Getting creative with my new high-tech toy

Happy Tuesday, friends! I taught an early morning BODYPUMP class today, and now I’m here to talk about getting seasonally crafty with a new high-tech toy. A few weeks ago, I was delivered a brand new Sprout by HP, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with this creative workstation, which also doubles as a computer. Because this is not-your-average piece of technology, today I’m going to share with you just what I’ve been loving about my new machine.

Ashley using the Sprout via A Lady Goes WestHere I am with the Sprout. It’s pretty cool to scroll through my favorite websites with just the tip of my finger. It feels almost like you’re at Disney or a museum or something when you first get going with it. So smooth.

Now for some details on the Sprout, in my own non-techie words:

  • It’s a functioning Windows PC computer, but oh-so-much more
  • Has a huge flat-screen 23-inch monitor, which is also a touch-screen
  • Features a high-quality camera and web-cam
  • Has an LED light and a 3-D scanner, which can also be used to scan documents
  • Even though it can do some amazingly creative things, it’s very user-friendly
  • Offers an app store, with tons of apps ready for Sprout use
  • Comes with a touch-mat, wireless keyboard, mouse and stylus, even though it can be used solely as a touch-screen without any extra accessories

Welcoming the Sprout by HP into my home

It’s not easy to bring in anything new and large into my tiny San Francisco apartment, which I share with my hubby, Dave. But when I knew I had the opportunity to try out the Sprout, I cleared off the kitchen counter, moved some decor and figured we would make it work. (Yes, Dave and I have been eating at the coffee table for the past few weeks and will continue to do so. It’s urban living, and the struggle is real.)

Sprout setup via A Lady Goes WestAs you can see, the Sprout is not exactly a compact or portable station. It needs to stay rooted in one spot, so you can set up all the accessories. Fresh fruit, sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash, sold separately.

As excited as I was to use the Sprout, after the friendly rep helped me set it all up one rainy day, it remained unused for a few days. I wanted to sit down and truly understand it before transitioning over — maybe I was a little scared. To tell you the absolute truth, although I know my way around most design software from working in the public relations world years ago, I’m not the most advanced when it comes to creating things from scratch (outside of the lovely recipes, workouts and graphics I make for you here on A Lady Goes West, of course). Fast forward to today, and the Sprout is my go-to computer for all things. My laptop is sitting next to me all closed up, sadly neglected and unnecessary. I’ve moved on to bigger and better things with the Sprout. And I feel like my blogging, emailing and all things web-related is so much more efficient and faster now using this new machine. I should have started using the Sprout full time as soon as it arrived, but we’re making up for lost time now.

Sprout accessories via A Lady Goes WestThere is a wireless keyboard, mouse and stylus, which you can play with. Or you can just stick to using one finger and the touch-screen. to navigate around. Both options work great, and I’ve been trying to switch back-and-forth.

Dave has also enjoyed playing with “Sprouty,” as we’ve been calling it. He immediately found the piano app and has been rocking out some tunes on there, using the touch-mat as a keyboard. The piano app is just one of the many fun features, including an app in which you can make a puzzle out of a picture of yourself and then solve it. I’m not sure why I was so excited about that one. But I was. Oh, and of course, there are fitness videos available on the Sprout, which I cannot wait to dig into. As I said yesterday in the weekly workout recap, I always need more yoga in my life, and I saw some good ones available.

Ashley and the Sprout via A Lady Goes WestJust check out the size of that screen. It makes blogging a breeze, and it is also large enough to cover nearly the entire view of our living room. Good stuff.

Now, my primary use for the Sprout started out as a regular computer. But I slowly started toying around with some of the creative functions. I scanned pictures of some objects, I edited some photos, and I’m considering making a video (which of course, I’ll share with all of you!) But, what I’m ready to debut today is the little seasonal creation I came up with in the form of a Christmas card.

Creating our first Christmas card in just minutes

The Sprout has a main workspace, in which you can create graphics, pull images from the web to work with them or use all sorts of other features. I was intrigued by one of the factory-installed apps, CraftStudio by Martha Stewart, and chose to use that for my card. When I opened the Martha Stewart app, all sorts of themes, inspiration, templates and images came up. I instantly selected “Winter Wonder,” imported a picture of Dave and me and began toying with different images and textures.

I like to keep things simple and clean, so ended up pulling off a few of the bells and whistles that I started with. And here’s my finished product …

Pittmas card

The best thing about this card? Dave called it the “Pittmas card,” which is just hilarious.

So cute! And yes, we really are sending our warmest holiday wishes to all of you A Lady Goes West readers out there. Even though Dave and I have been married two-and-a-half years, we’ve never actually had an official Christmas card. Yay for firsts!

Overall thoughts on using the Sprout by HP

I have no doubt that I’ve just scratched the surface with what I can do with the Sprout. I’m definitely interested in using the video function to see what I can come up with, as well as utilizing the presentation features. In fact, I’ll be popping back in later this month to show you what else I’ve learned to do.

So what do you need to know about the Sprout? It’s definitely an investment, coming in at just under $2,000, but it’s more than just a computer, with scanning and all sorts of extra features. At first I thought the Sprout would be marketed to designers only, but in fact, it’s so user-friendly and there are so many apps available, that this computer could be great for families to put in their living room. I could see kids enjoying all the games, while parents enjoy all the tools and organizational features.

I’m a fan of Sprouty, and we’re still getting to know each other, so it’s all up from here.

Okay, party people. It’s “Treat Yourself Tuesday,” so go out there and do something nice for yourself. And stop by tomorrow for some talk about food. I’ll just be over here all proud of myself that I’m so high-tech. Yup.

* Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Collectively on behalf of HP. While I was provided the Sprout by HP and compensated in exchange for my review, all of the words, thoughts, pictures and commentary is 100 percent my own. Honesty matters, my friends. And who doesn’t love a new toy?

Questions of the day

What’s one way you’ve been creative lately? Do you usually send out Christmas cards? What would you make or create with the Sprout?

Ashley signature

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31 Comments

  1. That looks amazing, and you card is so cute! I definitely think this type of computer will soon be the way of the future. No more traditional computers or laptops. You should link this post with my Tried it Tuesday linkup today. It would be a great addition!

    1. I know! I love to get cards. I really like the ones when people put a little update about their life in there, but I haven’t received that kind in a while. Happy Tuesday, Marielle!

  2. The Sprout looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing your review with us, it looks incredible. And especially the 3D scanner, how cool! Nice to see HP producing some quality and innovative products.
    The Christmas card looks great and an early seasons greetings to you too πŸ™‚

  3. That’s really cool! I’m such a mac fan girl though I don’t know if I could ever go back. My imac is about that size, it doubles as an extra TV when I want to watch something in my office from Hulu or Netflix. What a cool opportunity and great holiday card!

    1. Hi Renee! That’s awesome! I’ve never owned a Mac but used one at work for a while. I think the big screen is sooooo awesome to have. I could definitely watch TV on this. Have a great day:)

  4. Dang, I was really hoping the produce in the picture came with it! lol πŸ˜‰

    Sprouty looks like a pretty sweet toy! The options sound limitless. And your card turned out so cute! I love the snowy theme. Now if only we could get a little bit of real snow for Christmas. Just a little. πŸ™‚

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