With the resurgence of instant cameras, such as Fujifilm’s Instax Mini series or the Lomo’Instant Montenegro camera, being able to print as you snap is having a moment.
But if you’d rather use your phone to take pictures (like most of us) and take advantage of the camera roll, Instagram, Facebook, editing, etc, then HP’s all-new portable printer, the Sprocket, will be something fun to add to your gadget drawer.
First up, it’s unbelievably small. It’s a pocket printer, which means the Sprocket is actually small enough to fit into a clutch or jacket pocket. As long as it’s charged up (micro USB) and filled with Zink paper, once you’ve connected to your phone via Bluetooth, you’ll be ready to print 5×7.6cm smudge-proof, water-resistant and tear-resistant photos. (Zink photo paper is incredible – it means the Sprocket is an ink-free printer. Each sheet of the Zink paper contains dye crystals which you cannot see; they’re activated by heat.)
One of the best things about this tiny HP printer is the iOS/Android Sprocket app, which lets you pull photos from your camera roll and social feeds (think Instagram, Flickr or Facebook).
Sure, you could take a photo and add it to the print queue then and there… or you can use the app’s editing mode, which lets you insert text boxes, change the font, add filters, stickers, fun borders and more.
It comes with 10 sheets of Zink photo printing paper, but you can buy more packs of 20. (Each print has a peel-off back, so if you want to use the Sprocket to make cute, instant stickers, that’s also a possibility.)
Is it gimmicky? Yes. But that’s why we love it. (Just listen to this ridiculous song HP put out with the gadget.) The Sprocket is a great Bluetooth printer to take to a games night. It’s perfect for projects, scrapbooking and or whenever you want a photo printed, then and there.
Is the quality amazing? No. Local startup Nifty250, for example, prints Instagram photos and the images look much better.
The Sprocket is instant gratification, social printing on-the-go, and a real conversation-starter.