I’ve tried lots of accessories for my iPad over the last three years I’ve been using it as my main computer. To save you some trouble, here are the things I’d purchase right away if I lost them.
You’ll find links to the exact products below, or something that’s as close as I can currently find.
While I don’t use my Apple Pencil daily, the Paperlike is still a must have accessory. For my iPad Pro I purchased it a week before I purchased the iPad because I knew I’d want it. Then when they came out with the second version a few months later, I purchased that one immediately. Not only does this excellent screen protector make using your pencil on your much nicer, it cuts down on finger smudge in a huge way. It also makes the screen so much easier to clean.
SD Card Reader
While I do like my StayGo hub, I have found that a standard cheap SD card reader is faster at transferring files to my iPad. I lucked out with my purchase of some cheap SD reader which looks exactly like the one I’ve linked below. It ha SD and MicroSD and works like a champ, transferring hundreds of GB of video files to my iPad weekly.
Purchase SD card reader
Basic iPad Case with Magnets
The first number of cases for my iPad had some sort of shell that clamped on to my device. I thought these were great until I got a magnetic case, and then they all sit in my drawer. If money is tight, I’d get the Smart Folio as my only case, instead of having a portable case, and an extra portable case.
Spare Battery for Long days
I’ve had many batteries over the years, but the Anker PowerCore Fusion is my go to option for my bag. Not only is this a 5000mAh battery, it’s also a wall plug that provides two USB A ports. When I have an outlet, I can plug this in and provide power to my iPad and iPhone while charging the battery inside the PowerCore.
I’ve been on the wireless headphone bandwagon since Jaybird introduced their first set of wireless headphones years ago. Today my go to headphones on the go are the PowerBeats Pro. I can switch these easily between my iPad, iPhone, and Mac while also being able to run with them securely. I’ve had these on mountains in the snow, and in the coffee shop working for the last year and they’re still going strong.
Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio
The conclusion of my recent keyboard shootout was that the Apple Keyboards are excellent, even if they are expensive. Since I’ve purchase both the Smart Folio and the Magic Keyboard for my iPad Pro in the last 3 months, these are the only two keyboards I use with my iPad. One for extra portable times, and one for longer work sessions. I’m watching kids play outside with the Magic Keyboard at this exact moment while my wife has a middle of the day course.
StayGo USB C Hub
There are lots of USB C hubs around. My go to hub is the StayGo Hub from TwelveSouth. This hub provides a hidden short USB C cable in addition to a longer cable for usage at the desk. Most other hubs come with an integrated cable that is comically short. Many iPad specific hubs mount in stupid ways or don’t provide an Ethernet jack to use when I’m at my desk.
Purchase StayGo USB C Hub
Nekteck USB Charger
The USB C brick that comes with your iPad is an insult. It barely provides the power you want for your device which means you have to purchase a more powerful one. I use this 60w Nekteck charger to provide power for all the accessories that get plugged into my StayGo Hub.
Purchase Nekteck 60W USB C Charger
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
A comfortable set of headphones is a must at my house. Combine three kids with an 18-month construction project just behind me and I’ve got lots of noise all the time. The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is an excellent set of headphones. They’re comfortable and connect via their own USB powered wireless box to my Mac Mini, while also having a Bluetooth connection to use with my iPad.
VESA Mount or Stand
The best step I took in using my iPad as my regular computer was to get a stand for my desk to elevate the iPad to a proper height. My first option was a simple stand that sat on my desk.
My second stab at improved ergonomics was a cheap VESA arm and a clamp from Ergotron. Most recently I built myself a magentic iPad Pro VESA mount. The last option is the cleanest and nicest to use by far.
Once you raise your iPad to a proper height you’ll need an external keyboard. I love my Anne Pro 2, but any keyboard you have will do. I like wireless, but wired works via a USB hub or most mechanical keyboards now are USB C which means they can plug directly into your iPad.
While the iPad interface is touch first, it’s going to get annoying to raise your arms all the time once you elevate your device. Yes any mouse will work, but the Magic Trackpad to is the best device that takes advantage of the gestures that come with iPadOS now.
Xbox Wireless Game Controller
Okay, maybe you don’t need this accossory but you iPad is an excellent gaming device. I haven’t gamed regularly in years because of life and kids, but with the iPad and Apple Arcade you’ll find me doing a bit of gaming a night or two every week. It’s easy to grab the controller and do a bit of gaming in a bit of downtime.