Lifeprint’s Harry Potter Magic Picture and Video Printer ($149.99) employs augmented actuality to make one of the vital mega-franchise’s maximum endearing magical conceits an actual factor: pictures and photographs that appear to come back to existence inside of their frames. View certainly one of Lifeprint’s so-called “Hyperphotos,” revealed from this tool, to your telephone by the use of its digicam and Lifeprint’s Pictures app, and a video related to the picture will play—making the print appear to be an animated picture to your telephone’s display. This transportable snapshot printer is decked out in Hogwarts decor, and the app contains some Potter-themed filters (in addition to typical ones). Lifeprint has even arrange a social community for customers of this printer. It is all excellent, gimmicky amusing, however folks with little interest in Harry Potter must as an alternative believe Lifeprint’s different augmented-reality printers, or a identical (and better-printing) style introduced by means of HP: the HP Sprocket 2d Version ($79.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) .
Bringing Pictures to Lifestyles
The relationship between Lifeprint’s augmented actuality (AR) picture/video mashup and the “transferring photos” from Harry Potter must be obtrusive to someone who has learn the books or observed the flicks. It’s been commented upon in lots of critiques of Lifeprint merchandise ahead of this one. As an example, in his assessment of the Lifeprint 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer , Contributing Editor William Harrel wrote, “…the Lifeprint 2×3 provides an intriguing twist to wallet-size picture printing, letting your prints apparently come alive, Harry Potter-style, when seen with the LifePrint cell app…” So it is no marvel that Lifeprint approached Warner Bros. about making a Harry Potter-branded and -themed printer, and that is the outcome.
As a Harry Potter fan myself, I will have to now give a couple of phrases of warning. If you do not know Luna Lovegood from Fenrir Greyback—or in case you’ve by no means raised a pen, chopstick, or different wandlike object and yelled “Expelliarmus!” or “Expecto patronum!”—that is for sure no longer the picture printer for you, as you’re obviously a Potter-indifferent muggle (non-magical particular person). Now not that anything else’s fallacious with that, however you could as smartly as an alternative learn our critiques of the Lifeprint 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer or the Lifeprint 3×4.5 Hyperphoto Printer , which can be identical however non-themed gadgets.
The HP Sprocket 2d Version has a identical augmented-reality function, however whilst Lifeprint shops the related video at the corporate’s picture repository—which makes it to be had to any one with a duplicate of the picture—HP calls for the person to have each picture and video saved at the cell tool scanning the picture. So whilst the Sprocket 2d Version keeps its Editors’ Selection for transportable picture printers, the Harry Potter Printer provides a greater augmented-reality enjoy, as do different Lifeprint fashions.
The Harry Potter Printer’s implementation of augmented actuality is intriguing, and it must in particular attraction to parents who’re into sharing on social networks. It even has its personal social-media platform, which is cut loose the principle Lifeprint Community. After getting arrange a loose account with Lifeprint, you’ll good friend folks at the community, which is made up of people that have a have a Harry Potter Printer of their very own. Whilst you sign in, you’ll make a choice a Hogwarts Space, if you wish to have; your picture feed is then taken care of by means of Space, with pictures out of your Space close to the highest.
The Magic Field
The printer’s frame is gold-colored plastic, with rounded corners and a black most sensible bearing the Hogwarts brand in gold. It measures 0.8 by means of 4.7 by means of 3.2 inches, very similar to different picture printers that use 2-by-3-inch paper. It has a integrated rechargeable battery, which you price over an incorporated Micro USB cable. It lacks an influence adapter, however I had no bother charging it from a smartphone adapter. (It takes about two hours to totally re-juice.)
At the slender edge reverse the output slot, you’ll be able to in finding the on/off button, a port for the USB cable, a slot for a Kensington cable lock, a reset-button pinhole, an LED that glows when the battery is charging, and a reset button.
You attach your smartphone to the printer by the use of Bluetooth; as soon as the printer is on, it must be simple to seek out and pair with a cell tool. A minimum of, that used to be my enjoy. It seemed in my telephone’s checklist of to be had Bluetooth gadgets, and I attached to it with a faucet.
The printer’s plastic enclosure makes its glossy gold colour scheme really feel a bit of cheesy, although the housing feels strong sufficient in hand. Underneath the Hogwarts brand is a spherical indentation into which you’ll put certainly one of 5 sticky-backed badges that include the printer, one for every Space as smartly a generalized “HP” (Harry Potter) badge.
It used to be a pleasing contact to incorporate those embellished tokens, however their designs do not all the time display up smartly. As an example, take my Space—please. The Slytherin serpent badge I placed on our check unit must be a majestic brand, however its ultra-fine design at the token is just discernible at some angles and beneath sure lights stipulations.
Opening the Harry Potter Printer is actually a snap—you simply slide the highest of the printer within the path of the USB port. You’ll be able to pay attention a click on, after which you’ll raise the lid off, revealing a bay for the paper. Then you open a packet of the ZINK dye-embedded paper (which Lifeprint calls “movie”) and position it within the bay, atop a so-called Smartsheet. That is a blue card incorporated in every packet that, in step with Lifeprint, is useful in fighting paper jams. Then you might be all in a position to print, assuming you’ve gotten put in the app and created a loose account with Lifeprint.
The App, the Interface, the Social Community
The Harry Potter Printer works with each iOS (model 10.2 and above) or Android (KitKat and above). I examined it the usage of an iPhone 7 Plus operating iOS 12. The app makes use of the similar Lifeprint Pictures app as Lifeprint’s different printers, however it will possibly acknowledge the style of printer and tailor its interface accordingly.
The printer’s social-media community and symbol repository is loosely modeled after Instagram. Lots of the display is open for viewing pictures, however with 5 icons unfold out alongside the ground. The leftmost is a digicam. Tapping it takes you to a display referred to as My Media, from which you’ll make a choice pictures to print. Those might be thumbnails generated out of your digicam roll, Fb, Twitter, or Instagram, or you’ll take new pictures from inside the app. Whilst you faucet a thumbnail, a full-screen symbol pops up, and you might be given a option to print it, edit it, upload a caption, or affiliate a video with it.
Impersonate Harry or Luna (or a Pooch)
When taking pictures or movies from inside the app, you’ll upload a filter out. The choice is displayed, carousel-style, on the backside of the display. That is the place you’ll actually get your Hogwarts on, impersonating Harry, Luna Lovegood, Mad-Eye Moody, or a loss of life eater, or dressing in a shawl along with your Space colours. Now not the entire filters are Potter-themed; additionally at your disposal are tints, rainbows, and rays. You’ll be able to put your face via contortions, or don a cat or canine face. I had nice amusing making an attempt a lot of the filters, with each pictures and movies, in making selfies.
Tapping on the second one icon, an envelope, takes you for your inbox, which contains requests to observe you, notices that folks have shared pictures with you, and the like. You’ll be able to print, touch upon, or like those pictures. Some, known by means of the Lifeprint brand, are Hyperphotos; in case you print one, you’ll view it (and its related video) by means of tapping the 3rd icon, an envelope with a playback button, which opens your tool’s digicam and shows the phrase “Hyperphoto” on the most sensible of the display.
There are a number of techniques to make a Hyperphoto. You’ll be able to shoot a video (as much as 15 seconds lengthy) from inside the app, then make a choice a picture from the video (they’re displayed carousel-style) to go together with it. Alternately, you’ll take an present video (as soon as once more, a brief one; the app will use most effective the primary 15 seconds) and affiliate a picture with it—both a body from the video, or a picture sourced in different places. Or, after all, you’ll get started with a photograph, then affiliate a video with it.
Hogwarts Space Pictures
The fourth icon (we will name it a mandala for need of a higher identify) takes you to a web page that presentations folks’s pictures. Within the Encourage and Be informed segment on the most sensible are a lot of Hyperphotos you’ll view. Under it are folks’s pictures, taken care of by means of Homes, with pictures out of your Space (if in case you have declared one) first.
The overall icon, a protect, takes you for your personal picture circulation, above which is an image you have related to the profile, your identify and username (plus a button to edit your profile), your Hogwarts Space, the choice of pictures you have revealed, and a depend of your fans. Your picture circulation presentations the entire pictures you have revealed, and identifies the Hyperphotos amongst them. From right here, you’ll additionally add pictures and movies to Instagram.
Dye-Embedded Paper, No Ink
The Harry Potter printer makes use of ZINK generation, which we’ve observed in many of the different small-format transportable picture printers we’ve reviewed in recent times of identical length. ZINK is brief for 0 Ink (the maker of the paper), and certainly, with ZINK you don’t have any ink cartridges to shop for or load. The picture paper itself is embedded with dye crystals, which flip colours when uncovered to various, actual packages of warmth. Like maximum ZINK papers, paper for the Harry Potter Printer is sticky-backed—simply pull off the protecting sheet in again, and the prints can function stickers.
Lately, most effective 40-sheet packets of paper are to be had for the Harry Potter Printer. Amazon sells them for $24.99, which matches out to 62.5 cents according to print. That is at the prime aspect for a printer that makes use of 2-by-3-inch paper. The Lifeprint 2×3 printer, the Polaroid Zip Photoprinter ($111.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) , and the Canon IVY Mini ($99.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) every set you again about 50 cents according to sheet, whilst prices for the HP Sprocket 2d Version are as little as 45 cents according to print. (In a pinch, you want to use paper for the Lifeprint 2×3 within the Harry Potter Printer, however Lifeprint discourages this, pronouncing that most effective the Harry Potter paper is optimized for the printer and the usage of paper for the 2×3 may compromise print high quality.) The Harry Potter Printer’s paper is more cost effective than paper for the Kodak Mini, which involves 70 cents according to print.
Printing Pace and High quality
I timed the Harry Potter Printer at a median of 56 seconds according to print, with quite a lot of timings for person prints, operating from 44 seconds to one minute and eight seconds (1:08). Against this, the Lifeprint 2×3 averaged simply 30 seconds according to print. The HP Sprocket 2d Version averaged 39 seconds, and the Polaroid Zip Photoprinter, 42 seconds. Whilst those ZINK printers want just a unmarried go to print a photograph, thermal dye printers print in 4 passes, laying down one colour, pulling the paper again within, printing every other colour, and so forth. The Kodak Mini 2 HD Speedy Picture Printer ($69.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) averaged 1:20 according to 2-by-3.4-inch print, a 2d longer than the Kodak Picture Printer Mini’s reasonable of one:19 for a similar length prints.
General print high quality for the Harry Potter Printer is rather beneath par for a conveyable picture printer of this sort, with some check prints taking a look a tad murky, and there used to be some lack of element in darkish spaces. Print high quality nonetheless must be tremendous for snapshots at hand out to buddies, or for Hyperphotos to be related to movies.
That print high quality—at the low aspect of mediocre—is moderately standard of the ZINK printers we’ve reviewed, however the Editors’ Selection HP Sprocket 2d Version is the exception. It has significantly greater print high quality than the remainder of the ZINK pack. I’ve the Sprocket 2d Version in our lab, and I used to be ready to check the Harry Potter Printer head-to-head with it by means of printing about part a dozen of the similar pictures on each printers. The Sprocket’s print high quality ranged from rather to significantly greater than the Harry Potter Printer’s, with most often brighter colours and extra retention of element.
See How We Take a look at Printers
Potter or Notter?
In case you are detached to the Harry Potter phenomenon, there is no level in getting this printer—and admittedly, I am shocked you were given this a ways into the assessment. The Lifeprint 2×3 and 3×4.5 Hyperphoto printers every be offering a identical, however vanilla, augmented-reality function to animate pictures. In the meantime, the Editors’ Selection HP Sprocket 2d Version has much better print high quality than the Harry Potter Printer, and it additionally has some augmented-reality sides, albeit extra restricted and in a different way targeted than what is at the Lifeprint fashions.
After all, the the actual draw for Harry’s printer is its connection to the exceptional global of J.Ok. Rowling’s introduction, which must muffle the printer’s flaws amongst its supposed target market. Within the fingers of a tender (or younger at middle) Harry Potter fan, the Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Picture and Video Printer can certainly paintings magic, offering hours of amusing and the chance to hook up with different Potterheads, with pictures apparently coming to existence when seen via your telephone’s digicam. Briefly: It is tremendous amusing for fanatics; muggles must transfer alongside.
Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Picture and Video Printer
The Backside Line
The Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Picture and Video Printer will pride fanatics of the collection by means of making revealed pictures apparently come alive on their smartphones. We simply want its precise output high quality had been a bit of greater.
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