My ideal is to travel with my iPad and my wireless keyboard instead of my notebook whenever I can get away with it. Video-out is therefore a no-brainer purchase for me and for anybody else who sometimes needs to give presentations.
As with the Keyboard category, this is another segment that Apple has all locked up.
Apple VGA Adapter ($29) and Apple Digital AV Adapter ($39)
You just need to pick one. The Digital AV Adapter ($39) has HDMI-out and a separate dock connector, so your iPad can charge and sync while attached to the display. The VGA Adapter ($29) has, well, yes, VGA, and nothing else.
Your decision will come down to whether or not you're buying this for mobile presentations. If so, get the VGA adapter. It's easy to find a projection device that has VGA but no HDMI, and hard to encounter one with HDMI but no VGA.
There are a couple of quirks to keep in mind, though. The iPad OS can use these adapters either for straight video-mirroring (everything you see on your iPad screen goes out to the display) or as a second display when you're using an app that specifically uses the adapter that way. For instance, your iPad can mirror a driving game onto your living room HDTV, while Keynote is designed so that the projector shows your presentation's current slide while the iPad screen contains your notes and some navigational buttons that the audience won't see.
Neat. But the "mirroring" part of this thing is only supported by the iPad 2. If you're using these adapters with an original iPad, you'll only be able to use the second display with apps that have been specifically written to take advantage of it (like Keynote). In all other apps, the screen might as well not even exist.
The second quirk: video content that you purchased through the iTunes Store might not play correctly through the VGA adapter.
Buckle in for some turbo-stupidity. Part of the sexiness of HDMI — from the motion picture industry's perspective — is that it can establish a "secure" connection between the playback device and the screen. That's not possible over VGA...and that's why the movie that you bought and paid for and supposedly own won't play through the iPad's VGA Adapter.
Yes, the motion picture industry thinks you're going to patch into the VGA signal and record a low-quality version of Big Mama's House 2 and put it up on the Internet or something.
The motion picture industry is full of silly people.
There are a million easier ways to make a copy of a movie.
None of them are easier than just finding an illegal copy online and downloading it.
Plus, the Big Momma's House trilogy isn't even the best "former standup comedian in a cross-dressing fat suit" movie series.
Plus, plus, even The Nutty Professor isn't worth stealing, is it?
(Not to worry. When the proletariat inevitably raises the red banner of a glorious revolution, we'll round up all of those movie executives and re-train them to do something more productive, or at least, something harmless.)
Apple also offers iPad adapters for composite and component video. Yes, you're very welcome; I thought we'd all enjoy a good laugh. It's so funny because it's true.