Changing the model


If you are in the market for a new computer, it might be time to consider a tablet computer like an iPad.  These versatile devices are becoming more and more capable as general purpose computes.  The touch screen interface allows a vast number of ways to input and manipulate data, and the size simply cannot be beat.

If you are in the market for a tablet, however, what do you need to make it a truly useful device?  Below are some ideas to outfit your new-era computer.

An external keyboard — after a while most people to grow accustomed to typing using the on-screen keyboard, but for long sessions (say, typing a sermon) a keyboard is a great compliment to an iPad.  Don't both with the integrated keyboard cases, the keyboards are often cramped and difficult to use.  Instead, you can go out and get the Apple Bluetooth keyboard ($69.99) or a generic keyboard ($22.00) from a reseller like Amazon.  As always,  read  the  customer  reviews  before  making    a purchase.

A stylus — Steve Jobs hated the concept of a stylus, and for every day navigation of a touch screen he was absolutely correct.  For note taking, however, a stylus is indespensible.  Instead of running out to a local store, however, do some quick searching on the web — a decent stylus can be purchased for under $10.  Again, make sure you read the user reviews before placing an order.

A screen protector — There is a much debate as to whether or not an iPad even needs a screen protector (the glass is specially tempered to resist scratching).  If you're going to be carrying the tablet around with you, however, the addage "Better safe than sorry" may be your friend.  Many Apple stores found in a mall setting have an independent kiosk outside which will install a front and rear shield for an iPad.  The process can run around $40, but you're paying for piece of mind.  If you're more adventurous, the Invishield is a quality protector.

An iPad bag — A tablet like the iPad is extremely portable, but it's nice to have a bag to carry both it and it's accessories around in.  This is one purchase I don't recommend making on line.  Instead run out to Target or Staples and see what bags they have for tablets.  Make sure it will have room for everything you want to carry around with you.

Video adapter — The Apple VGA ($29.99) and HDMI ($39.99) adapters are both great for allowing an iPad to display content on a large screen.  The VGA adapter is more common on projectors, so I'd recommend starting with that.

Keynote ($9.99) — If you need to make presentations on an iPad, there is no better solution.  This should be on the iPad of every public speaker.

Documents to Go Premium ($16.99) — This is a flexible office suite which can handle word processing, spreadsheets, and simple presentations.  The premium vesion also connects to cloud storage systems like Google Docs,, and Dropbox.  As a bonus, this app can also be installed on an iPhone or iPod touch.

Notes Plus ($6.99) — A simply beaufiful note-taking app with a flexible interface and stellar-looking ink. If you like to write notes, this is the tool.