Ever wanted to take a little print out of an image you just captured in your phone to simple print it out and stick it to your scrap book or travel diary? But this would take a lot of time, since you will have to wait till the day or tour is over to get back to your home, and print the picture and then stick it. How good would it be to print pictures on the go?
Well, there was a device called Polaroid that did exactly this.
We are sure that more than half of world’s population is not familiar with the world of polaroid! A camera that would instantaneously print out a photo that the Polaroid camera takes! If you remember watching Mister Bean use it, then you have had a good childhood! Heck, he even took selfies with it!
Then came the era of digital camera and then the phone camera. All of these technological advancements made the technology of Polaroid fade away. But what was the key selling point? That the photos could be immediately printed! Now that we all have practically infinite storage space in cloud, we don’t have to get all our photos printed! But, at least the ones that are memorable can be printed and pinned to our desk, right? To make that possible, HP has come up with one of the smallest printers we’ve ever seen! The HP Sprocket!
Sprocket is as said, is so small, that it fits to your pocket. The photos printed are 2*3 inches of size, and can easily be used as desk pins. The papers available for the printer are of the same size as well, so it is unwise to use any other paper. Not that you can use, and you will know the reason why in the later parts of this article! The printer does not use the conventional technology. It does not add any ink or powder to the paper to print the paper to print the photo. The technology that the printer uses is called the Zink technology. The technology was initially used by Polaroid and was a great initiative!
The technology prints the image by coating the paper with multiple layers of transparent dye. This technology can print images without any ink or powder! The paper that comes along with printer is the base for all this magic, since it has a few transparent layers of magenta, cyan and yellow added to it. All the printer has to do, is to heat them up or remove them, to get most of the colour combinations! This is pretty neat, when you consider the fact that you don’t have to add in any sort of ink or cartridge to the printer, ever. All you have to do is to put the printer in charge, wait for it to get charged and then you can take it for a spin and print pictures out of it! How cool is that!
Pros and Cons
The HP printer has its own pros and cons. The pros are that it is Bluetooth connected, and is app activated. So, there is no question of no internet connection or not being able to operate the printer easily. A simple few clicks in your cell phone can print the pictures you need. Because there is no need of internet to print the photos, you can print them anywhere, even when there is no connectivity!
The simple idea is to avoid waiting until you go home and print in bulks your photos and memories, but to print them instantly! You can go anywhere, anytime, and simply click pictures in your phone. The next thing to do is to connect it to the Sprocket printer to your phone through Bluetooth connection! Then you can always print the pictures through your Sprocket printer!
The printer is more or less of the same size of a digital camera. You can easily carry it in your hand or your bag or your pouch, and it does not take up a lot of space! This makes the printer travel ready! There isn’t a lense, precisely. But that’s how it looks. There is a printing slot in the front and a USB charging port in the back. It takes 90 minutes to go from zero to full charge, and you can print up to 35 pictures, once it is fully charged. The indicator turns red or green when the battery is low or full, respectively! We advise you not to leave it at charge more than what’s needed, because just like every other internal battery, the battery of this camera takes damage if charged too much as well. The only noticeable button on the device is the power button, since the operations are mostly done through the application.
The input tray can take a maximum of 10 papers at once. Anything more than that, the printer is more likely to go into a paper jam. The top of the printer can be opened by sliding it up, and that is where the printer allows you to load the printers.
As said earlier, the printer is controlled with the app, Sprocket. The app is available in Google and apple play stores and is available both for android and iOS. The important thing here is that, the app is not only a tool to operate the printer. The application can also be used to beautify the pictures before printing! You can edit the photos, adjust their contrast, brightness, hue and saturation and apply filters like light cross, temperature and other beautification tools. You can crop, or straighten the picture before you print it, and you can assign it a caption. In short, the Sprocket application not only helps you print pictures but also as a photo editor. You can edit the photos before you print them, so you can give your photos a professional edge over the existing photos! The coolest feature of the editing is not all of these, but the text boxes and the font style. The editing is so much fun, that the application becomes more fun than the product! And if you had a doubt before, yes, the edits and the captions and the text and text boxes get printed along with the photo!
The initial cost of the printer will include ten sheets of paper to print on. Then on, there are replacements available in lots of ten papers and twenty papers. These papers are the key to printing; hence these papers are the base of the Zink technique the printer uses to print pictures without ink or powder applied to the paper. So, you will have to buy the same papers over and over again, if you use the camera too often. What’s more fun is that, the papers are stickers too, so if you choose to, you can stick them on any surface you want to!
The quality of the photos is dependent on the location and the exposure that the photos are taken with! If your photos are too much exposed, and if your photos are too bright, then the photos wouldn’t be too pristine and clear. The colour would be a bit dull, and the photo would be all over the colours. But if your photo has lesser exposure and is off medium lighting, we are sure the details of the photo would be reflected pretty well.
If you aren’t looking for exhibition or art museum quality pictures, and if you are looking for a cool gadget to toy with while you are at a party, then this should be fun for you. But, if you are indeed looking for a printer that prints high quality photos, then this HP product wouldn’t meet your need, for the HP arsenal has a few other products like Envy, Office Jet, Desk Jet and a lot more to provide you the feature of cutting edge printing. But this printer however is not focused on giving you the clearest photographs of all times, but is focused on making printing possible, on the go! This is a trade-off between being handy and being sharp.
Thus, Sprocket does its job decently, and makes it easy for us to choose what is it going to be, when we gift someone next time! The price of the printer is indeed a bit higher, but what’s lower is the paper refilling cost, and it also saves you on the front of not having to buy cartridges, so there you way to save costs. The initial cost is higher but that doesn’t stop people from buying it, because of one reason. The paper doesn’t cost as much.
Bottom line? The printer is a handy tool for those who travel a lot, or the people who frequently meet a lot of new people, so that their memories can be documented and shared, almost instantaneously. HP Sprocket pocket printer is indeed a fun tool to use!
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