Hello @markdav_is -
Thanks for your post. The blue Smartsheet calibrates the printer to each specific pack of HP ZINK paper. Additionally, it helps to remove any dust or debris from the paper path that may impact print quality.
Overall, using the Smartsheet will ensure you're getting the best print quality out of your Sprocket printer. As you said, you're able to still print without loading it, but your print quality won't be tuned to the specific paper variances that can occur from pack to pack.
For more information, see the Sprocket user guide here: http://hpsprocket.com/sprocket-userguide.pdf
Hope that helps...
The comments above represent myself and do not reflect the opinions of HP.
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