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    Letter from CES: Polaroid Is Just Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall

    Written by

    Derek Mead

    Editor-In-Chief

    In the meanderings of Kodak and Polaroid, we've discovered what it's like to be a film photography company in a post-film world. Kodak has made a complete exit from film, while Polaroid has kinda-sorta paid it lip service; both companies have decided to diversify their business beyond the boundaries of taking pictures. For Polaroid, that means this:

    And a whole wall of these:

    Now, Polaroid's been making speakers for awhile now, even if no one is quite sure why. Admittedly, they (and the headphones on display) look pretty cool. But wait, it gets even more out there.

    That's a child-specific tablet, made by Polaroid. I don't even think there's a camera on it. It's even called the Internet Kids Tablet.

    It's basically a glorifed Nook, and comes with 10 books installed (including Dr. Seuss). It has 8 gigs of storage, 512 megs of RAM, and a 1 ghz processor. Not exactly stunning, but a cool effort nonetheless. Does this mean Polaroid is converting from being the only way to print pictures of your wang in the pre-digital age to being a cute, kid-friendly brand?

    Well, it doesn't stop with kids. Polaroid also showed off its M series of Android (Jelly Bean) powered tablets in seven and 10 inch varieties, which are billed as being more or less half the price of Apple and Samsung offerings. The 7 costs just $129, with a dual core processor, 8 GB of storage, 1280x800 display, and is wi-fi only. The 10 is $229, bumps things up to a quad core and 16 GB, with the same resolution. The Windows 8 vibe of the Polaroid skin is pretty nice, and they seemed quick enough, although I didn't get a chance to really put them through their paces.

    But wait, there's more! Polaroid also had this 9.7 inch tablet with a folding case/keyboard setup. Not to be confused with the M10, it has 1024x768 resolution, 8 gigs of storage, and has a 1.6 ghz dual core processor running Jelly Bean. So that makes three tablet lines, all at once.

    But don't worry, Polaroid still makes cameras. Aside from the rather confusing design of Polaroid's Android compact system camera, I found this camera designed purely for selfies. I mean, 14 megapixels in a low-cost point-and-shoot is already wild, but an LCD on the front? That's just zany. I love the teal though.

    Polaroid is also making mobile accessories (oh lord) that include ridonkulous lens attachments that you know your younger sister is totally going to slap off right as you're taking an artsy picture of the cat napping.

    Oh yeah, the 300 was chilling too. It's nice to see that Polaroid still has a smaller-format instant camera, much like what Fuji has to offer.

    But rather than use film, Polaroid would rather you used a digital camera with a tiny lens that also has a printer inside.

    I mean, Zink is nearly film anyway, just done differently. Why add extra layers of complication?

    This portable printer is how something like Zink should be used. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and more or less lets your print your pictures anywhere. You can probably even print your two-megapixel photos from your Bluetooth-enabled Polaroid clamshell tablet. I mean, that's pretty awesome, and it's cool to see Polaroid stretching its horizons. But hot dang, it's still weird.

    @derektmead

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