If you’re like me, the Apple iPad has completely changed your life. It was totally worth the $500 (for the 16GB WiFi; $829 if you got the 16GB WiFi + 3G).
But after forking over that much money, I’m a little hesitant to bling it out with expensive iPad accessories. That’s why I’ve researched ways to save money on the latest accoutrements without sacrificing quality.
To start, let’s look at the top 5 accessories you should buy, and then I’ll offer tips to get them at a lower cost.
1. iPad Case
If you are going to spend so much money on a device like this you should purchase a case to keep it protected. This is by far the most popular iPad accessory.
All three of these cases will protect your tablet from bangs, dents, and scratches.
2. iPad Speakers
The built-in speakers on your iPad are adequate, but if you’re an audiophile, you’ll be begging for more. Portable iPad speakers will enhance the sound quality and make listening to music and watching videos much more enjoyable.
- iLuv iMM747 Audio Cube Hi-Fidelity Speaker Dock for iPad
- Chill Pill Mobile Speakers
- Bose Companion 2 Series II
All three of these cost less than $100 and are known to offer high quality sound that puts the “built-in” speaker to shame.
3. iPad Stylus
Since the iPad is a touch screen device, you’ll use your finger to navigate – unless you have a stylus pen. Those who use their iPad regularly, especially for business purposes, have found that a stylus is a great way to improve efficiency and performance.
These three options are highly rated thanks to their accuracy and performance. Of course, they are also safe for your screen.
4. iPad Wireless Keyboard or Dock
Both of these are perfect for users who type on a regular basis, and find the touchscreen keyboard to be inadequate. Features of the iPad keyboard dock include: full-size keyboard, rear dock connector port, and special keys to activate commonly used features.
If you don’t want to connect your iPad directly to a keyboard, opt for the wireless keyboard instead.
When buying a keyboard for your iPad it makes most sense to choose one of the two options direct from Apple. Both are affordable, of the highest quality, and 100 percent compatible with your device.
5. iPad Camera Connection Kit
With this accessory you can import videos and photos using a USB cable or directly from an SD card.
With the official iPad camera connection kit you get two ways to import videos and photos from your camera. You can do this directly from a secure digital (SD) card or by using your camera’s USB cord.
How to Save on iPad Accessories
All of these accessories are useful and exciting, but since you already paid a lot of money for your iPad you may not want to part with much more when it comes to accessorizing your gadget. Fortunately, there are ways to save.
1. Don’t buy accessories directly from Apple
“Official” iPad accessories from Apple almost always cost more than those from a third party provider. The accessories above that are sold by Apple include: iPad case (they only have one option), iPad wireless keyboard and keyboard dock, and iPad camera connection kit. Look for them at third-party vendors for a fraction of the cost. Don’t worry, just because you are buying from a third party doesn’t mean that the accessory is of lesser quality. In fact, many big name companies like Bose, BoxWave, and iLuv offer accessories for the iPad.
2. Shop online
No matter if you are buying an official Apple accessory or one from a third party, you can save a lot of money by shopping online for electronics. Personally, I have tried both local stores and online stores and have found shopping via the Internet much easier for two reasons: better selection and lower prices.
You don’t need to purchase accessories to have an enjoyable time with your iPad, but if you’re looking to upgrade your experience, use these tips to save your hard-earned dough.
What are some iPad accessories that you can’t go without? Were you able to get good deals on them?