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Gear test: The iPad

Sep. 16, 2010 - 03:36PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 16, 2010 - 03:36PM  |  
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The iPad isn't a laptop or a netbook, but its accessories and apps can help make it a productive device. Among our favorites:


Matias Folding Keyboard, $99

Apple's existing Bluetooth keyboard works great with the iPad, but it's not very portable. We liked this one by Matias, a full-sized keyboard that operates on two AAA batteries and folds nearly in half, making it easy to transport.

Apple iPad Case, $39

Because the iPad is mostly a hand-held device, it can't stand up on its own. We tested two items that help you position the device while typing on a portable keyboard. This case by Apple protects your iPad and works fine as a rudimentary stand in portrait and landscape modes.

Matias iRizer, $39.99

We liked this Matias stand best. It's a dedicated stand made of virtually indestructible plastic and allows the iPad to be set up in five different positions.

Apple Camera Connection Kit, $29.99

This kit comes with two connectors a dedicated SD card reader and standard USB port enabling you to connect directly to your camera. You'll be able to display images on your iPad screen as well as import them into the device.


The iPad can use any iPhone and iPod touch application, and many developers have reworked the sizes of apps to fit the iPad screen. A few we tested:

Documents To Go Premium Edition 10.0, $14.99

The size of the iPad screen makes it a good portable tool to create and edit documents, including text files, spreadsheets and slide presentations. Both this and iWork are able to read and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. This app works fine if you merely need to read and make minor edits.

Apple iWork Suite, $9.99 per app

If creating on the iPad is what you seek, then consider the Apple iWork Suite. It consists of three apps: Pages for word processing; Numbers for spreadsheets; and Keynote for PowerPoint-type presentations.

Photoshop Express, free

This app from Adobe allows you to edit photos on the iPad and upload them for free to, but you can't e-mail photos straight from the program.

Photogene, $3.99

A step up from the free Photoshop Express app, Photogene is well worth the price. Its editing features are easy and robust, plus you can e-mail photos directly from the program as well as upload them to your Facebook, Twitter or Flickr account.

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