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New Products from iGrill, Targus, tyPad and NavJack

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Category: Hardware Published on Wednesday, 09 March 2011

Protecting an iPad that can make dinner

Just my luck! I finally get my hands on the first-generation iPad and Steve Jobs announces the iPad 2, which is slimmer, trimmer and more powerful. Thanks alot Steve!!!!!

But, remembering my role as a casual observer of all things tech, I'll let that pass and focus my attention on apps and doo-dads that make the original iPad a useful addition to tech-laden families.

Obviously, it's the availability of apps that makes the iPad desireable, but this week we'll focus on a few other items that can enhance your iPad experience.

The king of the iPad accessories has to be the iGrill ($99.99) from iDevices Inc. This neat little meat thermometer communicates with your iPad via Bluetooth, giving you the temperature of your meat, etc. without your having to constantly check what's cooking.

The only downside is the flakiness of using Bluetooth on an iPad (which will, hopefully, improve with the iPad 2). iPads tend to drop their Bluetooth connections frequently, which can be annoying. But it only takes a few seconds to reconnect.

You can also get an iGrill with a second meat probe for $119 or purchase a second probe for $19.99.

How about an iPad stylus that can also be used as a pen? The 2-in-1 Stylus for iPad ($24.99) from Targus has a rubberized tip to communicate the the iPad's touch screen on one end and a pen on the other.

Speaking of Targus, we were able to play with their Truss iPad case ($49.99), which not only protects your device, but can be used as an easel/iPad stand. This frees up your "other" hand so you can, say, eat popcorn with one hand and compute with the other.

The hard-shell case not only protects your iPad, but has a soft, micro-fleece lining so it won;t scratch your screen.

Another case that is truely unique is the tyPad ($99.99) from Accessory Workshop. This case combines a Bluetooth keyboard with a leatherette case that not only protects your iPad, but increases its functionality.

Weighing in at a little more than a pound, this case/keyboard combo is a heavyweight when it comes to portability. Also, its Lithium battery gives you 55 hours of continual use and only takes 3.5 hours to charge.

You can also use the case as an easel, allowing the iPad to stand up, freeing your hands. Beware, though, as some passers-by may think you're using a new, light-weight notebook computer.

As with the iGrill, the Bluetooth connection is a bit flakey and you may need to reconnect a few times.

The NavJack iPad Executive Planner Case ($59.99) from Digital Foci was the only iPad case that included a pocket for accessories. It also offers more protection for the sides of the iPad, covering them with soft silicon. Slots inside the case allow you to stand your iPad up or can be used to hold business cards.

Other NavJack cases we looked at were the Corium ($119), Sketch ($69) and the iPad Premium Sleeve ($49.95). Although these were not as functional as those listed above, they all offer extensive protection.

The Corium and Sketch cases are basically hard shells that are contoured to fit over the top of the device to protect the screen of the iPad, but offer no protection for the back of the device. For complete protection you'd need to combine these with the Premium Sleeve.

You can get more information by checking out the companies' websites at www.igrillinc.com, www.targus.com/us/, www.buytypad.com and www.navjack.com.

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