HP Sprocket Portable Printer 

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This was actually announced over a year ago but due to a change of agency it was only when sometime later I spoke with them that one was forthcoming. The reason for speaking was another such printer recently reviewed from another manufacturer.

HP Sprocket Photo Printer
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ZINK technology means no ink so the shiny white paper looks just like ordinary photo paper used in standard printers but of course it is not.

The unit is 11.5x7.5x2.2cm and it weighs 183 grams. It has an internal battery that is recharged by supplied micro USB to USB lead.

The HPSprocket app is downloadable from the iOS or Android store and connection is via Bluetooth.

In the small box is the Sprocket and a sample pack of 10 sheets of the special paper. A single sheet of instructions consists of two illustrations, 1) power up the Sprocket (which initially will probably mean insert the USB lead to charge it), 2) download the App. The one process not covered by the simple instruction sheet is inserting the ZINC paper but instructions are on the pack.

Once charged the red LED turns green and you can unplug the lead. Let the Bluetooth in your phone find the HP Sprocket and pair with it. Next open the App and select one of the photos you have on your phone and tell it to print and then around 30 seconds later one of the 3x2 inch (7.5x5cm) sheets of paper emerges face down and the image is there no waiting for it to develop as with another portable printer

The software in the App allows some manipulation of the image and also allows borders etc. to be added before you get to the final print stage.

Having recently reviewed the latest Polaroid offering I still have some of their 6.2x6.2cm square offerings on my desk and if you do the maths that is a tiny bit larger image but the square shape is not something the majority of cameras take natively and to be fair neither is the 7.5x5cm of the HP Sprocket for portrait, in landscape it looks more normal.

The Polaroid paper sheets are light sensitive and that is why they take over two minutes to fully develop and the pack is ruined if the case of the unit is opened with unexposed images in it. Whereas if you insert the paper incorrectly (upside down) in the HP Sprocket you can reinsert correctly without problem.

There are three colours of the Sprocket available in the UK, Black, Red or White.

A three second push on the only button on the HP Sprocket turns it on and the single LED beside the USB port shows white and then flashing white as it tries to link to your phone.

I liked the quality of the images and they are on a sticky backed card so they can be stuck onto or into anything.

These images can work out as little as 40p each when purchased from the HP store (20% discount).

The Polaroid sheets work out far more expensive.

A little more maths if you place four of these images (2x2) on a 15x10cm image printed on a standard mains powered photo printer they cover the same area.

So if you want an instant print of an occasion this unit can weigh roughly the same as your phone in your pocket or bag and if you take an image it can be printed as a finished hard copy in less than a minute.   

The HP Sprocket is available from Amazon for £109.20 including free delivery.

This link offers a little more but as I have not seen the extras it offers I cannot comment on them the Sprocket is at £119.99 and also offers the chance to buy extra paper at £8 a pack to go with the one sample pack you get with the unit.

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OverallHP Sprocket Portable Printer rated 72 out of 100

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