Review: iPad accessories


    After owning your iPad for a while, you’ll start to open your mind to further possibilities and use cases for the device. One way to extend the functionality of the iPad is to look at accessories. Unfortunately Apple are notorious for charging an arm and leg for accessories, still, if you want the functionality, your left with little choice other than to fork over the cash.

    I chose to get the Dock connector to VGA cable, the camera connection kit and the 10W USB power adapter.

    iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter (A$39.00)

    The VGA cable is designed to output the iPad content to a larger screen. I’ll be using it to control content on the 24” monitor in the background of the podcast. Unfortunately there’s no way to stream the entire iPad interface, output is only supported in specific applications. It works in Video, YouTube and Photos, but only when you run a slideshow, not while your browsing your library. TWiTPad supports video out for the stream, but doesn’t fill the screen with the chat window, it should. It’s really hit and miss, Joost for example doesn’t support VGA output at all. Also remember you’ll be left with the audio coming out of the iPad unless you run a 3.5mm cable out of the headphone port.

    This accessory does not work with the iPhone.

    Camera Connection Kit (A$39.00)

    iPad Camera Connection kit - import photos

    Featuring 2 dongles that hang unstylishly from the bottom of the iPad, you can connect your camera via USB, or remove the SD card from your camera and insert into the SD dongle. Importing supports both RAW+JPG file types, making it great for DSLR cameras. After importing some or all of the photos, you are prompted to choose whether photos should remain on the card or not. Importing photos actually had a pretty dramatic effect on performance of the iPad, so while you can use other apps while importing happens, you may not want to.

    As an added bonus, the USB dongle of the Camera Connection kit supports USB headphones for listening to you favourite tunes. This actually works really well, so expect the iPad 2 to have a USB port built in.

    This accessory does not work with the iPhone.

    iPad Accessories not supported on iPhone

    10W USB Power Adapter (A$39.00)

    One of the biggest annoyances with the iPad is it’s sporadic charging behaviour. When you connect your iPad to your computer via USB, you’ll find that some ports will have enough power to charge the iPad while the screen is on, when others will not. If you turn the screen off, the 5Ws for most USB ports is enough to charge the device, slowly. With the 10W Power adapter, you can plug your iPad into mains power and have it charge, while in use. This is incredibly valuable when running the iPad as a supplementary display or long-term digital photo frame. The battery is great in the iPad, but it won’t last days.. this solution will.

    More info @ Apple

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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