The HP Sprocket Panorama printer ($149) brings a new twist to portable photo printing with the ability to print extra-long panoramic photos, two inches wide and up to nine inches long. This is a departure from the conventional square prints of its Sprocket siblings (and most other mobile photo printers), which only print in fixed sizes, and it unlocks creative options previously unattainable with pocket-sized printers.
With its unique image format, you can easily squeeze your entire squad into the frame for wide group images that are super easy to share or stick in a scrapbook. The printer’s unique image size also makes it ideal for creating custom-size labels or gift tags. The width of photos is fixed at 2 inches, but the Sprocket Panorama can print images as short as a half inch.
The Sprocket Panorama creates these custom-sized prints by using a roll of photo paper: it prints and then trims the page to the size you need. Like other Sprocket printers, it uses Zink photo paper, which eliminates the need for ink; instead, the colors are embedded inside the paper. The resulting photos are tear-resistant, water-resistant, and smudge-proof, making them ideal for durable labels or gift tags. The paper also has an adhesive backing, so you can stick your prints anywhere, whether it’s into a scrapbook, on your laptop, or the inside of a locker.
To print, you’ll need the free Sprocket Panorama app for Android or iOS devices. (Note that there’s a regular Sprocket app, so make sure you download the correct one.) The app lets you edit your photos, adding creative touches and customizing prints with filters, stickers, and frames. Ready-made templates let you get your images picture-perfect without hassle. Your smartphone connects to the Sprocket Panorama via Bluetooth; images take about a minute to print.
Though its paper roll makes it slightly bulkier than other mobile photo printers, the Sprocket Panorama, measuring 5.75 x 2.5 x 3 inches, remains conveniently portable for carrying in a purse or backpack. With a 1000 mAh battery, it has plenty of power to print without being tethered to a charger. Set it up at a party for instant-print photo-booth style snapshots, or bring it along on your next trip so you have photos to share or add to your scrapbook immediately.
The HP Sprocket Panorama is available now for $129, but as with most portable photo printers, the paper price is high. The panoramic Zink paper rolls cost $50 for a 16.4-foot roll, which equates to 21 full 9-inch prints or 98 smaller 2×2-inch square snaps. That’s an average price for printers in this category, but it’s still a significant cost to consider, especially if you intend to use it as a label printer.
The HP Sprocket Panorama offers a unique printing format you won’t find in other photo printers – and if that’s what you want, it could be well worth the cost.
[Image credit: Techlicious]