Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How to Turn Your iPad into a Laptop for Under $20

It is hard to believe that it has been over a year since I bought my wife her own Apple iPad. For the most part, she has used the tablet like most everyone else does. She sends and receives emails, surfs the Internet, plays games (Words with Friends is her favorite), and in general uses the tablet as a toy. There is nothing wrong with using the Apple iPad as a toy, since I believe that tablets should be fun to use and not weigh us down with work.

So a few weeks ago, I was floored when she told me she wanted to turn her Apple iPad into a laptop and write a novel. What was obvious is that a novel was not going to be created using the built-in keyboard that comes with the tablet system. My wife turned the project over to me to convert her Apple iPad into a usable laptop computer. I also had a few reservations as to her completing an entire novel, which in my mind is a very ambitious project for anyone to take on.

I had no clue where to start looking for a reasonably priced keyboard and stand, but I did have several thoughts in mind as to what I wanted. The keyboard would need to be Bluetooth capable, small enough to travel with, but not so small that it would make typing a chore. The stand would need to provide a convenient viewing angle and also be light enough for traveling.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member, my first stop was to visit the company’s electronics store. I found a SANOXY Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPad that seemed to offer the right size, was Bluetooth capable, and included the special keys that activate iPad features. At the time I purchased the keyboard, the selling price was $13.63. I read the reviews, which were mixed, with approximately 2/3rds of those responding providing either a four or five star rating.

Next, I wanted to locate a stand that would hold the iPad at a proper angle and be light enough and small enough for traveling. I found the Amazon Basic mini travel stand with a price tag of only $5.99. The stand also had favorable reviews by reviewers.

I must be honest. I had some reservations about my purchases because of how inexpensive the products were. When the products arrived, I removed them from their packing and immediately began to set up the iPad to become a full-featured laptop. Or was I being overzealous in my hopes?

Surprisingly, I found the keyboard to be easy to connect to the iPad. The size was perfect and typing on the keyboard was actually enjoyable. But the best part was that the function keys all worked properly, which made the keyboard an even better value. The travel stand worked properly and provided a stable platform to support the iPad. The viewing angle was acceptable, in my opinion, but there was one other user I had to convince before giving the keyboard and stand a seal of approval.

This past week my wife has used the keyboard and has been very pleased with its performance and feel. As for the stand that holds the iPad, there is not much to say except that it works. So there you have it. I turned my wife’s iPad into a full-featured laptop for about $20.

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