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Consider a Keyboard

Consider a Keyboard

The touch screen and virtual keyboard built into the iPad are both state-of-the-art and very easy to use while on the go. However, in situations where you have more space to work, or you want a real keyboard under your fingertips for word processing or other forms of data entry, a separate keyboard is a handy accessory. If you use the iWork apps (including Pages and Numbers) for word processing and managing spreadsheets, for example, an external keyboard for your iPad can enhance your productivity and speed up your touch-typing and data-entry capabilities.

There are two basic types of iPad keyboards. The first connects directly to the tablet via Apple's proprietary Dock connector port. Several companies, including Apple, offer full-size keyboards as well as portable (or even folding) versions for the iPad, starting around $50.

Apple's own iPad Keyboard Dock ($69) combines a full-size keyboard (similar in design to keyboards now available for the iMac), that also doubles as a docking station for the iPad for charging or syncing the device. This white-and-silver keyboard accessory isn't portable, but it provides added convenience and comfort when using your iPad at your desk.

The second keyboard type is a more practical solution while on the go: a portable, wireless Bluetooth keyboard. Brookstone's Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio and ZAGG's ZAGGmate iPad case are two examples of iPad cases with durable and portable built-in Bluetooth keyboards. Both are priced around $100.

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