Put your iPad to work

@Money December 9, 2011: 5:52 AM ET
Put your iPad to work

(MONEY Magazine) -- Can't justify buying a $500 tablet simply for entertainment? Then take it seriously: Make an investment in these add-ons and get down to business.

1. A case and a keyboard

Two-fingered typing on an iPad's screen may suffice for quick e-mails, but real work requires a real computer feel.

Turn your tablet into a laptop with the Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2, an aluminum protector for your tablet that also works as a wireless keyboard (not always allowed for use in flight) and stand.

$100; logitech.com

2. Essential software

Business computing inevitably means running across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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Be prepared: Quickoffice Pro HD lets you create and edit documents in formats compatible with Microsoft Office. Store work on the iPad or use online services such as Google Docs and Dropbox.

$20; quickoffice.com

3. More memory

An iPad stuffed with videos and other downtime fun may not have space for important work files.

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No problem: The Seagate GoFlex Satellite portable hard drive holds 500 gigabytes of business and personal files and runs for five hours on an internal battery. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you stream files wirelessly to as many as three iPads.

$200; seagate.com

Is an iPad up to the task?

What you can do: Get substantive work done -- reports, spreadsheets and business presentations -- without having to tote your notebook computer. You can also check e-mail and surf the web.

What you can't do: Edit Office documents using every last feature you have on your primary computer.

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You can't transfer edited files directly to a USB hard drive or memory stick. And a first-generation iPad won't work as well as an iPad 2.

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The big screen

Your big PowerPoint presentation won't have much impact if you need to pass your tablet around the room for everyone to take a look.

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The Apple VGA Adapter makes it possible to display everything you can see on your iPad 2 screen (but fewer things from a first-generation iPad) on a projector, monitor or flat-panel TV.

$30; apple.com

Power aid

No business gets done on a dead battery.

The tiny Sanyo eneloop Mobile Booster KBC-L2 pumps out more than four hours' worth of backup juice that you can use to power the iPad (and a range of other portable devices), two at a time.

$80; us.sanyo.com  To top of page