Portable mini printers allow what your phone or wired printer don’t — the ability to print photos from just about anywhere and everywhere. You need a fully charged printer and a phone connected to it, and you can have your precious memories printed in a matter of a few minutes.
When it comes to printers, the HP Sprocket 200 and the Canon IVY mini printers are among the few of most popular ones out there. They are small, which makes them easily portable. Plus, the resultant photos are good enough to hang on your mantle or fridge’s door. More importantly, these mini printers give you the joy of holding a real photograph. Yep, just like old times.
However, the best part is that these are Zink (Zero Ink) printers, meaning you do not have to worry about ink cartridges, neither you have to shake the photo and wait for the print to dry.
But, you are bound to wonder, which camera is better suited for your needs? Well, that’s what we are going to find out in this post today. We are comparing the Canon IVY and the HP Sprocket 200.
As this post is going to be a long one, let’s jump straight in.
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Design & Connectivity
Let’s talk about the design of the Canon Ivy first. The Canon IVY is small (oops, did I say that again?). It measures just about 4.7 x 3.2 x 0.7-inches and on the first glance, looks like a tiny scanner.
The small size means that it can easily fit in your palms. To fit the photo paper, all you have to do is lift the top and insert the photo papers inside. That’s it. Also, if you are not actively using the printer, you can store the remaining photo paper in the cavity until you need them again.
And the cherry on top is that it weighs 5.6 ounces.
Thankfully, the same is true of the HP Sprocket 200. It measures 4.6 x 3.1 x 1-inches and weighs 6.1 ounces. And similar to the above printer, it’s flat and unobtrusive, and you can carry it just about anywhere.
On top of it, it carries patterns on the top cover that gives it a quirky look.
When it comes to connectivity, both printers feature Bluetooth. However, in the case of the Sprocket 200, you get the advantage of Bluetooth 5.0. Also, it allows three people to connect to it at the same time.
Also, setting up the Canon IVY is a piece of cake. You need to download the Canon Mini Print App first. Similarly, for the Sprocket 200, you have to get the Sprocket app. Once the connection is established, you’ll be able to access the photos on your phone. Once you are done selecting the filters, hit the print button and the 2 x 3-inch photo will be ready in no time.
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Now comes the most critical feature of any wireless device: the battery life. After all, you wouldn’t want a printer to die after printing a couple of photos.
The HP mini printer comes with a rechargeable battery of 550mAh. That means you do not have to carry the power cord with you every time you need some print outs.
HP hasn’t given a clear idea how long a single full charge will stay, but as per the guys at Trusted Reviews, a fully-charged HP Sprocket 200 should be able to give you around 10 prints. The good news is that you can also print even when with the printer connected to a power outlet.
At the same time, this printer needs approximately 2 hours to get charged. And as far as the user reviews are concerned, they are not entirely bad, and the users seem to be satisfied with the battery output.
On the other hand, the IVY equips a 500mAh battery. Though the battery dissipates rather quickly, still you will get around 10 photos on a single charge. That’s quite acceptable.
However, the key strength of this printer is its short charging time. Topping up the Canon IVY takes around 90 minutes, making sure that it does not keep you waiting for long while you wait to print your next set of photos. And as you might have expected, you can also print while connected to a power source.
The only downside is that the battery juice seems to run out quickly, something which the reviewers on Amazon have pointed out.
The key benefit of the Zink paper is that its hassle-free printing. The paper is smudge proof and is waterproof, and you can also easily peel off the adhesive backs to stick them onto walls or on the bulletin board.
But when it comes to the picture quality, the prints won’t match the quality of an actual photo printer. They tend to be a tad darker than usual, and that’s the price you pay for the portability.
What you’ll love about the Canon IVY printer is that it comes with the Tiling feature which lets you combine 4-9 prints to create a single large image.
But if you were to compare the picture quality of both the printers, most of the users thought that the IVY prints better images, as they look bright and nice.
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Verdict: Canon IVY Wins
Overall, both the printers do their job as described, and unlike their previous generation of printers, they do not have issues with connection or bad prints.
Interestingly, the Canon IVY enjoys a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 and has over 76% positive reviews. Most users seem to appreciate the photo quality, the ease of the setup, and the detailed instruction manual that comes with it.
Plus, at $99, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal at all.