I got a sprocket in my pocket

Are you thinking of buying the HP Sprocket?

SPROCKET review.pngIf you’re thinking about buying the HP Sprocket you’re searching for reviews in the same places I was before purchasing.  The sprocket is an instant printer that uses ZINK paper to print your precious memories on 2×3″ paper.  The ZINK paper will cost roughly 50 cents a sheet on every sight you search, but has sticky backing to make it even more convenient to use for scrapbooking, photo albums, or hanging up the pictures.

When traveling to Gatlinburg earlier this year, my artsy friend brought an old Polaroid camera.  We snapped a picture overlooking the mountains, waiting while the buzzing noise printed out our picture and ran to darkness for it to develop.  It instantly brought back the memories of looking through my grandparents photo album of different family members and the captions underneath showing the year and what was taking place.

My friend also had a newer version of a Polaroid instant camera, the “Snap”, that printed 2×3″ photos, and even let her choose the color setting before taking the picture.  I thought of how great it was to scrapbook photos from a vacation and keep those pictures displayed.  I used to order 4×6 prints all the time from Walgreens, but with the iPhone camera I am constantly taking pictures and it was too wasteful for dozens of photo albums I didn’t look at and the $100’s I spent on prints.

Originally I bought the Fujifilm Instax camera.  This was used at a bachelorette party of a friend of mine, and the pictures turned out a great way to remember the day.  I ordered a cute color camera and case on Amazon and got it in the mail 2 days later without doing too much research.  Before using the camera I saw an ad on Facebook for an instant printer that attaches to your phone.  I was amazed until I saw the $200 price tag.  But that led me to search for other “instant” printers, and made me realize THIS was what I wanted.  I returned the Fujifilm Instax and chose the HP Sprocket.

I chose the instant printer route instead of instant camera for a few different reasons:

  1. I already had my phone camera and my digital camera.  What was really the chance of me carrying around 3 on a vacation?
  2. The instant cameras have gotten better, but every shot isn’t going to be the best.  I could use my digital camera to get a clearer picture, edit it in the app, and print out the perfect picture to capture the memory.
  3. The size of the picture was about 2×3 no matter if it was an instant camera or an instant printer.

I did price comparison and other reviews to lead me to the HP Sprocket:

HP Sprocket: $130

Polaroid Zip: $130

Instax Share: $200

The Instax did have better reviews, but that’s why the price tag is so much more.  On the other hand, the Sprocket is smaller and seemed to be easier to carry around.

The printer takes about 20 seconds or less to print a picture.  For better quality of the next picture, allow adequate time in-between printings.  The great thing about the Sprocket is no maintenance needed and especially not needing to buy ink for the printer since it uses ZINK paper.

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It took me awhile to figure out the quality and if it was what I wanted for a $130 toy.  I noticed it has a “vintage” look with a sepia-tone after the picture prints, but I’ve really began to like it.  The quality so far has been pretty great for the printer.  It’s hard getting used to such great digital pictures and when they don’t seem as good in print, like I had with some 4×6 printers from Walgreens, but I’ve realized after researching how it can be difficult with different resolutions, etc.

Here is a side by side photo of the iPhone picture vs. the Sprocket:

If you’re a crafty person, I think the Sprocket is definitely for you.  Between the fun IMG_3492filters, words, and stickers you can add to pictures in the app, there’s endless possibilities with these prints.  I have seen many great ideas for the pictures being used in a wedding planner, as a photo booth printer at a party, and IMG_2843a travel journal.

I’ve found some great uses with 2×3 frames, my photo mat from work, and using small clothes-pin lights to display them on my bulletin board!  The best use I’ve had so far is “creating” my own phone case.  I used a clear back phone case, put the photo inside (which fits perfectly) and wha-lah!  *I didn’t use the sticky backing so it wouldn’t damage the phone so the picture does move around inside the case from time to time.

Do you have an HP Sprocket? What tips/ideas do you have for others using this instant printer?

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PS. featuring the Dobby my artsy friend laser cut and gave me as a Graduation Present. I love it!!

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