With the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple fans should be thankful for the life of a tech pioneer who was every bit the design nerd. He succeeded in making computers functional as well as fun; his sleek sense of artistry made his gadgets more comparable to sports cars than some clunky adding machine.
The iPad is a world unto its own, and users swear by its portability, ease of use, and, yes, that fun factor. We found several iPad deals recently, so we've rounded up five of the best that maximize savings, deliver results, and make life easier. So fire up those touch screens, and let's get shopping.
XtremeMac InCharge Duo for iPad / iPhone / iPod
Price: $24.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $10
Is It Worth It?: To be sure, you may look a little too wired using this thing in public if you've got your iPhone and iPad hooked up at the same time. But who cares how you look when you can solve the vexing problem of keeping your iThings charged? Offered via Buy.com, this stand can power an iPad and iPhone at the same time, and the InCharge Duo also supports an array of products including iPods, both generations of iPad, and the iPhone 3G or 4. Theoretically, you could use this as a viewing stand as well, but we recommend putting it to use first and foremost as a charging device.
Griffin Cinema Seat for iPad
Price: $4.97 with free shipping
Lowest By: $7
Is It Worth It?: Sometimes getting a bargain requires a little digital stamina. To add this item to your Verizon Wireless cart, you must first select the iPad in the "Device Compatibility" box; you may need to select "see more devices" to find the original iPad option.
The idea behind the CinemaSeat is to turn your iPad into an in-car entertainment system. An adjustable strap wraps around your headrest and holds the CinemaSeat in place, positioned for backseat riders to watch video, listen to music, play games, and more. Just make sure that strap is fastened nice and tight; no sense in watching your iPad take a tumble after bouncing over an innocent speed bump. (We'd also like to suggest a new product name; "CinemaSeat" sounds like something for turning your iPad into a butt cushion — definitely not a good idea.)
Icon Style Grip iPad Case
Price: $4.90 via coupon code "MLCK1E13NL1" with $2.78 s&h
Lowest By: $2
Is It Worth It?: When dealing with any accessory for an iPad, it helps to follow the Golden Apple Rule: it had better look as sleek and sporty as the device itself. This case offered by Meritline fits the bill, weighing in at a slim 13 oz. The durable, form-fitting shell protects your iPad from fingerprints, scratches, and damage without adding bulk. Best of all, it's svelte enough that you can slip your iPad into another case, like the one described below.
Molded Back Leather Case for iPad
Price: $5 with free shipping
Lowest By: $11
Is It Worth It?: Can't you just see the late Steve Jobs strolling onto the stage of some huge tech convention carrying his iPad in this sleek, simple cover? We can, and while this offering from Verizon Wireless may not have the protective properties of a rigid plastic model, it sure does look good. Black leather for $5? For that price, you might want to order one, even if you don't own an iPad, and use the case for carrying some other tablet that might fit inside.
iPad App Price Drops
Price: Free to $5
Savings: $2 to $5
Is It Worth It?: Hmmm. Let's see. Is "free" worth it? In the expensive world of iPad apps — which are generally more money than those for iPhone — any opportunity to try out some new games and apps for free is a rocking good bargain. There are nine different titles on sale, and they include an assortment of HD diversions such as Spy Cat and Trick Shot, both free, along with more practical offerings such as PDF Printer for 99 cents.
Front page photo credit: SeattleClouds.com via Flickr