Camera Connection Kit
The camera connection kit is designed to let you view the photos from your camera’s memory card on-the-go, but it has the added bonus of effectively doubling-up as a way to expand your iPad 2’s memory. It comes in two parts, both of which attach to the iPad’s dock socket.
The SD reader lets you view photos and play video from a memory card, while the USB dongle lets you plug a camera directly into the iPad. With this USB dongle you can even attach an external hard drive to your iPad, although it’s worth remembering that you’ll only be able to play the files that an iPad supports natively – primarily MP4 video and JPEG images.
Apple’s VGA adaptor is one of three ways to get your iPad outputting video, and it’s also the cheapest. It’s not without limitations though. A VGA connection only outputs video, so you’ll need to transmit audio either using the iPad 2’s internal speaker or another cable from the headphone jack.
It’s also subject to HDCP copy protection, so if you’re thinking you can simply plug this in and watch your iTunes movies on the big screen, you can’t. With an iPad 2 it’ll let you output 1080p video though, where older devices (iPad, iPhone 4) are limited to 720p.
Apple composite AV cable
A rung down the AV ladder is the composite cable, which outputs stereo audio thanks to a pair of phono plugs and SD-quality video. There’s also a USB cable to let you charge and sync your iPad while it’s connected using this composite connection.
This would be our last choice of video output methods though, as it’s relatively low-quality and won’t make good use of the iPad 2’s incredible power. Other connections will allow the iPad 2 to output video at a much more appealing 1080p resolution.
The big daddy of the AV connection options on Apple’s books is the AV Adapter. Like the rest it plugs into your iPad 2’s dock connector, and gives you an HDMI socket plus an additional “replacement” dock connector.
You will however need your own HDMI cable as this £35 accessory only gives you the socket, not the cable too. At almost 10 per cent of the price of a low-end iPad 2 model, it’s steep but worthwhile if you want to play games and apps from your TV. Unlike previous devices, the iPad 2 supports mirroring using this cable – so what’s on-screen on your iPad will be the same as what appears on your TV.