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HP Sprocket Review

This mini printer rendered some of the poorest quality photos in the review
HP Sprocket
Credit: Jason Peters
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Price:   $130 List | $120 at Amazon
Pros:  Passable resolution, multi-photo queue, adhesive photo paper
Cons:  Magenta color cast, overall poor quality grayscale, microbanding
Manufacturer:   hp
By Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Apr 6, 2020
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36
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Color - 35% 3
  • Black and White - 35% 3
  • Print Capabilities - 15% 3
  • Operating Cost - 10% 6
  • Set-Up - 5% 9

Our Verdict

We were not impressed with this machine. When comparing its photos to the desktop models the prints looked abysmal. Yet, even among the mini printers, the Sprocket's test images were unsatisfactory. Suffice it to say, within this model's price range there are better options.

Compare to Similar Products

 
HP Sprocket
This Product
HP Sprocket
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $130 List
$119.95 at Amazon
$800 List
$799.99 at Amazon
$500 List$350 List$100 List
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Pros Passable resolution, multi-photo queue, adhesive photo paperMany print dimensions, several print mediums, low-cost prints, high image fidelityLow cost per print, many print mediums, competitively pricedConsistent color, easy set-up, broad format optionsEasy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes
Cons Magenta color cast, overall poor quality grayscale, microbandingPhysically large, pricyDifficult to set up, no roll paper, big footprintMicrobanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areasMicrobanding in larger formats, off skin tones, over saturation
Bottom Line This mini printer had some of the worst image outcomes of the classThis pro-level machine provides users with nearly all the printing options that a serious photographer could ask for in a desktop unitIf you’re in the market for a full-size printer then this relatively inexpensive unit is a decent option with the main drawback being the set-upThis printer yields high-quality images at a reasonable priceA quality mid-size machine that will appeal to the casual user
Rating Categories HP Sprocket Epson SureColor P700 Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Expression Photo... Canon PIXMA TR4520
Color (35%)
3
9
9
6
6
Black And White (35%)
3
9
9
7
6
Print Capabilities (15%)
3
9
8
8
5
Operating Cost (10%)
6
8
8
7
5
Set Up (5%)
9
6
5
5
6
Specs HP Sprocket Epson SureColor P700 Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Expression Photo... Canon PIXMA TR4520
Resolutioin (dots per inch) 313 x 400 5760 x 1440 4800 x 2400 5760 x 1440 4800 x 1200
Max photo deminsions (inches) 2" x 3" 13" x 129" 13" x 39" 13" x 44" 8" x 10"
Cost per print (4" x 6" or mini print) $0.50 $0.37 $0.38 $0.45 $0.58
Machine deminsions (HxWxD inches) 0.98" x 3.15" x 4.63" 20.19" x 14.44" x 7.34" 25" x 14.63" x 7.75" 6.3" x 18.7" x 14.5" 7.5" x 17.2" x 11.7"
Printing technology In paper, thermal-activated dye Inkjet (Piezo DOD) Inkjet (Theromal DOD) Inkjet (Piezo DOD) Inkjet (Theromal DOD)
Print time per 4" x 6" (or mini print) 39 seconds 83 seconds 66 seconds 34 seconds 128 seconds
Color palette (ink cartridges) N/A Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black and Matte Black Black, Gray, Light Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray, Red Black plus color cartridge
LCD screen No Yes Yes Yes No
Touch Screen No Yes No No No
Battery Yes No No No No
Memory cards supported N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ink type N/A Pigment-based Dye-based Dye-based Pigment (black) and dye-based (color)
Roller paper No Yes No No No
Connectivity Bluetooth Hi-Speed USB 3.0 (1 port), 100Base-T Ethernet (1 port), 2.4 GHz (802.11n) and 5 GHz Wireless (IEEE802.11 b/g/n/ac)6, Wi-Fi Direct 6, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Epson Print Layout for iOS Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet (10/100), Wireless1 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.5/5.0GHz), Wireless PictBridge iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, Alexa and smartphones; Ethernet networking, andard Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, USB Host, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, Wi-Fi Direct 5, Ethernet 10/100
Hi-Speed USB
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n wireless networking, 2.4 GHz)
Operating system requirements Android, iOS Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later; Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7 (32-bit,64-bit) Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X v10.11.6 - macOS v10.15, 14 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile Windows 10 8/8.1/Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Windows Vista (32-bit , 64-bit)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.12.x6
Windows:20 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac:21
Mac OS X v10.10.5 - macOS v10.13 (High Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:22 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and Fire OS (Amazon Fire) devices
Scanner No No No No Yes (bed and feed)

Our Analysis and Test Results

Unfortunately, the HP Sprocket produced what some might describe as cringe-worthy photos. Despite decent resolution, the color images were cast in magenta and had bleeding along the borders. As for the black and white… Let's just say that we wouldn't recommend printing in grayscale on this machine. We did like the app that controls the printer, as it allows you to print from your phone and stack up multiple photos in the queue.

Performance Comparison


Credit: Laura Casner

Likes


We like the mini printer concept. We think that a picture is not a photo until you print it, and mini printers like this one make that easier than ever. Additionally, we like that you can do some creative edits on your phone before printing.

Credit: Laura Casner

Another check in the pro column for the HP Sprocket — and mini printers in general — is that it is easy to set-up. The process is as simple as downloading an app onto your phone and then connecting to the printer via Bluetooth. That's it.

Dislikes


Simply put, this printer did not fare well in our evaluations. It's color renditions were pretty bad, and the black and white test images came out looking bazaar. Suffice it to say that this machine is not cut out for printing in grayscale.

Credit: Laura Casner

Value


Given that the Sprocket is in the same price range as mini printers rendering much higher quality images, we do not find it to be a very good value.

Conclusion


We don't have much positive to say about this printer except that it is a fun, and fairly inexpensive way to get pics off your mobile device and into the hands of loved ones. If you're shopping for a mini printer there are better devices in this review for about the same price.

Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer