HP Sprocket Printer Review: Is It The Best One?

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Instant cameras and photography printers are fun novelty items, plus they also lead to very good gifts. We recently reviewed one particular product, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera, which produces pocket-sized, polaroid-style photos. The camera is good fun to use, however the photographs it prints aren’t accurately high-quality, particularly if you’re shooting outdoors in daylight. Plus, you’re just about stuck with a long lasting ‘retro’ look in your entire pictures.

Today, we’ll be testing another instant solution, HP’s Sprocket. This palm-sized printer premiered in India last month. It enables you to print 2×3-inch images from your own social media feeds or from your own phone’s gallery. Coming in at Rs. 8,999, lets see if offers value.

HP Sprocket design and features


The Sprocket ships in a tiny box, with simply a manual, Micro-USB cable, and an individual packet of 10 ZINK printable sheets. It’s obtainable in three colours to get someone to match your smartphone. The Sprocket measures 116 x 75 x 23mm and weighs 172g, that makes it very pocketable. Your body is made generally of plastic and feels quite sturdy. The glossy finish looks good but accumulates hairline scratches quickly.

The body includes a bronze strip running along its side, with the HP logo and model name in the same colour. The very best portion slides open, which is how you load it with sheets. There’s an individual slot in leading from which processed photographs are pushed out. Around the trunk, there’s a lanyard loop, reset pin hole, Micro-USB port, and two LED indicators. The Resulted in the proper of the Micro-USB port glows white when the printer is on and functioning properly, as the one on the left lets you know the battery status and glows red if it is low. There’s only a power button privately.

The HP Sprocket supports Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC (with Android phones) for connectivity and may only be operated through the HP Sprocket iphone app for Android or iOS. The printable paper is supplied by ZINK, an unbiased company that produces zero-ink printable papers. Aside from HP, ZINK in addition has partnered with others including Polaroid and LG, to supply similar paper for his or her lightweight printers and instant cameras.

The Sprocket works by using a thermal process, which ensures that cyann, magenta, and yellow dyes already are infused in to the paper. This negates the necessity for any kind of ink cartridges or toners in the printer itself. The photography paper can be reported to be waterproof, tear, and smudge resistant. Each sheet even comes with an adhesive back so they can be utilised as stickers.

HP Sprocket performance


Charging the Sprocket takes about 90 minutes, and the status LED turns green to point that it is charged. The ZINK packet has one additional sheet called a Smartsheet, that is a blue paper with some bar codes onto it. This has to be positioned in the bottom when loading the stack of papers in to the printer. The Smartsheet passes through the printer automatically prior to the first print job and helps clean and calibrate it which means you don’t waste a usable sheet.

The Sprocket application is rather straightforward. It reads most image formats (JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PNG, TIFF) from your own phone’s gallery and will also pull images from your own Google Photos, Facebook, and Instagram acounts. Also you can take photographs directly within the Sprocket app. It enables you to take the single image or switch to Photo Booth mode, where it requires consecutive shots and aligns them in a grid.

Once you’ve shot or selected a photography you intend to print, you is capable of doing basic edits. You can zoom in and crop photographs to match the ZINK-sized frame, auto-adjust the exposure, tweak the white balance and contrast, and in addition add filters, frames, stickers, or text. Once done, you can save the modified image back again to your gallery, share it, or just go on and print it.

When the printer is linked and online, you visit a little green dot on the printer icon in the software which indicates that it is ready for printing. You can include images to a queue when the printer is offline, but once online, you can only just send one print command at the same time. The application also teaches you the battery degree of the printer. The Sprocket automatically powers off after a few momemts of inactivity, which helps save power. The nice part about any of it being lightweight is you could charge it with a power bank if you’re running low.

Image quality is decent and certainly much better than what you’d typically escape most instant cameras. HP recommends the very least resolution of 818×1258 for photos, but despite having high-resolution photographs taken straight from a DSLR, it’s impossible to get prints to look accurately just like the source image. That is more related to the limitations of thermal printing technology compared to the printer itself. The ZINK sheets have a set density of 313×400 dots per inch, so regardless of how high the resolution your source image may be, the final output is bound to the resolution of the paper. The color tone of the printed photographs was always on the warmer side inside our samples, and we noted that finer details and skin tones weren’t reproduced perfectly. Don’t expect your prints to appear to be regular photos.

When inspected close up, you can observe fine horizontal and vertical lines in the prints, and they are most apparent in photographs which may have fine gradients. We tried adjusting colour tone and brightness to pay because of this however the results were significantly less than satisfactory. There are several fun sticker templates and frames from Disney, that ought to let you have a blast.

The Sprocket gets a lttle bit warm with use, nonetheless it never overheated during our review period. Battery life is pretty decent, and we were able to print all 10 of our test sheets about the same charge, with power left to spare.

Verdict


The price tag of the HP Sprocket is somewhat on the high side, but considering the expense of the printing sheets, it’s actually a far more economical option compared to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. HP is retailing the ZINK sheets on Amazon coming in at Rs. 539 for a pack of 20 sheets, which computes to about Rs. 27 per print. In the event that you get the 50-pack, then which will cost you Rs. 1,249, which computes to about Rs. 25 per sheet. That is almost half the purchase price you’d finish up spending money on a refill of instant camera film. You get one pack of 10 sheets in the box, this means the printer is all set once you unpack it, so that it is a fun gift.

The HP Sprocket is targeted mostly at millennials and families, for whom having a physical snapshot of important occasions could possibly be important. It’s is a great device to have throughout the house, and the application enables you to add some neat, imaginative effects to your photos. You can either pin up your prints

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