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Hands-on review: HP Sprocket, the portable instant printer

Sat, 15th Jul 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The HP Sprocket harkens back to the days of Polaroid cameras, giving you the ability to print photos anywhere, at any time.

This is a really cool little device, it's small enough to fit in almost any bag, and if you aren't wearing skinny jeans this baby printer could even fit in your pocket.

Despite its simplistic purpose, everything about the HP Sprocket screams high-tech.

It has a sleek minimalistic design, coming in white and black, so you can match your iPhone or Samsung colour schemes if you so choose.

The device is compatible with both Android and IOS devices, with the app that runs the HP Sprocket available for free on both platforms.

The device is relatively simple to use.

First, you'll have to pair it with your device and download the app.

From there on out it is all self-explanatory.

The Sprocket app itself is also very cool, it allows users to adjust photos, add filters and meddle with the contrast of the photo before they print it.

The app can also connect to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, meaning that you can print pictures you're tagged in directly from those platforms.

The Sprocket really has it all in terms of user functionality.

There is a downside however, and that is the price tag.

At the moment the Sprocket retails for $250, and it comes with 10 photos worth of printing paper.

For the device itself, I feel like that is a fair price, especially because it is a new piece of tech.

However, if you want more printing paper you can expect each packet of 20 to set you back an additional $20.

Now I understand that HP is a business and we can't expect to get the printing paper for free, it still just seems a little over the top to keep charging users essentially $1 every time they print.

Don't get any bright ideas about buying ‘cheaper' printer paper either, as the Sprocket papers come with a barcode sheet that gets scanned before the printer will start printing.

There is no doubt in my mind that eventually the price for the printer paper will come down, but at the moment it simply isn't justifiable to me.

Despite this little upset, the Sprocket is still one of the coolest devices I have had the opportunity to play with.

It really does make it easy to realise that dream of a photo collage wall, albeit not entirely practical from a financial standpoint.

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