An iPad is a powerful tool for work and for play. But, by itself, it is limited in its capabilities. With just a few accessories, you can greatly improve the productivity and level of enjoyment you get from your device. We’ve compiled a list of accessories that we can’t live without when it comes to iPads. The list is not all-inclusive as there are many, many iPad accessories out there, but we welcome your input and would love to know about your favorite accessories. Check out the best iPad accessories below!
Keyboard / Case
Without question, a case for your iPad, and in some situations, a case that includes a keyboard, are going to be a must-have for your iPad. For protection and for productivity, here are my picks.
Felix FlipBook iPad Case
This case is unique in a couple of ways. The screen cover, which is “smart” and turns your iPad screen on and off when opening and closing, is flexible, like what you would find on a paperback book. Peeling the cover back, and holding the device in one hand is a great feeling when you’re using it for reading. When folded back completely, the case converts into a stand for iPad that has multiple viewing angles. As you can see in the image, the adjustability makes this a great case for artists who uses their iPad for drawing, or for people like me who use the device on a lap to watch videos.
For a smart folding case that is affordable and still provides great protection, check out the Finite SmartShell Case, available in a ton of different colors and patterns.
For the iPad Pro: Apple Smart Keyboard
Apple has a dedicated keyboard built specifically for the iPad Pro, the Apple Smart Keyboard is quickly connected by magnets, acts as keyboard, cover and stand, and is made specifically to get the most out of your iPad Pro. We obviously cannot recommend this keyboard for your other iPads, but it is the cream of the crop for your iPad Pro.
If you need a keyboard case for an iPad other than the Pro, check out the Logitech Type+. Prices vary depending on color from $49.99 to $87.99 on Amazon.
If you’re an iPad die-hard, you probably try to find any excuse to use your iPad in place of a laptop. There are a couple accessories out there that make this possible.
Lightning to SD Card Reader Adapter
Sometimes I find myself in areas with no internet, but still need to get things done. Fortunately, if transferring images from your camera to your iPad is what you need to get done, there’s an adapter for that. And, in typical Apple fashion, it’s very much plug and play. Get it now on Amazon for $21.99.
Lightning to HDMI Adapter
If you need to project your iPad’s display onto a monitor or TV, this little guy will come in handy. I use this adapter quite frequently to give demonstrations and presentations. Again, this is very easy to use, just plug and play. Available on Amazon for $47.12.
A Stylus or Two.
From drawing on your iPad, to signing documents, a good stylus or two is essential. Styluses (styli?) have continuously improved since their inception. What once were rubbery/plastic-y balls on the tip of a cheap barrel have now become quality pieces of technology that help people day-to-day to be more productive on their touch devices. Below are my favorites.
For a while now, Adonit has been a leader in the precision stylus space. I actually owned one of the original Adonit Jots and I loved the clear plastic disc that made it easier to see exactly where your lines were being drawn. Now, with bluetooth technology, that precision has increased much more. Adonit’s latest and greatest stylus, the Pixel includes pressure sensitivity and shortcut buttons, making it one of the more advanced iPad styluses. Get yours on Amazon for $65.21.
Adonit also makes a very high quality ink pen/stylus combo called Adonit Switch that you can also pick up on Amazon for $20.79.
Apple has thrown their hat into the ring, and again with a product specifically designed for the iPad Pro. The Apple Pencil is a Bluetooth connected smart stylus, it has top notch pressure sensitivity, as well as angle detection and more, all designed to give you a natural and powerful input experience. If you’ve got an iPad Pro, we think you should check out the Apple Pencil. Once again, your best bet is to grab this straight from Apple for $99, but it can be found on Amazon as well, just watch the price, sometimes it jumps to $130. Buy from Amazon for $99.
Your iPad is no good to you or anyone if the battery has no juice. Obviously, your iPad will come with all the necessary pieces to stay charged up, but a charging dock makes charging your device much easier, and honestly, a lot cooler looking. There a bunch of options available, but our personal favorite at TabTimes is below.
Belkin Express Dock
Belkin has a long history of making quality Apple accessories, and the Express Dock charging station is no exception. The simplistic design looks great sitting on any desk or nightstand and it’s sturdy enough to hold the iPad with a case on with no issues, and really that’s all you need in a charging dock. You can pick it up on Amazon for $45.40.
There are a handful of other options available, and you can take a look at our top picks here.
When it comes to tablets, iPads do have respectable sound quality, especially the iPad Pro, but sometimes I find that it’s just not quite enough to meet my needs. When watching movies, listening to music or editing short videos, I need good sound quality and volume so I resort to bluetooth audio.
JBL Charge 3
For its affordability, portability and durability, this has quickly become my top choice in bluetooth speaker. It’s IPX7 certified so if you’re ever poolside, or at the beach you have nothing to worry about. As for sound quality, this thing gets loud! It has very rich bass as well so it’s perfect for watching movies.
Probably the best feature though – the 6,000 mAh battery. JBL quotes a play time of over 20 hours and the speaker also doubles as a backup battery pack that you can use to charge our iPad on the go. Pick it up on Amazon for $146.37.
Our friends over at Sound Guys compiled a list of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy for under $50. On the list, youíll be able to find multiple powerful wireless speakers for $25, or some higher end models that range up to $49. Be sure to check out the link below for a full list of the best Bluetooth speakers available on the market.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X
If bluetooth audio isn’t your thing, might I suggest a killer set of headphones? Any time I’m taking public transit, or even sitting at work, I always have a pair of headphones in my bag to accompany my iPad. Though they’ve been around for a while, the ATH-M50Xs are still a solid choice of headphones.
For me, over-ear headphones are a must, and I find the Audio Technica cups to be very comfortable for an extended period of time. And, the one time I had a cup give out and begin to lose its foam (it happens to the best of ’em) Audio Technica’s customer service team got me another one in no time. Available on Amazon for $139.95.
Over at our sister site, Sound Guys, weíve compiled a list of the best Bluetooth headphones, earbuds and wired headphones available on the market. Ranging anywhere from $33 to $499, youíre bound to find some great audio accessories to pair with your tablet, smartphone or ultrabook. Head to the links below for more information.
So as we mentioned, this list is not all inclusive – there a just simply too many accessories to cover in one post! Let us know in the comments below if we missed any of your favorite accessories. Who knows – they might just end up in the next update to this list!
[Main Photo: Adonit]