Nov 20 2013 - Apple's iPad tablet are some of the most stylish and feature packed models on the market. While the tablet is great on its own there are a number of accessories that help protect it, keep it clean or just make it more functional. Here are some ideas for gifts to give those who happen to have an Apple iPad tablet.
The iPad Air is an impressive feat of engineering in terms of its size and weight. While it is quite durable, the screen can still be damaged by impacts that can scratch or shatter the glass. The easiest way to protect the screen is to use the Smart Cover. This polyurethane cover attaches to the side of the tablet via magnets and holds on quite tight. Open the cover automatically turns the tablet on or off and it can also be folded into a basic stand. Priced around $39.
For many people, the iPad is a large investment and they want to protect more than just the display than the Smart Cover will. Due to the relatively recent release, there are not many options currently to fit the new smaller dimensions of the iPad Air. As a result, the best option for those that want to fully protect the exterior of the tablet is the Smart Case from Apple. It is very similar to the Smart Cover but it fully encases the rear of the tablet with leather to help protect it from minor drops or just being tossed into a bag. It is available in a number of colors and is priced around $79.
The iPad Mini is extremely small which is great for traveling but it is also prone to be placed into bags that can scratch up their case quite easily. Because of this, I actually recommend the Smart Case over just the Smart Cover that just protects the glass and display. It snugly encases the Mini tablet and provides the instant on feature when opened thanks to the built in magnet. The case also doubles as a small stand when folded over. The only downside is that it is really only available in leather which carries a fairly high $69 price tag.
For those that just want to cover up their display to help prevent scratches or small drops from cracking the display, the Smart Cover is a relatively affordable option at just $39. It attaches to the iPad Mini on the side via magnets and holds on quite well. Opening and closing the cover will automatically turn the device on or off. The cover can act as a rudimentary stand as well. It is made of polyurethane and is available in a range of colors.
Touchscreens are incredibly easy to use but they do have their drawbacks. First, the screen can get dirty very quickly from the oils on our fingers that get placed on the glass. Second, people with larger hands may have difficulty getting precise placement on the screen. A stylus is a specialized sort of pen or pointing device that are used to mimic the capacitive nature of human skin for touchscreen displays on the iPad. The styles are quite diverse from standard looking pens to ones that look like paint brushes. Prices range from as little as $10 to over $100 but most tend to be around $30.
Even with its oleophobic coating on the touchscreen display of the iPad, it still will get fingerprints and smudges. This grease and grim will be most noticeable when the tablet is used in sunlight. Now, the iPad does come with a small cleaning cloth but it is small and easy to misplace. The 3M microfiber cloths do a superb job at getting a crystal clear smooth glass surface and are designed specifically for electronics. Prices vary due to a variety of different sizes but start at a few dollars and go up to around $10.
Typing is one of the big challenges on tablets. The virtual keyboards are just not well suited for fast typing or long periods of use. The best way to make a tablet more effective for writing is to add a Bluetooth wireless keyboard. Apple's wireless keyboard is a perfect accessory for any iPad user who wants to do more with the tablet. The keyboard design is essentially the same as their use for their laptops and iMac desktops. It provides a very comfortable and accurate typing experience. The best part is that it is very compact and made of durable aluminum so that it is easy to carry. Priced around $65.
With the release of the latest iPad Air and iPad Mini, Apple has moved away from the ubiquitous 30-pin dock connector to the new Lightning port. If the tablet owner has cables and peripherals from the previous iPhone, iPad or iPod devices that they want to use with the newer devices, they need to get a relatively expensive adapter. The $29 adapter will allow these older cables and peripherals that have the 30-pin connector to plug directly into the new Lightning based iPads.
One of the many uses for an iPad tablet is the ability to watch a TV show or movie from just about anywhere. Netflix is currently the market leader when it comes to streaming video services. It has one of the largest collections of videos available for streaming. The native iPad application makes it convenient and easy to use. It is a subscription service though but starts at a low price of just $7.99/month for streaming only. Gift subscriptions are available in lengths of one, two, three, six or twelve months. The best part is that the subscription can also be used for streaming on other devices or computers but limited to just one device at a given time.