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HP Sprocket

Straight out of the box, the Sprocket needs about an hour to juice up the internal battery, and you can then pair it with the app on your smartphone and take it anywhere

It's not often a printer raises eyebrows, but HP’s new pocket-sized Sprocket printer will certainly evoke a reaction even from the most hardened of gadget enthusiasts. The diminutive portable-hard-disk-sized Sprocket is HP’s key to unlocking the photo vault that is your smartphone, where photos get taken with great enthusiasm but are rarely revisited.

Straight out of the box, the Sprocket needs about an hour to juice up the internal battery, and you can then pair it with the app on your smartphone and take it anywhere. From here, you can pick pictures from your camera roll, Instagram, Google Photos or Facebook profile and Sprocket prints them out on small sticky-backed 2x3-inch ZINK/HP photo paper sheets. This means that you don't need to think about replacement ink cartridges since ZINK’s proprietary printing tech places layers of transparent dye that show up as specific colours when they’re heated up. The app lets you edit images by adding frames, text and filters before firing the print, which takes about 20 seconds to churn out a photo.

It’s a boatload of fun printing these tiny stick-anywhere mementoes at parties and get-togethers, but the fact is that the end results aren’t anywhere near outstanding, especially if you consider you’re paying about twenty-five bucks per photo (ZINK paper sells for about 500 bucks for a pack of 20, with a pack of 50 setting you back by Rs 1249). The colours remain slightly dull in the prints, and the photos themselves are tiny, which means you have to crop/zoom in on the images to get anything usable. That said, this printer is so insanely portable and connects directly to your smartphone over Bluetooth, which makes it a great party accessory — you print a bunch of photos, peel the back off and stick them anyplace… or keep them in the wallet as a keepsake. It pretty much guarantees a smile from any recipient — now, can you really put a price on that?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Magazine 14 October 2017 HP Sprocket printers


Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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