In a little over three weeks, the Apple iPad touches down on our fair shores. April 3rd, to be precise. And while official UK pricing is still as secretive as Steve Jobs' next-gen Apple plans, punters are still gagging to get hold of one.
Like any good Apple gadget, the iPad has already developed quite the accessories cult. If you’re planning on nabbing the much-vaunted tablet, then these are the extras that you need to stump up for.
1 iPad keyboard dock
Apple is plotting five official extras for the iPad, but none has caused more consternation than the keyboard dock. The idea is simple: dock your iPad at the office and break out the on-board iWork app to use the tablet as a proper computer. A neat idea, but at £45, it’s not a cheap extra and begs the question, is the touchscreen keyboard really up to it?
2 Orbino Padova iPad leather case
At $209 (£137), the Orbino Padova iPad case is one for those who clearly haven’t heard of the recession. That said, it makes your Apple tablet look the part, with sleek protection for the casing and a leather lid which you can lift, letting you tap around on the screen. If you love making your gadgets look even swankier, this is where it’s at.
3 Apple iPad case
Another officially sanctioned extra. According to the marketing guff emanating from Apple, this does “double duty". Essentially, that means it acts as way of keeping your iPad safe from nasty scratches, as well as folding out to become a landscape stand for your new tablet. Cupertino claims this will make it perfect for using the onscreen keyboard or watching flicks. More affordable at $39 (£25).
4 Vestalife Mantis iPad Speaker and Dock
The first speaker dock to land for the iPad, and you can bet there’ll be myriad versions to come in the next few months. This one is a take on the fold out Vestalife iPod dock. It’s simply been beefed up by 25 per cent in size to accommodate the tablet, with the speakers flipping out sideways to reveal a connector for your new Apple eye candy. It’s set to cost $180 (£120) across the pond, although sound quality remains a moot point here.
5 BOOK for iPad case
Much has been made of the iPad’s e-reader credentials. And while the iBooks store won’t be launching in the UK for some time, that’s no excuse not to wrap up your new tablet in this clever cover. Slide your iPad into the hardback binding and you can either use it to pretend you’re not reading eBooks or just use it to hide your beloved new machine on your book shelf. Prices kick off at around £60.
6 iPad camera connection kit
Priced up at $29, but not slated to land at the same time as the iPad, the official camera connection kit is a neat extra if you’re looking to bypass your Mac or PC altogether. It comes with two connectors: one with a USB port for hooking up your compact camera directly. Another with an SD card reader. Either way, you’ll be able to upload snaps straight to your iPad without having to go through iPhoto on your iMac first.
7 iLuv iCC1190 Clear Protective Film for iPad
It remains to be seen how this protective layer will affect the performance of the iPad’s multitouch panel. But if you don’t want a full-on casing, but still suffer sleepless nights at the thought of your first-gen tablet taking more scratches than a veterinary nurse in a cattery, then this should do the trick. At only £6.50, it’s also a darn sight cheaper than a full-on case.
8 Apple iPad dock
Much like the iPod docks of yore, this official iPad dock is able to handle audio out, as well as syncing with your PC or Mac and support for the iPad camera kit. But best of all it gives you a second screen at your desk, making you feel all powerful. We guarantee you this is a look Michael Douglas will be rocking in the new Wall Street movie.
9 Apple iPad USB power adapter
Sure you get one of these thrown in the box. But having a second iPad USB power adapter can’t hurt, especially if you’ve experience of losing iPod cables at a rate of knots. It’s set to cost about £20 here in the UK, but it’s worth it just to sling in your bag when you take your iPad out and about.
10 Scosche kickBACK case
A take on the official case, this Scosche number actually uses a proper stand rather than a leather fold, in order for your iPad to sit a decent viewing angle when slapped on a flat surface. It works in both portrait and landscape mode and you even get a screen protector thrown in so everything stays pristine. Sadly though, no pricing has been announced.