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The year is quickly coming to an end, and what an exciting year it has been for the spunky little tablet that could. Initially written off as little more than a stunted computer, the iPad leapt out of the gates and quickly became one of the most lusted after piece of technology this year. The gadget accessories market has been scrambling to keep supplies up and the products innovative. This was the first time that a tablet computer gained any sort of momentum with consumers so what they wanted in an accessory was largely unknown. But, the year is winding down and the market numbers have been coming out and some winning products have shown their faces. With the holiday season just around the corner we are going to look back on “2010: the year of the iPad” and countdown the top 5 best iPad accessories out there.
At number five is the BoxWave Capacitive Stylus for the iPad. Sure, there are cheaper options (*cough* Pogo Sketch *cough*) out there but you’ve already bought a nice iPad so splurge a little and make sure to buy a Stylus that lasts. Users have complained that some of the cheaper styluses require far too much pressure to work and, in some cases, have even scratched the screen! With the increased precision and nice feeling tip, this stylus is perfect for note taking and drawing. I myself am a bit partial to the black but it’s also available in white, silver, and red for around $18.
Anyone who has used an iPad for any amount of time for serious work like emails and homework knows that, while Apple did do a nice job with the on-screen keyboard, it doesn’t cut the mustard for composing anything longer than “LOL”. There are also tons of bluetooth enabled keyboard on the market that solve this problem but I’ve got to go with Apple’s own beautiful and functional wireless keyboard for my number 4. Apple took great pains to style the iPad and why not continue the look with a matching aluminum keyboard? The keys also have a nice feel to them and most of the custom function buttons work as well. Another plus is that the keyboard is small and light enough to keep the iPad portable. The Apple Wireless Keyboard is a bit on the expensive side but I feel that the quality you get for your money makes it well worth it. It can be found for around $70.
Another problem that’s quickly apparent with the iPad is having to hold the darn thing up all the time! Unless you quickly want wrist or neck problems an iPad stand is a must! So at number 3 comes my favorite iPad stand: Bear Motion’s Kickstand. This stand folds to nearly any angle ensuring that you can always find an ergonomic position. Great for reading, typing, watching movies, or displaying pictures this black and aluminum stand matches nicely with the iPad. The best part though is the price! At around $19 this functional stand will leave you with money to spare. Do your body a favor and pick one up!
Otterbox has been making a “splash” in the gizmo protection market for some time and they’ve brought their expertise to bear on the iPad. Coming in at number two is the baddest iPad case that money can buy: the Defender. This case really is three cases in one: an included screen protector keeps the screen pristine, the hard polycarbonate inner shell protects the guts of the iPad, and the soft outer silicone skin cushions the device from any sudden shocks or falls. If all that wasn’t enough there is a hard polycarbonate shell that snaps over the iPad to protect the screen when not in use. Finally, that same shell doubles as an iPad stand. Clearly, Otterbox knows what they are doing and at around $50 this case is a great value loaded with function.
The time has come to unveil the number one accessory of 2010: the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD for the Apple iPad. Originally designed to protect military helicopter blades from flying dust and debris, the special material that Zagg uses for their screen protectors is simply the strongest material on the market. The best part of the Zagg, and the reason it came in at number one, is that it is compatible with nearly every other case and cover on the market. Slip it into a sleeve, zip it up in a folio, or stash it in a bag. No matter where you place your iPad there is always going to be a military grade film protecting it. It can be found for around $15 with a little searching around.
So there we have it! Manufacturers manufactured and consumers consumed and the best iPad accessories floated to the top like cream on milk. Any one of these accessories would improve your iPad experience, but just like ice cream, more is definitely better!