Instead of buying a MacBook or desktop computer, why not save hundreds of dollars by using your iPad instead? While 11" MacBooks start at $999, you can get yourself a Wi-Fi iPad 2 for around $400.
With the $600 or more you'll save, you'll be able to buy all the gadgets you need to make your iPad work-friendly and still have several-hundred bucks left over for the piggy bank.

Choose desktop or laptop

To convert your iPad into a desktop, simply add a cheap wireless keyboard ($12.30), Bluetooth mouse ($7.99) and vertical stand ($8.99) from Amazon. This will allow you to set up an ergonomic workstation for less than $30, and because you don't have to modify your iPad in any way, you'll still have a tablet available for when you're on the go.

Alternatively, you can turn your iPad into a portable laptop. Several companies now offer cases with built-in keyboards and stands so you can convert your iPad with one simple accessory. Try Logitech Zagg ($99), CruxCase ($99) or the Belkin Bluetooth Keyboard Folio ($54.24). This way you’ll have both a tablet and notebook for less than $500.

Save cash on your office suite

Whatever you decide, you'll probably also want to add some basic office apps such as a word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentation-maker. This is another area where you can save big.

While Microsoft Home Office for Mac starts at $99.99 a year, Office2 HD costs just $7.99 and includes an app for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. These are all compatible with MS Office, which means you can create, edit and save Word DOC/X, Excel XLS/X and PPT/X files at a fraction of the cost.

Better yet, if you want something created just for Mac, you can try Apple's top-selling apps Pages, Numbers and Keynote, which retail for $9.99 each but come free on all new devices.

How to Convert an iPad to a Desktop or Laptop for Under $100