Why spend more, when you can buy iPad-friendly accessories at your local office- or art-supply store? That's the question we asked this morning at TUAW as we sent out an iPad taskforce to scan store shelves for discount iPad accessories. In the end, we found one really killer stand, a well-priced case, and a number of also-rans.
Our favorite accessory turned out to be a Staples "Study Stand". Built from chrome (the non-Google variety), and retailing for just $6.99, the study stand provided both excellent portrait and landscape presentation at a user-friendly angle. It barely obscured the screen and occupied a minimum of desk space. Best of all, the stand folds. Although the holder tips remain slightly extended from the base, the rest of the stand flattens out and makes the entire package very backpack friendly.
As a close runner-up, we found a fashionable $15 neoprene netbook case, meant for 10.2" netbooks at Office Depot. Unlike 10" netbook cases, the 10.2" styles seemed to fit our iPad mockup perfectly. The Office Depot case came in a variety of colors and clocked in on our affordability scale.
You can't yet buy real Apple-sanctioned official iPad toys, but you can buy our consumer-friendly alternatives today! It doesn't have to be fugctional to be iPad-ready.