Pocket Printers

As a borderline millennial, there is something about taking pictures and having the immediate gratification of the photo in hand.  One of my favorite after school activities was to go to the local asian stores that had “sticky picture” machines and take photos.  We would give out copies of our sticker pictures and collect each others.  With that nostalgia, we are in a time where it is unusual not to see a photobooth set up at a wedding, baby shower, birthday, etc.  Photobooths are a great way to commemorate the event and have something tangible to keep, but are not something the everyday person owns and has easy access to.  Our phones are essentially a photobooth and there are pocket printers/ portable mini photo printers now that can provide that immediate gratification and tangibility.

Pocket printers make for a great gift for

  1. Young women, moms, travelers, or anyone who would like the convenience of being able to print a picture instantly wherever they are
  2. A crafty person to use for a variety of craft ideas (I’m thinking some mod-podge and magnet tape to make homemade magnets – maybe I’ll do a separate post about that…)
  3. The scrapbooker

The pocket/ mini printers range from approx. $100 – $150 including paper – which is a must to include if you are thinking of gifting this so it can be enjoyed immediately. The teenage girl in me wishes I had one of these when I was younger.  Thankfully my husband got me one, the HP Sprocket, for my birthday this year and it’s been fun to carry with me out to dinner with friends or even on trips with the girls.  I’m ready to print out moments to share with my friends and the pictures have an adhesive so they can be easily scrap-booked or stuck onto an object.  I stuck the first picture I printed onto the printer itself and put it side-by-side with an iPhone 7 and floss to show size:

HP Sprocket

The  HP Sprocket prints out 2×3 pictures and they are printed on special photo paper that also has an adhesive back if you choose to use it.  The paper packs come in 10 and are inkless with Zink technology.  This Zink technology is beyond me how it works, but basically there is a blue piece of paper that comes with each paper pack, and you just print that page first and the printer is good to go.

There is an app for using the printer that connects your phone to the printer with bluetooth technology.  The app includes edit features so you can alter the photo before printing.  It’s cool because you can add text, drawings, or pre-installed stickers to your photo before printing to make it more customized.

There is an additional feature to add metadata to the picture itself, such that if you scan the photo with the HP Sprocket app reader, it will tell you additional details about the picture such as the day/time it was taken, the location, as well as other photos that were taken in proximity that same day and time.   The technology is cool but I would caution to use it carefully because if you took a photo at home, someone could figure out where you lived using that scan technology.

Canon Ivy

The Canon Ivy is similar to the HP Sprocket because it uses the same Zink technology, is wireless with bluetooth, and is approximately the same size.  It takes slightly longer to print on the Canon Ivy (approx. 50 sec), but it can also hold more paper at a time.

Fujifilm Instax Share

The Fujifilm INSTAX Share is really interesting to me because I am a fan of the Instax Polaroid camera.  The Instax Share uses similar exposure technology to print photos from your smartphone.  This option is the fastest I’ve seen at printing, advertising 10 seconds.  The only drawback I think with this one is that you connect to the printer via wi-fi, which may not always be convenient.  However, this is a great option for polaroid lovers or people who like the nostalgic feel and the ability to write on the borders.

Featured image from HP.com

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