Lets Talk About iPads: Case & Keyboard Advice

I’ve had my iPad since the day they came out and I’ve used it frequently since then. It hasn’t taken the place of my MacBook Pro, nor will it, but it is totally cool and I want to share some of what I have learned and what I recommend, particularly for those who are using one as their only computer device or who are new to computing itself.

The Right Kind of Case

Having the right case for your iPad is just as important as wearing the right pair of shoes or the right tie. It needs to be part of you and fit your needs. By now the market has caught up to the product and there are lots to choose from. You can search the internet, read the reviews, check out the stores - whatever is your usual method of making decisions. The biggest mistake I see people making is buying a case without knowing how they are going to use their iPad. Most good cases will run in the neighborhood of $50 so you don’t want to regret your decision.  

There are soft padded cases. There are soft padded cases with handles. There are hard plastic and silicone cases that cover everything but the face of the iPad. These usually have openings that allow you to recharge your iPad without removing it from the case. There are fold-over type cases that have a fold over cover that open for use and closes when not in use to provide protection. This last style frequently offers additional features such as built in braces that function as a stand. Some even allow you to fasten your iPad to the headrest in your car to keep the kids happy in the back seat.

How do you use the iPad? If you lay on the couch or in bed to watch movies, the last style will probably meet your needs. You can check out the original case sold by Apple ($39.00) [Review] or the ZooGue ($49.99) to get an idea of some of your options.  ZooGue   has just released version 2 of it’s product and it is even more stylish and practical than the original. [Review]


Apple iPad Case   


 ZooGue iPad Case

If you need to carry your iPad from place to place and want to keep it safe inside a brief case or large bag, then maybe you want a soft padded case that doesn’t take up much room. You can check out the iLuv cases ($24.95). [Review]  On the other hand, if you have to just carry it and don’t want much extra weight, look for a soft case with a handle like the Uniea Omniverse case ($39.95). [Review


iLuv iPad Case    


 Uniea Omniverse iPad Case

The hard plastic cases offer bright colors and good protection. You are not likely to leave your iPad behind when it is incased in bright orange. They are usually more bulky, but certainly may provide sturdy protection if your iPad is likely to get rough treatment. The silicone cases feel like hard rubber. They almost always are black and thick and are popular for both iPads and iPhones. Not fancy, but sturdy. A good example of a silicone case is the Tuffwrap case ($39.99) by XtremeMac. [Review]  One example of the many hard plastic cases is the Duo case ($49.99) by iSkin. 


Tuffwrap iPad Case                                           iSkin Duo iPad Case

These are just examples of the kinds of cases that you can consider.


There are options available to you for external keyboards. Maybe you do a lot of typing, or you touch type very fast and can’t do it on the iPad keyboard (me), or maybe you just want all the letters and numbers readily at hand. Whatever your reason, there are external keyboards that work with your iPad.  

There is an Apple iPad Keyboard Dock ($69) [Review] Obviously to use this you will be tied to your desk, but you will have the advantage of a full size keyboard.

Apple iPad Keyboard Dock

The Apple Wireless Keyboard ($69) [Review] is small and lightweight and works with Bluetooth technology so it can be used anywhere. It does not have the numerical pad and can fit in many large bags. I use this keyboard and like it very much. 

Apple Wireless Keyboard

A third keyboard option for your iPad is a folding model. I haven’t seen one of these, but admit that I would love to review either one. A company called Matias makes one that is compatible with iPads. The wireless version is $99.95. An even smaller one from Jorn sells for $99.00 and is scheduled for release in early 2011. There is a preorder price of $79.00. According to the web site the length of this keyboard will be 8.5 inches which is shorter than a standard keyboard without a keypad.


Matias Folding iPad Keyboard    


 Jorno Folding iPad Keyboard

Free Help

There are a number of places to get help learning to use your iPad to the max, including a couple of good documents you can get through the iBooks app from iTunes.  But if you are really at the basic level then the place for you to start is with Tanya Engst, of TidBits Publishing, who has an excellent ebook out called Take Control of iPad Basics. It is part of their ongoing Take Control series. Tanya has made this book available at no cost.

So, I don’t know about you but I’m out of breath.  All these links, all these images………  Now Jeff gets to tell me if I get to pass go.


There is no iPad info in it, but if you are a beginner and need tips for your Mac, check out my beginner manual.

The entire Table of Contents and a sample page are available for free review for anyone who wishes to see them.

I am making this book available in three formats:.

The first is the more traditional printed book format, spiral bound. Cost is U.S. $17.15 each, plus shipping. All the illustrations have been printed in black and white to reduce the purchase price.


The second option is a PDF download version. This is the full version of the book available in the same format as that available in the free review The contents are hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is U.S. $9.85 After payment has been verified the purchaser will be sent a URL where they can download of the document.
The third option is a CD format. It is the PDF version saved to a CD and the contents are also hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is $10.85 plus shipping.

Payment for any version must be made using PayPal. Clicking on the Buy Now button next to the version you want to purchase will take you directly to PayPal where you can place your order and make your payment. Payment can be made through PayPal even if you are not a PayPal member.

Anyone wishing to pay with a money order or cashier check may contact me through TMO at