As I mentioned in our review, there are elements of Apple's iPad launch that seemed rushed. The lack of any spectacular apps from Apple itself, some performance/OS issues and even missing accessories at launch. 

One accessory that couldn't be found on day 1 is the iPad Keyboard Dock. This accessory has a dock port for your iPad, an external dock port for connecting to your computer/power brick and a 1/8" line out. The keyboard itself is Apple's condensed chiclet, which ranks up there with ThinkPad keyboards in my book. The dock and keyboard are both very well built.

You can use keyboard shortcuts (e.g. copy, paste, option+delete to delete the previous word, etc...) and there are even some hotkeys on the keyboard itself (.e.g lock, brightness control, home screen). You do lose things like auto punctuation in Pages (e.g. tapping space twice doesn't put a period at the end of the previous word) and you can't Cmd+Tab between apps (perhaps that's coming in OS4?).

It does improve the overall functionality of your iPad quite a bit. If you plan on using your iPad as a netbook alternative, I'd say the iPad Keyboard Dock is a necessity. Unfortunately, priced at $69 it contributes to the iPad's already high cost of ownership.

More pics in the Gallery, and more thoughts later!

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  • rpmurray - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    How about a $500 slate running full WIn 7? God, I'm laughing so hard my sides hurt.
  • totenkopf - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    yeah, and it would probably have USB ports too LOLOLOL... oh.

    Seriously, this is one market I wish others wouldn't rush to try and get. Make a more powerful netbook and this thing just looks even more like someone dropped their Touch in a puddle of mutagen ooze. Since when is having a full OS a bad thing anyway? Losing the ability to do anything other than pay $10 for iphone apps is good? Have fun gaming too, ipad! I'm sure there will be tons of great games all made with a super limited touch interface that will only replace the ubiquitous console the 30 hours a year you're on an airplane.

    And whats with these stupid accessories anyway? The fact that they even make accessories like this is totally disingenuous. Just live with the fact that you opted out of the netbook. Eventually you will see people with this setup up and the inevitable mighty mouse; it will just look like your ipad has netbook envy. Or maybe desktop envy? i'm not sure, but it won't be portable or touch anymore, it will be the crappiest "computer" ever. Maybe Apple's grand scheme is to phase out the OS entirely so it can just simplify your life with apps; wouldn't that just be so agreeable and convenient?

    -super critical jerk
  • AmishElvis - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    It would be really convenient if the stand had a hinge, and you could fold the keyboard up against the iPad when not in use. Wouldn't that be innovative and magical?

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