Tablets are now marketed as laptop replacements because they've become quite powerful and most of the software you need is available for them - and if there's a program missing, it's almost guaranteed there's a web-based substitute.

Out of the box though, tablets aren't laptop replacements. A touch screen means you're doing things with a tablet that wouldn't be possible with a mouse and keyboard.

Try typing lots on a touchscreen though and you'll yearn for a laptop in no time, and start looking up prices for keyboard cases.

For iPad Pros, Apple has the Smart Keyboard for $229 which is very nice to type on. It's slim and uses the Smart Connector to hook up with the tablet so the keyboard case doesn't need batteries or charging which is great.


The Smart Keyboard folding stand only offers one angle to lean the iPad at though, and as it doesn't hold the tablet securely, it's difficult to use on your lap for instance.

Logitech's Slim Combo keyboard case fixes that, almost.

It also uses the Smart Connector and has a kickstand at the back, like Microsoft's Surface Pro so you can lean the iPad Pro at a range of angles, and works great with the keyboard detaches when you want to watch a movie.

My review sample had a Nordic language keyboard that's large and good to type on, with slightly soft action, and space for your palms to rest - and the keys are backlit. There's a little holster for your Apple Pencil too, on top of the iPad Pro case.

Unfortunately, the Slim Combo is only so and so to use on your lap, as the top case moves around as you type on the keyboard. On a desk it's fine, but so's the Apple Smart Keyboard.

Also, the case and keyboard combo bulks out your iPad, and for $200 I expected Logitech to use more premium materials for the Slim Combo to match what Apple made the iPad Pro out of.

The big, almost laptop size keyboard means the Slim Combo weighs a bit more than the iPad Pro (512 grams versus 469 grams). Lifting the Slim Combo by the iPad case often meant the heavy keyboard fell off from the Smart Connector.

Logitech makes some really great input devices, but the Slim Combo isn't quite right, especially considering how much it costs.


HP Sprocket, a cute little photo printer but why?

It's pretty amazing that you can get a wireless colour photo printer that's about the same size as a smartphone (it's much thicker of course, to fit paper and print head) for $249 nowadays.

That's what the HP Sprocket costs, and you can use it to print out photos taken with your smartphone, or social media, on the company's Zink paper that measures two by three inches. Then you can peel off the backing paper and stick the photos to walls, pets and people. Well, maybe not the latter two.

Here's what it looks like:

The question is why though. Printing doesn't take too long, just under a minute, and the photo quality is OK considering how small the printer and the paper both are. It's not fantastic, and colours were a bit skew-whiff with depending on what the image depicted.

But, a box of twenty sheets of Zink paper costs $20, which is very expensive.

The printer speaks to your phone over Bluetooth and while setting it up isn't difficult, HP's client for smartphones can be irritating to use. The HP Sprocket app would think it was disconnected when the phone say it could see the printer, and refuse to do what it's supposed to do. The fix is to reload the app.

Battery life's very short - I didn't get through a 20-sheet load of paper before the HP Sprocket died. Luckily, it charges fast via USB.

Really though, the HP Sprocket is an expensive toy unless you can think of a good use for small, expensive photos that can be stuck on to things.