Gadget Review: Sprocket, HP’s New Pocket-Sized Photo Printer, Stomps on Fujifilm’s Instax Share

Meet Sprocket, the new addition to HP’s printer family. It’s a tiny, lightweight printer that fits in your bag and prints directly from your phone camera and social media accounts. A rival to Fujifilm’s Instax series of on-the-go cameras and printers, Sprocket takes the genre to a new height with a much smaller body and sticky-backed photo paper.

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On May 2nd, I was invited to join HP Canada at the Canadian launch of the Sprocket. Before I get into the details of the device, here’s a quick look at the printer in action!

**NOTE: this is a 360 video! Use your pointer to look around the video, or view on YouTube with your VR headset.***

The print flow in the app is really intuitive. You first select the location from which to choose your photos – Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos, or your phone’s gallery. Then you pick a picture, edit it if you want to, and send it to the printer, which prints on these mini 2×3 inch sticky-back photo papers.

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HP is certainly not the first to tackle this genre, but they’re certainly the best. Share, Fujifilm’s Instax equivalent, comes in with poorer specs across the board, with the exception of printing method. Both printers use ZINK zero-ink technology, which relies on thermal printing rather than ink to print – the colour is in the photo sheets, not the printer itself. The Sprocket weighs in at 171 grams, while the Share is heavier at 250 grams. The Sprocket prints at 313×400 dpi, while the Share prints at 320 dpi. The Sprocket prints 5×7.6cm photos, the Share prints 4.6×6.2 cm; and in Canadian dollars the Sprocket comes in at $159.99, $40 less than the Share at $199.99. All points in favor of Sprocket.

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All in all, the Sprocket is a fun, ultra-portable device for printing on the go. I think this would be really great for scrapbookers or crafty people, trade show marketers printing guest photos at events, or party hosts who want to give their guests fun little memories to take home. I could definitely see myself using this at a wedding or a party of some kind, but in my current day-to-day I don’t personally think I’ll use it much since most of what I do is digital, and when I do print photos I print them full-sized and album-ready (and once every few years whenever some big milestone happens). But for those of you looking for a quick and fun print solution that is much more flexible than the Instax option, the HP Sprocket is right for you!

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Full disclosure: this device was given to me for free from HP Canada at the launch party. There was no agreement or payment for me to review this device, and all opinions and analysis expressed in this review are genuinely my own. 

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