The Z2300, currently on pre-order, bumps the specs and cuts the price of a similar older model, offering a 10-megapixel camera that can shoot in 720p video for $159.99. Film is loaded behind the display and prints out in a little over 30 seconds — besides its shape, the roughly business card-sized output looks a lot like that of the original Polaroid.

We got to take a look at the Z2300, which is quite attractive in a self-consciously retro way. The version we had was still a little buggy: it took pictures reliably, but the display colors would change after the first shot, showing only neon green and pink until you restarted the camera. Pure image quality obviously isn't a selling point here, so it's no surprise that what you'll get is pretty grainy, but the price is a lot more reasonable than that of the larger Z340. The 32MB of internal memory and bundled 4GB of external seems all right for stills; if you want to take video, you'll definitely want to expand it with an SD card. The Z2300 launches August 15th, with film sold in packs of 30 for $14.99 or 50 for $24.99.

Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.