5-in-1 Connection Kit for iPad
iPad accessories are once again a hot topic following the release of the iPad 2. Apps and covers are usually the highest priority accessories, but the iPad's lack of ports means if you want to connect it to anything other than the included dock connector then you'll need an add-on solution. The 5-in-1 Connection Kit for iPad ups the connectivity capabilities of the iPad by providing the convenience of – you guessed it – five ports in a single dongle.
There is no shortage of optional extras that expand the iPad's repertoire. Want to connect your iPad to a TV? – you'll need an Apple Digital AV Adapter (US$39). How about a way to get photos off a camera or SD card directly onto an iPad? – sounds like a job for Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29). Want to do both? Then you'll have to buy both. The 5-in-1 Connector Kit might provide a cheaper option if you find yourself with the need to plug a few different devices into your iPad.
For connection to a TV there's a 3.5 mm jack that outputs video and audio. Although the video is only composite, so if you're looking to output video to a HDTV you'll probably want to go with Apple's offering that connects via HDMI and supports resolutions of up to 720p.
The MicroSD and SD card slots let you transfer pics from SD, SDHC and MicroSD cards, while the USB port means you can also pull images directly off a digital camera. The USB port can also be used to plug in a USB keyboard if you don't have a Bluetooth unit, while the micro-USB port can be used for charging when connected to an AC adapter and for data sync when connected to a computer.
The 5-in-1 Connection Kit for iPad works with iPads running iOS 4.1.0 to 4.3, with no guarantees that any future updates won't render the dongle partially or completely useless. It is also recommended that users not connect more than one device (in addition to the iPad) into the dongle at one time. It retails for US$44.99 and is available from USB fever.