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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  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    What happens when you plug an iPhone or iTouch into it? Reply
  • Griswold - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    "Interestingly enough, the iPad wasn't really that warm to touch at all, I wouldn't consider what I felt on the aluminum back hot enough to be called overheating"

    Pretty much confirms what I've been thinking - they should have added a couple heatpipes between the SoC and the backplate. :P
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    It's probably the truth, honestly.

    But I've also read a few times that the temperature cutoff is set around 115 degrees F (46 C) which seems crazily low. I was certainly surprised, because nothing seemed hot at the moment.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Peroxyde - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    Let me guess, next week, the new accessory device will be a mouse, right? Reply
  • B3an - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    No it will be a USB adapter, or an adapter for an adapter, all at the low price of $99.

    Or maybe a screen cover to help reduce glare, for $69.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    2nd Paragraph: "They keyboard" Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    Fixed!

    -Brian
    Reply
  • fitten - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    I use my iPad about 90% or more of the time in landscape mode. For example, I have multiple email accounts (no, a future unified email display will not work for me... I want my accounts to be very much separate) and portrait mode is too constraining (too many touches) to navigate back and forth. In landscape, that information is displayed. ANYway... can you put the iPad into these docks in landscape mode? If so, how easy is it to switch it between portrait and landscape orientations as you see fit? I could easily see a situation where I'd like to switch back and forth between them (ABC's streamer, for example... you have to do the navigation selection in portrait but then you'd most likely want to watch the content in landscape). Reply
  • B3an - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    You actually bought an iPad??

    From reading your comment, you know what would perfectly fit your needs... it's something that has a keyboard and landscape screen all in one.

    ...it's called a Laptop. They also have these amazing things called USB ports and a real OS.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Monday, April 12, 2010 - link

    I'm sorry for being rude but I seriously can't stop laughing. What next a $100 webcam? Reply

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