One of the most coveted pieces of tech currently available is the iPad. Apple released the first of these ultra stylish tablet computers in 2010, selling 300,000 units in the first day before going on to sell over 3 million within the first three months. Apple’s newest version of the iPad, the iPad 3, went on sale in March 2012, and as of April this year Apple report that they have sold over 67 million iPads to date, making up around 73% percent of tablet computer sales in the US in 2011.
After the emergence of the iPad as the powerhouse in the tablet computer marketplace, a whole other industry popped up right behind it; that of iPad accessories. Whether you’re a gadget hungry technology consumer or you’re just looking for something cool to supplement your iPad’s status as your new favourite thing in the world ever, you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs. Below are just a few examples of gadgets and add-ons that, given time, you’ll be completely unable to be without.
Cases, Carriers and Protectors
One of the reasons the iPad has been the huge success that it has is it’s stunning 9.7-inch LED-backlit retina display. However, if you’re anything like this blogger you’re going to need a little help in ensuring that it stays in the same condition that you bought it in for longer than a week. Luckily a large selection of cases and carriers have become available. The Apple ‘Smart Cover’ is the most popular type of cover sold. In traditional Apple style, the smart cover is both simple yet highly functional. Attaching itself magnetically to the front of your iPad, it can be attached an removed with ease and will keep your screen looking as new and shiny as the day that you bought it. Available for around £35 it’s an absolute steal. A must have for all iPad owners.
Speakers and Audio Docks
The iPad is not exactly generously endowed in the speakers department. Whilst fine for a day at the park or for listening to whilst in the garden enjoying the sunshine, if you’re planning to listen to music on it for any great period of time you might want to invest in a decent pair of speakers. There are some absolutely amazing iPad docking stations and speakers, and some can be incredibly expensive. If you’re happy to spend big then the Bang and Olufsen BeoSound 8 might be the thing for you. Retailing at £895, these ultra stylish speakers offer great sound quality, which for the price you’re paying is the least you should expect. Where it stands out amongst the other iPad speakers available is the nifty little feature where the bass level will automatically adjust to clean up the audio dependant upon the environment that the speakers are in. They also work with iPhones and Macs, should you own any other Apple devices.
If you’re not looking to spend quite as much as then fear not, there are plenty of other speaker systems and docking stations available. The Philips DC390 is a nifty little docking station. It offers perfectly acceptable sound quality and has the added bonus of being able to host more than one device at once, meaning that you can charge your phone and iPad overnight ready for the commute in the morning. Excellent value for money at £110.
The virtual keyboard offered by the iPad is great for tweeting, checking Facebook and writing the odd quick email, but for anything more than that it falls a little short. Luckily a number of great wireless keyboards are available should you find that you require them. One of the best keyboards that this blogger has seen is the Flexible Bluetooth Mini Keyboard. Available for £29.95 it can actually be rolled up and carried around in your pocket! It’s completely water and dust resistant offering a high level of functionality at an affordable price.
Batteries and Car Chargers
It’s incredibly frustrating to be out and about only to find that your iPad battery has run down and needs to be recharged. A great way around this is to invest in the Duracell USB Charger. Available for £29 the Duracell box can hold up to 5 hours of extra battery life once charged, perfect for when you find yourself low on juice. Another alternative is to purchase a car charger to plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. These will enable to charge your iPad whilst on the move. They can be procured relatively cheaply, the Griffin Power Jolt Dual retailing at around £9.95 and coming with the added bonus of being suitable for both your iPad and iPhone. Well worth getting just in case.
Movie Apps and Projectors
If you’re a movie enthusiast you’ll be happy to know that there is also a whole host of apps and devices to enable you to use your iPad to watch the films and TV programmes that you love.
Netflix is available for the iPad, with a monthly subscription costing just £6. If you don’t wish to have to watch movies with the iPad balanced on your knee you can always invest in one of the iPad Projector systems that have become available. The Optoma PKA21 Pico Projector can be carried around in your pocket ready for use and is cable of projecting images to sizes of 70 inch diagonal. Some will consider it a little pricey at £249.95, but with an LED light source that is capable of delivering up to 20,000 hours of service you wont have to worry about replacing it for quite some time.
With the endless list of cool new iPad accessories ever growing, Apple look set to maintain their strangle hold on the tablet computer market, and with such a diverse range of gadgets, tools and safety devices I can’t hear anyone objecting. Here’s looking forward to the next set of iPad accessories to hit shelves near you.
Author Bio:- Richard Hughes is a link builder and content writer currently employed by Online Ventures Group. He blogs for a number of sites including www.ipadstand.co.uk.