Gadgets: Here come the iPad accessories...April 8, 2010 By Gregg Ellman in Technology / Consumer & Gadgets
As of this writing, everyone alive now has an iPad. OK, maybe not everyone but with the publicity this device has generated you would think this is the case.
Since Apple is a marketing machine on its own, it doesn't need me to talk about the iPad, especially since I don't have one.
My e-mail is getting pounded with just about every iPad accessory available along with so-called iPad experts wanting to give me their opinion on the device.
Note to all of the so-called iPad experts: I have no interest in talking to you. I find it much more useful to talk to users.
In spite of that, there are some great accessories to support the portable device already hitting the shelves.
Among the accessory companies is Kensington, which has three products out.
To keep the iPad safe while not in use, the Kensington Reversible Sleeve will work. The sleeve is a two-color (black/grey) reversible and slim case, which is made with neoprene and sells for $9.99.
The sleeve can store and protect the iPad or 7 to 10-inch netbooks.
For power, they have introduced the PowerBolt Micro Car Charger. This contains a USB port with 2.1 amps for the detachable USB cable.
It also has a LED power indicator to charge the iPad (or iPods and iPhones) and will cost you $24.99.
The Kensington Sling Bag for iPad is a messenger styled bag designed to be used over-the-shoulder and is adjustable with a Velcro strap.
There is also room for chargers and other small personal items. Expect this item to be available later this month for $19.99.
The Powerpack portable battery and home charger from Technocel is for portable charging of cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, digital cameras and other portable power hungry devices.
Included with the battery are 10 interchangeable charging tips, which plug into the USB port on the battery itself.
The tips will fit devices from makers such as Motorla, LG, BlackBerry and the ever popular Microsoft Zune. Technocel's Web site says the tips cover 95 percent of all handheld USB devices.
The USB port can also be used with any existing cable for charging. With that capability, users of the iPod/iPhone can simply plug their 30-pin USB connecting cable provided with the device to the USB port on the battery itself.
The battery has a plug, which unfolds, enabling it to charge itself in an AC wall plug. While charging, a device also can be plugged into the USB port to simultaneously charge both the battery and the device.
An LED indicator displays the remaining capacity of the PowerPak battery by pressing a button.
Additional or replacement charging tips also can be purchased.
Details: technocel.com, the suggested price is $49.99 but Amazon has it for $31.99
The Other World Computing (OWC) Express USB 2.0 Enclosure is a great choice to make use of a 2.5-inch Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive you might have sitting on a shelf.
This is my first time trying this particular OWC advice, and just like the dozens of other products I've sampled from the company Â- it's a hit.
While it might sound like rocket science to some when thinking about putting together a hard drive for use but the included quick start guide offers one of the most simple setups of I've seen for most any device.
Users simply open up the case and insert a drive and lock it in place. Then just put the cover back on and lock it tight shut with the included screws.
If you don't have any hard drives sitting around, it's simple to use to swap drives in and out. Users can also just fill one up and then put it in safe storage and then fill the enclosure with a new one.
Included is a USB cable to hook up to any Mac or PC, along with a carrying sleeve.
Since it is bus powered (power supplied via USB from the computer) there is no need for an AC adapter, which is great for portability since it measures just 3-by-5-by-.5-inches and weighs just 2 ounces without the hard drive.
Details: macsales.com, $19
(c) 2010, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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