Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you might have heard that Apple has released its iPad. But what's an iPad without accessories and, you've guessed it, they've already started hitting the shops to make the most of the hype surrounding the iPad's release. So far, there's a nice keyboard dock, a camera connection kit, conventional docks, power adapters and chargers, and roughly as many different styles of carry bags and cases as there were units sold on the first day. We'll give you a look at a few must-haves
iPad Keyboard Dock
The iPad Keyboard Dock combines a dock for charging your iPad with a full-size keyboard and some connector ports. The keyboard has special keys that activate iPad features, while the dock has a rear connector port for an electrical outlet using the USB power adapter, can sync to your computer, and take full advantage of accessories like the iPad Camera Connection Kit (see following). If you purchase an audio cable, you can connect to a stereo or powered speakers through the audio line out. It sells for US$69.
iPad Camera Connection Kit
This kit gives you access to the two most convenient ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera: using your camera's USB cable or directly from an SD card. iPad supports standard photo formats, including JPEG and RAW. It sells for US$29.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
The very thin Apple Wireless Keyboard uses Bluetooth technology, which makes it compatible with iPad and lets you type at whichever angle suits you best. Sit your iPad in its stand or dock and tap away - even on your lap.
iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter
Connect your iPad to a TV, monitor or projector to watch slideshows and movies via this VGA connector for US$29.
iPad 10W USB Power Adapter
Not really sexy but the 10W USB Power Adapter lets you charge your iPad directly through an electrical outlet via a 6ft-long power cord. Priced at US$29.
The standard dock gives lets you sync or charge your device and an audio line out port lets you hook up powered speakers via an optional audio cable. This iPad Dock also supports other iPad accessories, such as the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter and the iPad Camera Connection Kit. RRP US$29.
As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of cases to choose from but this one from Apple has a soft microfiber interior and reinforced panels to provide structure, making it the perfect way to carry around your iPad. As an added advantage over some others it also folds into a viewing stand for your iPad to provide an ideal angle for watching videos and slideshows or for typing on the onscreen keyboard. This one sells for US$39.
All of the products mentioned above are available at the online Apple store.
A Frame (and others)
Griffin Technology has released some accessories for the iPad including an A-Frame stand, PowerBlock AC wall charger and PowerJolt DC car charger.
A-Frame is a heavy-duty brushed aluminum multi-position stand for desk and tabletop use. Open A-Frame into the upright position and secure your iPad inside its soft silicone cradle for easy reading and web browsing. Grooves in the cradle make sure your iPad audio isn't obstructed. Flip your iPad to landscape mode and A-Frame provides the solid base for viewing videos or browsing photos while allowing full access to the dock connector for charging and syncing.
The A-Frame also stores easily for traveling. It sells for US$49.99.
Griffin' has a 2.1A AC charger for iPad owners. The PowerBlock has a slim design, with fold-flat, non-polarized blades that fit easily in wall outlets and power strips. A green LED indicates PowerBlock is connected properly and ready to charge from any 100V-240V AC outlet. The detachable cable (included) can be used as an extra dock connector cable and it's also compatible with iPhone and iPod. It costs US$29.99.
For charging your iPad in the car, the PowerJolt low-profile 12V power adapter with its 2.1A charging circuit can power up your device quickly and safely. A green LED ring green indicates PowerJolt is connected properly and ready to charge. PowerJolt's built-in, self-resetting SmartFuse means no fuses to replace, ever. It's also compatible with iPhone and iPod. Available for US$24.99, all these Griffin products are for sale from Apple Retail Stores and Griffin Technology online.
The company also has a number of cases and a Screen Care Kit.
No good forking out good money for your iPad only to have it look considerably second-hand not long after just because you dared use it. The BoxWave Apple iPad FlexiSkin lets you show off your latest addition while protecting it.
It is enhanced with new Smooth Texture which makes the Apple iPad FlexiSkin feel softer to the touch and reduces surface dust. It is a soft low profile case that lets the iPad make the statement. It's a frosted clear case that leaves only your iPad showing.
Its form-fitting case is designed to perfectly fit your Apple iPad. Cut-out design for the touchscreen so that you can keep the same tactile feel as using the Apple iPad without a case. Its anti-slip properties give more grip on glossy surfaces.
Apple iPad FlexiSkin is available for $22.95 at Amazon.
This iPad screen protector video is impressive and shows how impervious the Invisible Shield line of iPad screen protectors are to everyday wear and tear – especially if you're a carpenter.
The military grade, thin film screen protector is available from Zagg.
ColcoSacs fit your iPad like a glove (and don't look too dissimilar, either. Hand made in Salt Lake City, Utah, they are created from tough environmentally-friendly materials and help protect your iPad from scratches, dents and bumps. ColcaSacs are available in four colors - Original, Red Delicious, Passion Vine, and Black for US$34.95 online.
Dual USB chargers
Scosche Industries has two new additions to its quickly expanding iPad accessory line – reVIVE II Dual USB Chargers for home and car. Each of the two reVIVE II chargers features a 2.1A (iPad) and 1A (iPhone or any other USB-powered devices) port so iPad users can power their new iPad and another handheld device simultaneously from one wall outlet or car power port.
Should users confuse the two USB ports the iPad will charge slower in the 1A port and other devices will simply charge at the same rate in the 2.1A port – the company says no devices would be damaged by mistakenly plugging the wrong device into the wrong port and the ports are clearly labeled to help avoid any confusion.
The reVIVE II chargers will retail for US$24.99 (car) and US$29.99 (home) and are available now for pre-order.
PS: There are myriad headphones, earbuds, you name it, too. We'll bring you some of the better ones in the days and weeks ahead.