Last week Yotie came out of school beaming a smile which could only mean one thing. Sure enough, there it was, tucked under his arm in a cloth tote bag… Humphrey the Hummingbird. Humphrey was coming home with us for the weekend to have some fun. I groaned inwardly. Not because I’m some evil killjoy who hates that kind of thing, but because it was yet another task to add to the three sets of homework, reading, spellings, times tables and other extra curricular school things we needed to do that week. Worse still, it needed PHOTOGRAPHS.
Don’t get me wrong, I love taking the photographs, editing the photographs and posting them digitally anywhere that’s required – but there’s a special book that photographs need to go into of the little Hummingbird’s weekends away. This means either queuing and then wandering ASDA for a couple of hours whilst they get processed, or spending ridiculous amounts and waiting a week for them to be printed via an online service. All because we do not have a working printer at home.
However, this week a review came to my rescue. A review that could not be more perfectly timed of the HP Sprocket Photo Printer Limited Edition White and Rose Gold Gift Set. I won’t lie – the Sprocket has been on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time now, and when I saw this one with the little photo album and rose gold padded case, I squealed to myself a little [lot]. It’s so little, and so amazing.
TheHP Sprocket Photo Printer Limited Edition gift bundle is on Amazon this week at £119, which is the same price as the Sprocket itself, and inside there’s the Sprocket itself, a little photo printer that uses specially sized paper [on offer at 20 sheets for around £8 this week also] to print 2″ x 3″ photos from your smartphone, a foiled rose gold and white photo album which fits two photos on each page, and a little rose gold pouch with an inside pocket to fit the cable separately. It’s beautiful and really would make a lovely gift for someone.
So what exactly is the Sprocket? Well, it’s a zero-ink printer that’s small and light enough to take anywhere. It uses thermal printing technology which means that you’ll never run out of ink [hoorah] and it will never leak all over your handbag. There’s an internal rechargeable battery which powers the Sprocket and this can be charged via USB – mine is charging from my laptop right now. It prints .jpegs, .gifs, .pngs, .bmps and .tiffs [iOS only] at 313 x 400 dpi. It’s so simple to use – there are an on/off button, a reset button and charge and status light indicators – which mean it’s pretty foolproof to use.
Setting up the Sprocket took a few minutes – it connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone and the app is downloadable from the app store. Once it was installed, a few clicks and I was able to print my first two photos within minutes. We’ve now got a set of sweet little photos for Yotie’s weekend with Humphrey piece at school.
I love to weigh up the good and not-so-wonderful aspects of everything when I’m considering buying, so here’s what we thought about the bundle…
…how quickly the photos printed – less than a minute, with no drying needed as there’s no ink to dry! This means that little hands can have the photos as soon as they print.
…that the photographs are also STICKERS! Peel off the backing and ta-daa, no glue needed!
…that the app is easy to use. So easy.
…the extras on the app – I was able to add little Mickey Mouse ears as a sticker, and a frame to my photograph from my outing with the Disney Store last week! Very cute.
…that I can connect my social media accounts to print from, this is pretty awesome.
…that this can be used anywhere. I can put it in my handbag in the pouch and off I go – or just take it in the pouch!
…that there’s a little editing panel to do some basic tweaks to the photo before printing – brightness, saturation, contrast.
…how perfect this would be for someone who loves taking selfies with friends, school projects and diaries. I can’t think of a teacher or teenager who wouldn’t love one of these.
…that the bundle gives me somewhere safe to keep my Sprocket and also somewhere to start creating a memory book immediately – ours has been used for our pumpkin patch photographs. It’s so easy to take photographs but so hard to remember to do anything other than publishing them on our Facebook, Instagram and blogs!
…that it consistently connected to my phone via Bluetooth. We did update the firmware and this seemed to solve the problem, although Gav had to do this as I was completely flummoxed by it. Hopefully this fixed it.
…that there was a way of altering the colour balance in the photograph before printing. It’s possible to edit by brightening, adding contrast and saturating the colour, but the printer seems to add some red/magenta to boost skin tones I’m guessing – and it blows out the highlights on already bright photographs. However, that being said, we think this is a printer best used for fun photos and selfies as opposed to the really detailed ones that I chose to print from my DSLR.
Our verdict: I’m so, so happy to have one of these in our lives now! No more worrying about school projects, and we can take little photos for crafting projects at home. We love ours [you can see it here on Amazon – not an affiliate link!] and have already stocked up on paper whilst it’s on offer!