A range of emotions courses through anyone opening up the box with a shiny new iPad for the first time. As exciting as the device is, a brand new iPad is a lot like a newborn baby: even though they are small they both need a lot of stuff. We love seeking out the best all-around accessories for the iPad, so our editorial staff has assembled a list of must-have, can’t miss accessories to kit out any new iPad for use.
While there is nothing wrong with using an iPad right out of the box, un-accessorized iPads exist in a purely theoretical sphere (also known as Apple promotional materials); however, exactly which accessories a user needs depends on where and how one will use the iPad.
Will you cover the back or the screen or both? How much bulk are you willing to add to such a sleek device? Do you want a stylus, or will you just use your ever present pointer finger? Do you need to charge your tablet on the road? How will you clean the screen? Whether you are upgrading to the new iPad or buying your very first iPad (woot!), PadGadget’s list has the stuff you need to get the most out of your new purchase.
1. iSkin aura2 Case ($99.99) — Though it still works with the iPad 2, iSkin aura2 cause has been redesigned for the new iPad. The aura2 is constructed to work in typing or display modes, all the while protecting the iPad in a stylish case that will be as at home in a business meeting as it will be catching up on Netflix on the couch. The aura2 shares the Smart Cover’s auto-sleep functionality, so iPad access is just seconds away.
2. Zagg Folio ($99.99) — The Zagg Folio provides the iPad with a built-in case, keyboard, and stand. The Zagg Folio is perfect for users who want to make the iPad feel more like a laptop than a tablet. The Zagg Folio stand has no moving parts, and can hold the iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation, plus it only adds about 1/8″ of bulk to the iPad’s exterior. It is designed so the user can feel comfortable using it anywhere, even on the subway or sitting on a bed — when a flat surface is not readily available.
3. Klipsch Lou Reed X10i Signature Edition Headphones ($399) — Klipsch manufactures a variety of phenomenal headphones with great sound quality. The Lou Reed X10i signature model comes not only with the implicit endorsement of a living music legend, but also offers Apple compatibility. The headphones include a 3-button remote for controlling calls and music, and a built-in mic that lets the user Skype or iChat with ease.
4. Urbanears Bagis In-ear Headphones ($35) — Urbanears specialize uniting Scandinvavian Design with affordable sound, and a unique fabric covered cord that resists tangling. The Bagis come in so many shades that it’s easy to coordinate or accent the rest of an iPad’s accessories. The bright yellow ones are sure to stand out when they are kicking around in the depths of a purse or back pack. Be sure and pick up your favorite shade before it retires. Urbanears also makes larger over-the-ear models, like the Tanto, for users who prefer a larger headphone.
5. iHome Portable Speakers ($49.99) — This tiny, rechargeable speaker from iHome delivers surprisingly large sound. The vacuum bass design provides enough volume and bass for almost any listener. The speaker will run for hours on a single charge, making it a great choice for travel or a day at the park or beach. The speaker is constructed out of aluminum for durability, and also comes with its own carrying case.
6. Toddy Cloth ($9.99) — We’ve mentioned the Toddy Cloth before, but that’s just because this attractive, affordable accessory is so adorable. It comes in countless patterns, from mod geometrics to classic houndstooth, so there is a design that is sure to please any iPad owner. In addition to its double-sided wiping surface (use the plush side to clean and the silk side to polish), each 5″x7″ cloth also sports a clever name. This one’s named after Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius.
7. Belkin Chef Stand and Stylus ($39.99) — This attractive stand not only holds an iPad in landscape or portrait mode, but it comes with a stylus, so you don’t have to touch the iPad when your hands are covered in flour, but all of the components are hand washable, so don’t fret if you do splatter on it while cooking. The Chef Stand has a small footprint, so it will work well when counter space is at a premium. Though it is sold for kitchen use, this durable stand would serve well on a desktop or in any setting where the user needs to keep a stylus close at hand.
8. Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad ($29.95) — There are so many styli on the market. How will you ever choose? The solidly-built Wacom Bamboo comes in a rainbow of shades that just happen to coordinate with the iPad Smart Cover. The stylus is weighted, so it’s as comfortable to use as a regular pen. Wacom even sells replacement nibs, and backs the product with a one-year warranty, which ensures this stylus will last as long as your iPad does.
9. JustMobile Car Charger ($39.95) — Have car charger, will travel. The JustMobile charger may not be the most exciting accessory on the market, but it doubtlessly one of the most useful. The JustMobile model has the added bonus of charging two iOS devices at once, so a user can charge an iPhone and an iPad while on the road. This car charger is a go-to accessory for anyone who uses the iPad for business or travel.
10. Griffin 3 Meter Extension Cord ($29.99) — Users may not initially think an iPad extension cord is necessary, since the iPad runs on a battery, but iPad power users will doubtless find that Apple’s included charging cord is just too short to reach to the couch, the bed, or the kitchen table. Not only was a longer extension cord one of my first purchases, but it is still an accessory that I use on a daily basis.
For those who value parsimony, especially after spending at least $400 on a new iPad, there are always DIY options available. Cooks can protect an iPad on-the-cheap by covering it with a sandwich bag in the kitchen. Office supply gurus can construct an iPad stand out of pencils and rubber bands, or pick up a business card holder for less than a buck.
However you decide to configure your iPad, you are sure to love it.