Printed photos are nostalgic in themselves — never mind that the photos themselves were taken not too long ago, like, say, yesterday. The practice of printing photos, or anything for that matter, has become so unnatural to us, almost like a novelty, that when something like HP Sprocket comes along, it is immediately judged as both attractive and unnecessary. Why even print photos when you have them stored on your Instagram?
I have to say, this little device brought out the trigger-happy scrapbooker in me. If this existed in 1994, let me tell you, I would have thrown a fit at the department store so my parents would get me one — at 13 years old. It’s a nice, useful toy for the creative, sentimental mind. First of all, it’s tiny and therefore, handy. The Sprocket prints 2×3-inch photos, so the device itself is just a little bigger than that. It comes with sticker paper that’s a little on the glossy side — bummer, but okay, it’s free. It connects nicely to your device via Bluetooth, once you’ve downloaded the Sprocket App.
I used a selfie that’s vertical in orientation to test it. Printing is easy and fast, and the quality is great — no printer lines across your photos, no blotches, and the color on print matches the color on screen accurately. Just make sure to check and double check how many copies you are printing, and don’t go overboard with clicking on the print button. Press once and wait. I pressed and pressed and ended up with three stickers of my face, which I stuck on my friends’ phones. Someone commented, “So it’s like a Polaroid.” No, it’s not. You can edit a Polaroid capture, you can’t print photos taken with other devices withe a Polaroid. It’s really like a tiny printer that you can also use to print emergency stuff — invites, business cards, logo stickers, whatever. If you think of it as a pocket printer and not a photo printer, the possibilities are endless.
Some very millennial things you can do with the HP Sprocket:
- Bring it to lunch. Take a photo of said lunch. Print lunch photo. Take a photo of lunch photo with your phone with the actual lunch on the side.
- Bring it to a gig or concert. Take a selfie with the band. Print the selfie. Have the band sign it.
- Print event invite on the stickers. Stick ’em stickers on bathroom walls.
- Photoshop your name onto your selfie. Print the selfie that now has your name on it. Stick it on your luggage. Instant bag tag.
- Got a logo? Print your logo. Brand all your things.
Aside from printing photos, this device also lets the users show their personality through well-curated images, made possible by the HP Sprocket app. Compatible with both Android (v4.4 and later) and iOS (iOS v8.0 and later) smartphones, it is downloadable for free in the Google and App store. It also supports a variety of formats including BMP, GIF, and JPEG, as well as TIFF for iOS devices which means any photo can be printed out with ease, whether grabbed online or taken straight from a phone camera.
In just 40 seconds, users can get ahold of vibrant, high quality photos with the use of the HP ZINK® technology (zero ink) 2 x 3” photo papers that are smudge-proof and water and tear-resistant1. The photo papers also come with a peel-and-stick back, perfect for crafting personalized items, gifts, or souvenirs.
“We at HP aim to encourage our users to reinvent the way they capture their experiences. Millennials today belong to a snap-happy generation, where they can document their entire lives in just a click of a button. Through the Sprocket, we want them to hold onto those memories in the most convenient, mobile and personal way,” says Pallasena Viswanath, HP Inc. Philippines managing director.
THE VERDICT: It’s a nice and very millennial gadget to have and use for very millennial things. I like it.
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The Sprocket, which comes in black and white, is now available in the Philippines through Lazada and may be purchased directly atwww.lazada.com.ph/hp-sprocket-official-store .