Gift Edit 2022

I’m a Shopping Editor and This Is the Gift I Want to Give Everyone This Year (Even My Technologically Challenged Family)

published Dec 9, 2022
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Credit: Erin Derby

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas for every occasion. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

Despite being firmly in the millennial generation, I am sometimes put off by technology. For example, the thought of changing printer ink gives me hives. This is the sole reason that, until very recently, I’d never owned a printer or photo printer. It’s too intimidating. I’m also terrible at remembering to order photos online, so when HP offered to let me test their portable, instant photo printer, I said yes.

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I still let it sit in the box for about a week, dubious that I would be able to set it up. I made my boyfriend help me, because his professional background is 3D printing and computers, so I thought that made him a qualified printer set-up guy. Luckily, all I had to do was download the HP Sprocket app in the app store, which gave me very clear instructions. There was no hefty instruction pamphlet involved. I connected to the printer instantly through Bluetooth and did a test print, which all went seamlessly. I was able to access my camera roll from the app and easily select what I wanted to print. No boyfriend needed (though he did hold the printer and marvel at how lightweight it was). Within 10 minutes, I had printed four 2″ x 3″ photos I had been wanting to print for my frames for YEARS. And I haven’t even told you the best part yet — it doesn’t require any ink. The ink is embedded in the photo paper. What a world we live in.

Honestly, I’ve had a harder time setting up my AirPods and Kindle. So for all of the reasons above, I want to gift this to my family and friends this year. It’s quick, easy, painless, and you get full-color photos printed without having any headaches. Sure, you might need to help set up the photo printer for your elderly grandmother, but once she’s connected to the app, it is nearly impossible to not be able to figure out how to print something. It’s maybe the smartest piece of technology I have come across. For example, if you run out of paper (the Sprocket comes with 10 pieces of photo paper), you can order it directly in the app — there won’t be questions about how to find it on Amazon. Although, you can order 100 sheets of photo paper on Amazon for less than $45 if you want.

The printer is a great gift for all ages. It’s so small that HP advertises it as being able to fit in your back pocket. Though my jeans pockets can’t quite handle it, it does fit in my sweatpants pockets and a small purse. It barely weighs anything. As someone who shares a one-bedroom apartment with another person, I can attest that the Sprocket takes up less space than a book. The printer also boasts a charge of 35 pictures, so you can bring it on the go to a friend’s housewarming or on vacation.

And if your giftee is a creative type, the Sprocket has a setting for collages. Your giftee can also turn photos into stickers (which is a great feature for scrapbookers) if they buy the sticker paper.

Buy: HP Sprocket Portable 2″ x 3″ Printer, $79.97 (originally $129.99)