It may seem a little old school, but printed photos still have a charm that digital ones just cannot match. Even so, you cannot deny that getting photos printed has its own hassles. And, that is what led to the birth of portable printers like the HP Sprocket Plus. A successor to the Sprocket, which was launched last year, the Plus edition is a tad bigger in size and can print 30 per cent larger pictures than the previous version.
Aside from the capacity to print bigger photos, the Plus edition is almost identical to the Sprocket. A bigger size notwithstanding, it remains a light and portable device. The Sprocket Plus, with a no-frills design, has a removable cover on top to pack 10 zero-ink (ZINK) papers in a tray that fits 20 sheets at a time. As the name suggests, these papers do not require ink, so there is no risk of spillage.
Operating the HP Sprocket Plus is easy, thanks to the feature-rich Sprocket app available for both iOS and Android devices. The app requires permissions to access phone data storage, location services, data and time, etc. Once the permissions are granted, the app connects with Sprocket via Bluetooth. By default, the app is set to show photos saved in the phone’s gallery. However, you can also link Instagram, Facebook and Google Photos accounts with the app and sync photos uploaded on these platforms. Once a photo is selected, the app provides the option to edit, add frames, set the number of copies to print, and select between different tiles before giving the print command.
Once you give the print command, the printer takes about a minute to print a full image. Being a portable printer, the Sprocket has a built-in battery capable of printing around 20 images in single charge. The ZINC print paper makes this portable printer quick and convenient, but in terms of quality the outpul is somewhat dull, especially if you compare it with full-fledged colour printers.
The HP Sprocket Plus is a light-weight photo printer that can be carried with ease. Priced at Rs 8,999, this printer is costlier than some instant cameras like Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and Mini 9. However, since it comes with a robust mobile app, the printer has a lot more flexibility than instant cameras. If you can live with the photo quality of an instant camera, you will appreciate the print quality of the HP Sprocket Plus. Go for it as a companion to your capable camera smartphone.