Nov 26 2013 - Tablets are the big trend for mobile computing right now. Their compact size and long running times make them great for those wanting to browse the web, check email, read a book or watch a movie pretty much anywhere. If you have or know someone who has a tablet, here are some suggested peripherals and accessories that can be useful to just about any tablet users. The first few entries will lead to other sub pages for some of the more popular tablet models.
Apple's iPad is one the most popular of the tablets available on the market. Because of this, they also have the largest selection of specific accessories for their tablets. Whether the recipient has an older iPad, one of the latest models like the iPad Air, check out my selection of ideas specific for Apple's tablets.
Amazon certainly started the trend for the more affordable tablets on the market with their original Kindle Fire tablet. This combined with their heavy emphasis on making it easy for reading books, listening to music or watching videos, the tablet is excellent for anyone wanting a tablet primarily for media. Check out my suggestions for gift ideas specific for their latest Kindle Fire HDX and previous Fire HD tablets.
Google;s Android operating system is the most commonly used software for tablets and phones in the world. The company previously relied on other hardware companies to make the tablets but that changed with their lineup of Nexus products. These offer a unique take on the Android tablet that certainly set themselves apart from the crowded market. Find out what gifts I think best complement Google's tablets.
Microsoft's release of Windows 8 was a push towards a uniform operating system whether it was on a tablet, laptop or desktop. In addition to producing the software, the company also decided to produce their own lineup of Windows tablets using the Surface name. These are some premium quality tablets that are made even better by a wide range of accessories that the company has produced for them.
While tablets are fairly rugged, they still are prone to scratches and dings from being carried around. A cover or sleeve is a great way to protect your tablet when you carry it but aren't necessarily using it. Covers can also often double as a stand for the tablet when it is resting on a table. The big problem with cases is that each is custom made for a specific tablet. Because of this, a sleeve can be used for just about any tablet and is still useful if you happen to change between two different tablets. The Timbuk2 Envelope Sleeve is available for just about any of the tablets on the market and offers a nice level of protection thanks to its foam construction. They are also TSA approved so that you don't have to remove your tablet from the sleeve when you travel.
Tablets are meant to be touched for doing just about everything. There are two problems with this. The first is that sometimes it is just really hard to touch exactly the right spot either because the screen is small or fingers might just be too big. The second is that touching the screens gets them dirty very quickly. A stylus is essentially a type of pen or pointing device that is designed to mimic the touch of one's finger. The size and style of models available is extremely diverse. There is even a brush which is surprisingly accurate and a great choice for those wanting to also dabble in art on a tablet. Prices range from around $10 to over $100 with many around $30.
Just about every tablet on the market uses some type of glossy glass or plastic to cover the display on the tablet. While this gives it an incredible display when it first comes out of the box, over time the grease and grime from touching the screen will quickly dull and distort the picture. Some tablets will come with a small cleaning cloth but not all do. It is best to always have one handy to get back that high gloss look. A microfiber cloth is a great choice for this type of job as they are designed for use with electronics and displays so they won't scratch. Prices can range from a few dollars to around $15 depending upon size.
Tablet batteries generally give you enough power to last an entire day. The compact size make them great for traveling. Of course, when you are on the road, you will still need some way to charge it. Most tablets have the ability to charge through a standard USB port either through a normal USB cable or a provided adapter cable. The problem is that they do not always include an AC adapter for charging. Belkin offers a nice kit that includes a USB AC adapter than can rotate to let it fit just about any power plug plus a standard car power port adapter as well that provides enough power output to charge just about any device that uses a USB plug for power. Priced around $30 to $40.
Typing long emails on a virtual keyboard can be a challenge at times. The auto correction features and awkward touch recognition can sometimes end up with hilarious results that probably should not be sent to another person. Thankfully, most of the tablets on the market feature Bluetooth capabilities. This allows an external Bluetooth device such as a keyboard to be connected to the tablet. Having a physical keyboard can help increase typing accuracy and speed and is a godsend to anyone that is looking to do a lot of work on their tablet. This i-rocks keyboard is quite slim and will work with any tablet with Bluetooth. Priced around $39.
Media watching is one of the greatest benefits of tablets. The ability to watch movies and TV while traveling or just relaxing at home is very satisfying. Netflix is the biggest name when it comes to streaming video services. They offer a huge selection of TV and movie titles to choose from and now even produce original programs. The best part is that they offer software to use their service on all of the major tablet platforms. It is a subscription based service but has a very low price of just $7.99/month. Gift subscriptions are only currently available for the streaming service and can be selected in lengths of 1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 months to offer a wide range of gift budgets. The cards can also be applied to existing customer accounts.
Tablets have a limited amount of storage space on them which can be problematic for those that like to carry around a lot of applications, music and video with their device. Some tablets on the market have flash memory card slots on them to allow for additional storage space. The most common type of port to be found is the microSD slot. These are incredibly small flash memory cards that can over double the amount of storage space to be found in a tablet. A typical price for a 64GB microSD card with a full size SD card adapter is around $50 to $60.
Gift Cards For App Stores
Gift cards are a fairly popular option these days. After all, if you can't come up with a personalized gift idea, a gift card allows the recipient to choose their own gift. Application stores are the most common way for tablet users to purchase programs for their tablets. The downside here is that not all application stores offer gift cards. The two biggest platforms do have options available to do so though. Apple offers the applications through a branch of its standard iTunes store. As a result, you can purchase iTunes gift cards
for the recipient. While it is possible to get gift cards for the Google Play
Android Market, the Amazon Appstore for Android is more convenient and accepts the standard Amazon gift cards
. The great thing about this is that the recipient can elect to use the card for anything else offered through Amazon's store.