I first learned about the HP Sprout at a Microsoft store while visiting a mall near my future college in 2015, and was thrilled to discover all of the amazing accessibility features for HP Sprout and low vision, and started thinking of ways I could use the HP Sprout as assistive technology in my college classes. My family purchased the HP Sprout for me the same weekend I moved into my dorm, and since then I’ve seen many other organizations like libraries and makerspaces embrace the HP Sprout and all of its unique features. Here are my favorite accessibility features for HP Sprout that I use with low vision almost every day- unfortunately, the HP Sprout is not currently available for purchase.
A lot of dual monitor setups involve two screens that are side by side. The HP Sprout takes a unique approach to dual monitors that I haven’t seen anywhere else, placing a 20-inch TouchPad on the tabletop surface, which is a flexible touch screen display. Content is cast onto the TouchPad with a built-in projector, and users have the option of interacting with content using their finger, a stylus, their mouse, or a keyboard.
My favorite thing about the TouchPad is that it makes it easier for me to read through the lined bifocal lens in my glasses. I like to display research sources, textbooks, or similar text content on the TouchPad and navigate with my mouse or keyboard.
- How I Set Up My College Desk
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Computers
- How I Respond To Questions/Comments About My Glasses
I prefer to receive assignments digitally and scan in papers I receive from professors or conferences so I can enlarge them more easily. The HP Sprout has a 2D scanning application that allows users to scan in paper, newspaper, photos, or other flat content with the scanner app, and save it in various file formats.
- Why I Prefer My Schoolwork Digitally: Updated Edition
- File Formats For Low Vision and Print Disabilities
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Printers
Another feature unique to the HP Sprout, there are also options for built-in 3D scanning for objects that can be added to creative projects or for 3D modelling. While I don’t have much experience with 3D computer modelling, I’ve used the 3D scanner to import images of tactile models, objects for CVI images and speech boards for my assistive technology classes, and interesting scrapbooking and decorative supplies for improving digital trifolds.
- How To Create Tactile Images With Everyday Objects
- How To Create High Resolution Images For Low Vision
- Alternatives To Trifold Presentations
- Exploring Microsoft 3D Models For Low Vision Students
HP Magnifier combines the scanner functionality and TouchPad to create a desktop magnifier or mounted CCTV for low vision. With HP Magnifier, I can enlarge details of 2D or 3D objects, read printed text on a page, or use the front facing webcam to apply makeup or test my video input before joining a video call. This was helpful when I had to read a graphic novel for one of my English classes that was difficult to track down in a digital format.
When I need more lighting at my desk or for a task, I can double-tap the front of the projector display on top of my HP Sprout to display white light directly below. This was also helpful when I needed to turn on a small amount of light in my dorm but didn’t want to use the lamp.
Multiple USB ports
I use a lot of peripheral devices that require USB ports, including my favorite wired keyboard, a mouse, my ScanMarker Air scanning pen, an external microphone, and several other tools. The HP Sprout has USB ports on both the sides and back of the device, with options to plug in an external USB hub for additional ports- I plug mine into the back to help with cord control on my desk.
- How To Organize and Identify Cords For Low Vision
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Keyboards
- Computer Mice and Mouse Alternatives For Low Vision
- ScanMarker Air: OCR Scanner Pen for Low Vision
Display scaling and other Windows settings
I have display scaling set to 150% on my HP Sprout, along with the recommended display resolution of 1920 x 1080. I use a few different Windows accessibility settings with low vision, and have an entire post linked below about the Windows 10 accessibility settings I use on my personal device.
- Low Vision Accessibility Settings For Windows 10
- How To Use High Contrast in Windows 10 and Windows 11
- How To Customize Icons In Windows 10
- How To Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows
- How To Make Text Cursors Easier To See In Windows
More of my favorite accessibility features for HP Sprout
- Touch screen display for easier manipulation with on-screen content. Sometimes, it’s easier for me to interact with content on a touch screen than with a keyboard
- There are a few other applications that are designed for use with HP Sprout that are linked on the HP website- Software Apps for the Sprout by HP | HP® Customer Support
- Some HP Sprout models also have a 3D printer, and this is a common feature for HP Sprout computers at libraries or makerspaces
- Want to learn more about using a desktop computer in college? Check out Questions To Ask When Choosing A Desktop Computer For College