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The rapid advancements in consumer technology are rarely more apparent than when it comes to printing. It’s as if just yesterday we were using bulky, sloppy and overpriced ink printers, whereas today we’re all getting in line to buy a laser or even 3D printer that does more for less money. The HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer is yet another advanced printing device, but is it one that the average consumer needs?

Instagram’s popularity works in its favor, but probably not enough to warrant a purchase

The HP Portable Photo Printer advertises itself as a social media tool: print your selfies and Instagram photos wherever you are, and use them for whichever purposes you fancy. But that’s just the thing – how much use do we really have for printed photographs, especially of the social media variety, in the digital age?

While an innovative idea with little competition, this lack of real use is what sets the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer back. Bluetooth connectivity is a plus, and the device’s compact size means that you can carry it anywhere. However, it also means that the photos will be of a maximum 2×3 size, which further reduces the Portable Photo Printer’s already questionable usefulness.

Right now, the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer price hovers around $130 on Amazon. However you spin it, it’s a lot to ask for a printer these days, considering you can get a full-fledged laser printer with a great set of options – and which can print full-sized images – for roughly the same amount. It appears the Portable Sprocket will remain a gadget for only a select group of customers with very specific needs.