Compared to a few years ago, portable mini printers are a dime a dozen in the market today. One of the popular printers out there is the HP Sprocket printer. It is a small and compact printer and brings the fun element to the otherwise boring job of printing photos. Another new printer joining the lineup is the Fujifilm Instax Link Wide. This is one of the first instant printers to print photos in a wide format, and well, it surely makes things interesting.
This quirky feature means that the Instax Link Wide printer is slightly expensive. So that brings us to an important question—is the Instax Link Wide better than the HP Sprocket 200? Or, are the extra features on the Instax printer worth the extra dollars?
Well, that's what we will find in this post today as we compare the HP Sprocket 200 to the Fujifilm Instax Link Wide. Since it's going to be a long post, let's get started, shall we?
Design and Connectivity
Both the Fujifilm Instax Link Wide and the HP Sprocket 200 are compact printers and are easily portable. However, when you compare the two, the HP sprocket 200 takes the matter quite seriously. It measures just around 4.6 x 3.1 x 1-inch and weighs 6.1 ounces. The best part? You can simply slip into your trouser pockets (or purse).
On top of it, it bundles a fairly modern design with rounded corners and curved edges. And this look is further polished by the trendy design on top.
It's a ZINK printer, and once it's connected to your phone's Bluetooth, it'll be ready to churn out prints fast and quick.
The HP Sprocket 200 is one of the first mini printers to come with Bluetooth 5.0, and this is a huge plus. You get a stable connection. Plus, you get the advantages of connecting up to 3 phones to the printer at a time. However, some users have complained that this feature doesn't work as intended. The best way to go about it is to print your photos first and then switch to a new phone.
Fujifilm takes a rather aggressive approach to the design of the Instax Link Wide. Since this printer churns out sizeable prints compared to its counterparts, it sports a big body. For the record, it measures 1.3 x 5.5 x 5.0-inch. And at 12 ounces, it's almost double the weight of the Sprocket 200.
At the same time, the big form factor means it's not a pocket-friendly gadget. Rather, you'd need a small tote bag or a slightly bigger purse to carry it around.
It's a Bluetooth 4.2 LE printer. It's a generation old, but it gets the work done and can establish a stable connection between the phone and the laptop.
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The battery is perhaps one of the crucial elements of a wireless device such as a portable printer. And if you have owned a portable printer before, you must know that these printers are not known to have good battery life.
On paper, the HP printer can give you around 10 prints on a full charge. A small 550mAh rechargeable battery powers it. On the upside, the Sprocket 200 can print while being connected to a power source. So if you plan to print a bunch of photos at one go, you know what to do.
On the other hand, the Instax Link Wide gets you around 100 prints on a single charge. It is an official number. The odds are high that the actual number will be slightly less. The folks at the PC Mag tested this little printer and found the charge depleting to 60% after just 10 prints.
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In-app features are important for a portable printer, especially if you plan to use it on the move and give it to kids. After all, you wouldn't want to print plain photos while out on a picnic or vacation. That's the job of a dedicated photo printer if you ask us.
Nevertheless, the HP Sprocket 200 doesn't disappoint. For now, you can add frames, borders, and stickers to photos. Furthermore, you can link the app to your social media apps and print your Instagram photos as well. Now, that's cool.
Apart from printing basic prints, the Fujifilm Instax Link Wide lets you create collages, add frames, add clip art on top of the photos. Or, if you want to add a twist, you can switch to the ready-made Sepia or Monochrome tone.
More importantly, it bundles a cool library of templates for birthday cards and parties. And these features make it perfect for children and grown-ups alike. After all, a little fun isn't harmless.
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Now, let's address the elephant in the room. No printer is worth its money if the final results appear dark or off-color. When it comes to the HP Sprocket 200, it uses the ZINK tech to print photos. ZINK is an ink-less printing method and doesn't need any toners or ink to print photos.
It simply uses heat to develop the pictures. And well, the results are not bad. Plus, these photo papers are smudge-resistant and waterproof. Though the photos are nice and pretty, they tend to be a little darker and lack the sharpness department.
The upside of this method is that the photos are delivered fast and quickly.
As opposed to the speed of the HP printer, the Instax printer is slightly slow owing to the use of film. A single photo may need around 30 seconds to print and another 20 seconds to develop.
That said, this Instax printer delivers excellent results. The colors are accurate, and the sharpness is on point. The photos approximately measure around 62 mm× 99 mm, compared to the 50 x 76 mm that the Sprocket delivers.
Coming to the printing cost, a 50-pack ZINK photo paper costs around $24, while a 20-pack Instax Wide film costs around $20.
Verdict: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Wide
So which printer should you select? Well, if you do not mind spending a few bucks on getting the best quality photo (from a portable printer), we'll recommend the Instax printer. Not only do you get bigger photos, but the photos also have good color and details.
On the other hand, if you want a compact printer for casual fun, then the affordable HP Sprocket is a good pick. The cost-per-film is less, and the printer is small and compact. However, there's a price to pay for all these, and that is the photo quality.
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