HP Sprocket, we tested this pocket printer that doesn't need ink

HP Sprocket, we tested this pocket printer that doesn't need ink

Your Expert RecommendedHP Sprocket is a portable and lightweight printer, designed to print photos directly from the mobile thanks to the Bluetooth connection. It uses ZINK technology, which does not need ink.

The only thing we need to use it is to have the battery charged, have printing paper and connect the mobile with the Sprocket application via Bluetooth . Photos are printed at 2 x 3 inches (5.1 x 7.6 cm).

Below we review the main features and operation of this HP Sprocket. A curious printer developed by the North American multinational.

Design and dimensions

The HP Sprocket Mobile Printer is intended to be a pocket-sized device. It is slightly smaller than a portable hard drive and weighs 172 grams . It measures 116mm long x 75mm wide x 23mm thick.

hp sprocket thickness

HP Sprocket is available in two colors: black and white . The black model has the parting line of the lid in a silver tone, while the white version has that line in a gold tone.

The HP and Sprocket logo appears on the top of the printer. The back is also practically smooth, except for the URL of the printer's web.


Key features: operation, printing and connectivity

The HP Sprocket portable printer has a microUSB port where we will connect the cable to charge the battery. This is 500 mAh and offers up to an hour and a half of printing when fully charged.

HP Sprocket is compatible with and connects to smartphones with iOS and Android operating systems via Bluetooth. It does not have other connection options (it does not have WiFi or NFC technology).

hp sprocket microusb

The printer also does not have an operating screen, so all the printing configuration is done directly from the mobile. In the printer we have only one on / off button and one LED indicator .

The device works with ZINK technology, without ink . All we need to print is to load the printer with the sheets of paper and have the battery charged.

hp sprocket paper

The maximum print resolution is 313 x 400 dpi , for a size of 2 x 3 inches (approximately 5.1 x 7.6 cm). We can use HP's own paper or other compatible brands, such as Polaroid ZINK paper of the same size.

In terms of printing speed, the HP Sprocket spends just under 10 seconds for each photo.

HP Sprocket Printer Datasheet

Print typeZINK (without ink)
Dimensions116mm long x 75mm wide x 23mm thick
Weight172 grams
Print qualityUp to 313 x 400 dpi
SpeedAbout 10 seconds per photo
ConnectivityMicroUSB / Bluetooth
Paper capacity10 sheets
Double sided printingNot
Paper format2 x 3 inches (5.1 x 7.6 cm)
Kind of paperSelf-adhesive photo paper
Price140 euros

How does printing work?

In order to make the first impression with the HP Sprocket, we have to make sure that the battery is charged and that there is paper available.

By pressing on the base of the upper part of the printer, we can slide the cover up to open the paper tray.

All HP Zink paper envelopes come with a blue card stock that we must keep with the package, placing the barcode face down.

hp sprocket blue cardstock

When sending the first photo to print from the mobile, the HP Sprocket will first eject the blue card stock and then begin printing on one of the photo papers.

The printer box includes a pack of 10 print sheets . If you later want to buy paper from other brands, it is important that you keep the blue HP card stock because you will need it to recognize each set of photo paper.

This is the Sprocket application for mobile

The HP Sprocket app is available for Android and iOS. It is totally necessary to send the photos to the printer from the mobile using the Bluetooth connection .

Once you have installed Sprocket (from Google Play or from the App Store), you will have to turn on Bluetooth. Connect the printer from the Phone Settings and you are all set to go.

hp sprocket app android

Within the Sprocket app you can select different image sources for your photos. You can use the mobile camera, select an image from the gallery, or print your photos from Instagram, Facebook or Google Photos .

After authorizing the different services or accessing the gallery, the images may take a while to load if there are many.

Once the photograph we want is selected, we can send it directly to print, move, zoom and rotate with our fingers, or click on the  Edit button to see the available options:

hp sprocket app edit

  • The first button allows you to adjust the brightness and contrast parameters .
  • In the second section we can find different filters for photography .

hp sprocket app filters

  • The third section is a wide catalog of frames and ornaments for our photos . There are colors or with curious effects (fireworks, hearts, etc.).

hp sprocket app frames

  • In the star icon we can find numerous stickers to add on the image . Once superimposed, we can rotate or enlarge the label to adjust it to our liking.
  • We can also add text boxes , selecting the font, size and orientation of the letters.
  • The last section allows you to configure the rotation and the image format (horizontal or vertical).

hp sprocket app gyro

Once we have configured all the parameters, we can click on the print icon . The HP Sprocket printer needs to be turned on, with sufficient battery and paper in the tray.

If this is the first time we are printing, the device will first eject the blue card stock from the sheet pack and then start printing the image.

Conclusions, price and availability

The HP Sprocket pocket printer costs about 140 euros in Spain. Although the quality of the photos is not optimal, the device is a very good option to print photos from the mobile , in a reduced size and quickly.

The main advantage is the size and weight of the Sprocket. It is quite light and very easy to transport , ideal to carry with your mobile on trips.

In relation to quality-price it is more or less in the range of other devices of this type. And the Sprocket app is one of the most complete when it comes to editing photos before printing.