As with most technological investments, you can spend more on the accessories than you do on the original item. But there really are several fun and useful iPad extras that will make you even more productive (and hopefully profitable). Here are a few of my favorites:
  •  Wireless keyboard. While the on-screen keyboard is pretty darned close to full-size, if you do a lot of word processing, you may want to invest in a wireless keyboard to accompany your iPad. It turns your iPad into an almost full-powered laptop, particularly if you combine it with a case that allows you to prop up your iPad in the landscape orientation (see “cases” below). Apple's version runs $69.
  • Screen protector. Screen protectors are such a critical tool to protect your investment that I think all iPads and iPhones should be sold with them already on. But they don't, so you'll have to spring for the $5-$10 and buy one yourself. Applying the thin, clear plastic shield to your iPad should be the very first thing you do when you take it out of the box.
  • Case. Depending on your main uses for your iPad, there are a number of case options, from hardshell to soft-sided, from portfolios to flip-tops. There are tons of colors, logos, and styles, so you're sure to find one that fits your lifestyle. Before you invest in a case, though, figure out how you use your iPad the most, then find a case that supports that usage. Cases run from $20 and up.
  • Camera connection kit. If you blog from your iPad and don't want to go through the hassle of emailing photos from your camera to yourself and downloading them to your iPad, you can connect your digital camera directly to your iPad. $29 from Apple.
  • Car charger. Although the charge on the iPad battery is quite long compared to a laptop, you still might find your battery is low at the most inopportune time. How can you say you're an on-the-go mobile entrepreneur if you can't work from the driver's seat of your Chevy? Well, now you can! A cigarette adapter will have you up and running from Route 66 or the Autobahn (though I can't guarantee what the Wi-Fi reception is like in Germany). Around $25.
You probably already have a good idea of what accessories will make your life easier; just take a look at what you use for your current laptop computing needs and look for an iPad equivalent. One word of warning: avoid buying something just because it's there and it's cool. Instead, only purchase things that are going to make it easier to get your work done. Now THAT'S cool.
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