Review HP Sprocket From A To Z In 2023
The HP Sprocket Select portable printer connects to your mobile device through Bluetooth and prints credit-card-sized images on Zink (or Zero Ink) paper. The Choose is HP’s third-generation upgrade to the Sprocket 200. It offers larger prints, similar to its predecessor the Sprocket Plus, but without the extra weight.
The Sprocket Select is wonderfully lightweight, compact, and, as its name suggests, small enough to carry in your pocket. It weighs a somewhat absurd 18 grams.
Sprocket Select is somewhat larger (8mm longer and 12.7mm broader) but shorter in height than the basic Sprocket. This increases the print sizes from 2 x 3in to 2.3 x 3.4in, or nearly credit card size.
The Sprocket Select comes with a 10-sheet bundle of Zink paper. Although the paper loading procedure is straightforward, it must be performed with caution.
Ensure to load the glossy side of the Zink paper. Each fresh pack includes a barcode sheet at the bottom that must be scanned by the printer before images may be printed. Think of this as the process of aligning the printhead on a typical inkjet printer, minus the ink.
Microcrystals in zinc paper produce colors according on the intensity of the applied heat. This indicates that the printer may grow slightly warm during operation.
The Zink paper is loaded on the top of the Sprocket Select, and the paper tray can be readily accessed by removing the elegant, marbling-patterned cover. The lid magnetically snaps back into place upon closing, which is convenient if your printer is inclined to roll around in your handbag or backpack. If you desire protection for the Sprocket, you may purchase a case for it.
The Sprocket Select can load up to ten sheets of paper at once (pun shamelessly intended). In actuality, I discovered that stacking the paper tray led to printer jams, which is not something you want to deal with when you’re out with friends. If you load fewer sheets than advised, you should additionally keep the barcode sheet to correct the print head.
The Sprocket Select is rechargable by micro-USB (cable included) and Bluetooth 5.0, allowing it to connect to different mobile devices. A LED light will indicate the charging status. In my experience, I was able to fully charge my laptop within an hour when it was plugged in.
2. Print standard
With the Polaroid Snap instant camera, I had my first encounter with ‘zero-ink’ paper. Zinc has advanced considerably.
With the Snap, the clarity and saturation of Zink prints were lacking. The Sprocket Select retains a ghost of this issue, with slightly washed-out tones, but the improvements are evident. I was astonished.
No, the printouts will not have the same clarity as your phone’s display or Sprocket’s marketing materials, but they are still quite detailed and clear. Reds appear particularly luscious and brilliant in photographs printed in high lighting conditions.
It takes approximately 40 seconds to process each print.
The Sprocket Select is available from Amazon for £119/$149.99. It is available via Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart in the United States.
The second-generation Sprocket 200 is priced similarly to the Select, but prints smaller graphics (2 x 3in as opposed to 2.3in x 3.4in) and only supports Bluetooth 4.2, so you cannot connect to it simultaneously with your friends. But, the Sprocket 200 has an augmented reality function that allows animations, maps, and films to come to life on the image when watched through the app (though we were unable to make it to work).
The Sprocket Select is only little more costly than the Instax Mini Link (£109.99/$99.99), which topped our list of the best portable printers. The Mini Link utilizes Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Instant Film, making it more expensive than zero-ink printing (£0.70/$0.60 per Instant Film print against £0.52/US$0.48 each Zink print).
The Sprocket Select is unquestionably designed for the social media age, which enjoys the immediacy of smartphones but yet yearns for the nostalgia and physicality of printed photographs.
While instant prints on film remain costly in the long run, the Sprocket Select, which utilizes less expensive Zero Ink paper, is a fantastic, cost-effective compromise.
The image quality is not as sharp, clear, and vivid as a store-bought inkjet print, but that is not what you are paying for. You pay for the novelty of being able to create quick mementos at the push of a button.
Due to its variable and frequently sluggish printing speeds and inaccurate color replication, I think the HP Sprocket to be somewhat out of date. The micro-USB cable exemplifies this as a relic of the past (maybe a future version will include Qi wireless charging or USB-C), but the lovely, whimsical design and small, adorable sticker designs would make any preteen swoon.
Photo sticker paper is more expensive than normal 46 prints, but it may still be economical enough to make it a decent choice for a first photo printer.
I can therefore suggest the HP Sprocket to you. Check out my entire reviews of the HP Sprocket Studio, the Fujifilm Instax, and the Fujifilm Instax Share for more information about photo printers that print standard 4 x 6 photographs.