How to Turn an iPad Into a Mini Computer

IPad accessories can give you a more computer-like experience.
... David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images

In 2011, Apple's iPad sales exceeded computer units sold by individual PC manufacturers. You might be compelled to replace your computer with an iPad, due to its small size and user-friendly operating system. You can mimic a computer experience on your iPad by investing in keyboard cases, Bluetooth peripherals, AirPrint-compatible printers and remote desktop software.

1 Keyboard Cases

Several third-party Bluetooth keyboard cases can give your iPad the look and feel of a smaller laptop. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, the CruxSKUNK and the ClamCase Pro shut over the iPad screen, protecting the device during travel. When they are opened, you can use the keyboard on the reverse side of the cover. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover connects to the iPad via Bluetooth, and can be purchased for $99 directly from the Logitech website (link in Resources). The Crux SKUNK case is only 6 millimeters thin, folds into three different view modes and can be purchased for $159 from the manufacturer (link in Resources). The ClamCase Pro shell is made of aluminum and polycarbonate, costing $169 directly from the manufacturer (link in Resources). These prices are current as of November 2013.

2 Other Peripherals

You can link other accessories to your iPad to create a computer-like experience. You can connect speakers to your device through the AUX headphone jack or via Bluetooth. Apple adapters let you display your iPad's screen on a larger computer monitor for a desktop-like experience. Camera adapters plug into your iPad's dock port so that you can move media from your digital camera to your device.

3 AirPrint

You can wirelessly print documents from your iPad if you own an AirPrint-compatible printer. Apple has published a list of supported printer models online (see link in Resources). You must connect the printer to the same Wi-Fi network used by your iPad in order to print documents.

4 Remote Desktop

You can use remote desktop apps to log in to a Mac or PC computer from your iPad. Free software like VNC Mocha Lite, TeamViewer, or SplashTop let you remotely control an existing computer. These apps allow you to complete tasks in computer operating system environments, such as Windows 8 or Mac OS X.

Jen Cordwainer has been writing technology, business and entertainment articles for seven years. She has three years of experience working in enterprise technology. Cordwainer has a bachelor's degree in English.