I love the iPad, I really do. The interface is far more intuitive than any other tablet that I’ve tested out, and it’s even easier to use if you are already familiar with Apple products like the iPhone. But, Apple didn’t include a USB port with any iPad.
The USB port was left off of the iPad because it added to the overall weight and bulk of the device. Eliminating the port meant a slimmer and lighter tablet, and that’s what some people want. If you use a service like Dropbox and you don’t really have a need for a USB, the iPad as is works well.
On the flip side, you may just want to use a USB with your tablet at some point. When that time comes, you’ll have to work around the lack of a USB port by purchasing Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit. The kit retails for $29, and it gives you the USB connection that you are looking for. Here’s how to hook that up.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit
This connection kit was designed to allow people to transfer photos from any camera to an iPad. But, the kit also recognizes some USB devices too, like microphones, keyboards, and speakers. So, you can use your keyboard that connects via USB with your iPad if you purchase this kit. The idea here is that you use the kit to transfer photos and files from the kit to the iPad, and it does work relatively well.
Aside from Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit, there aren’t a lot of other options here. You can look for various other third-party connection kits, but Apple’s own product seems to work the best. Keep in mind, though, that this connection kit doesn’t work with all USB devices, so you may be out of luck if you try to transfer some files. Unfortunately, the only way to tell if the files you’re trying to transfer will actually work with the connection kit is to give it a shot. Trail an error is the only way to test this kit out. Is it worth the $29 to purchase a kit that may or may not work?
Worth the Price
In a nutshell, it is worth the $29 to purchase the iPad camera connection kit if you are really missing that USB port option. Again, it might not work with every file that you want to transfer or every device you want to connect, but it does work with most. Otherwise, the best option is to purchase a tablet (not made by Apple) that includes a USB port. There are some good options on the market like the Surface tablets that do come with USB ports. Granted, you won’t get Apple technology with a different tablet, but you’ll have to decide if a USB is important enough to move away from the iPad or not.
Has anyone else figured out a way to connect USB devices or transfer files to an iPad without going the connection kit route? Let me know!