Apple’s iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet category. You have a pretty wide choice of models now, and they all offer a world of possibilities out of the box. However, with the right set of iPad accessories, you can kick things up a notch. We’ve been shopping around and testing out some of the most interesting add-ons available, each of which is designed to squeeze a little something extra from your iPad. Snag yourself a versatile stand, a great keyboard, or the perfect stylus. We’ve got all of that and more.
The iPad is great for watching movies in bed, but tired arms, a crick in your neck, or a suspicious bruise after you drop it on yourself, are all potential hazards. We think the multipurpose, lightweight Tstand is the answer. The device features clamping arms outfitted with soft rubber pads that slide apart to accommodate any tablet. Fix your iPad at any angle, and the design of the base makes it possible to lie down with the stand on your chest. Combined with headphones and Netflix, you have an immersive one-person cinema. Plus, it works equally as well at the breakfast table, letting you catch up with morning news or read a recipe without coating your iPad with marinara. The versatile stand also folds flat when you want to put it away, and though it’s set to retail for $75, you can still pre-order it for $42.
You will not find a better keyboard for your iPad than this. The BrydgeAir keyboard is made of solid aluminum and outfitted with a color finish to match your iPad. Instead of encasing the iPad entirely, it features a 180-degree hinge designed to accommodate your tablet and keep bulk to a minimum. The island keys are well-spaced with good travel and backlighting, too, and the device works via Bluetooth and features built-in stereo speakers for enhanced sound. It recharges via Micro USB, but you should get a couple of months of use between charges. This stylish keyboard really hits Apple’s design standards and makes your iPad feel like a mini MacBook.
If you take your iPad out with you, there’s always the danger it will run out of power. Thankfully, this power bank will provide your iPad Air or Air 2 with a full charge. It utilizes high-quality Samsung batteries and features a blue LCD display, one that shows exactly how much power remains. There are also two ports, so that you can charge an iPad and a smartphone at the same time. There are lots of great portable battery chargers on the market, but this one strikes a good balance between portability, capacity, functionality, and price.
This might be overkill for some people, but if you want a versatile headrest mount for the car, then you should really check it out. The contraption features spring-loaded clips to hold your iPad securely in place, but they’re pretty easy to remove, and you can fit your iPad in there even if it has a case on. The steel bar screws into your headrest and there’s a second bar and hinge so you can place the iPad in between the headrests if you want, which is ideal when you have two or three kids in the back. It’s very stable once tightened as well, and it’s easy to adjust the angle or switch to portrait view.
For watching movies or listening to music on your iPad, you’ll want some decent headphones. These on-ear headphones from Sennheiser tick all the right boxes. They look good, they’re comfortable to wear, and they deliver excellent sound quality. If you crave decent bass and you want detailed treble and midrange, then you should pull the trigger on these. You can learn more in our full Sennheiser Urbanite headphones review.
The best stylus for you will depend on exactly what you want to do with it. If you have an iPad Pro, then the Apple Pencil will be an obvious choice, but it’s not designed to work well with other iPad models. Adonit offers a wide range of different styli, but the Jot Touch provides a wealth of excellent features, including pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, a fine point, and shortcut buttons that you can configure. It’s a great choice if you want something to draw with, but it works best with a specific range of supported apps, so do your homework before you buy. If you want something simply for jotting notes, however, you really don’t need to spend this much.
Thanks to AirPlay, you can mirror your iPad screen on your TV using an Apple TV. This is great for showing off family photos or accessing all sorts of entertainment. You can also use Apple’s Remote app to turn your iPad into a remote control and make searching for content that much easier. Since the Apple TV is fairly small, it also represents your best bet for presentations and travel. You can plug it into any TV using HDMI, and stream from your iPad via AirPlay without the need for Wi-Fi. The new Apple TV brings a few new innovations to the tablet — such as the Siri remote, for instance— but it also costs $150.
If you like to play a lot of games on your iPad, this gaming controller is well worth the investment. It can connect to the iPad 4 and later via Bluetooth, along with Apple TV and the iPhone 5 or later. It’s comfortable to hold, too, with decent buttons and a feel that resembles a traditional Xbox controller. There’s a power switch, a Bluetooth button for easy pairing, and a Lightning port for recharging. Some of the alternatives lack a rechargeable battery, so it’s definite selling point. It’s also a solid choice for the money.
Anyone wanting to play iPad games on the big screen without the Apple TV will need this cable. It plugs into the Lightning port on your iPad and includes both an HDMI port and a Lightning port, so you can relay content to your TV and charge your iPad at the same time. It’s really expensive for what it is though, and you’ll need an HDMI cable to go with it. However, it also can provide a smoother experience than mirroring through and Apple TV, which requires a fast Wi-Fi network to work well.
If you want a simple folio-style case that can prop up your iPad in a wide range of different landscape angles, then this is your best bet. The case covers your iPad with a protective plastic shell, which also conveniently features all the necessary openings and cutouts needed to control your device. The entire package is wrapped in neatly stitched vegan leather that’s available in black, blue, or red. Open the cover up and you’ll find a series of notches to prop it up at different angles, or you can fold it back for a flatter angle that’s suitable for typing. The closure is magnetic, it supports the automatic sleep/wake function, and the interior is a soft micro suede designed to protect your iPad while keeping it clean. If you fancy something different, then check out our best iPad cases.