While the iPad itself is packed with features, there are countless accessories which can add more to the user experience. Here is our selection of five examples which combine design and functionality to great effect.
Adonit Writer Plus
One of the common gripes about the iPad is that it’s essentially a consumer device, and isn’t much use as a tool for work or getting things done. The on-screen keyboard is fine for status updates and tweets, but it hardly cuts the mustard when a report, essay or any bout of extensive typing is needed. That’s where the Adonit Writer Plus can help. It features a detachable physical keyboard and has been designed around principles of simplicity and stability.
• £90, more info at adonit.net/store/writer/
The rise of app-based gaming has also led to an explosion in retro-mania. For those who still cherish memories of playing arcade classics like Asteroids and Centipede, it’s now possible to bring the experience back to life with the Ion iCade, a cabinet which turns your iPad into a mini arcade machine, complete with the obligatory joystick and buttons. Download the free Atari Greatest Hits app and you’re good to go.
• £80, more info at www.ionaudio.com/products/details/icade
Let’s be honest: iPad owners aren’t exactly coy about letting the world know they’ve forked out for their shiny slab of circuitry, and so the idea of concealing the device may not appeal to some. But Apple’s own Smart Cover is a nifty accessory that works as both a sturdy cover and a keyboard stand. Best of all, it’s been designed in conjunction with the iPad, so it fits magnetically to the device and automatically sends it to sleep when closed, and wakes it up when opened. Even the fashionistas can be placated by the range of colour options on offer.
• From £35, more info at www.apple.com/ipad/smart-cover/
eKit iPad Charge and Sync Dock
In this wireless age, no-one likes having to deal with cables. If you work at a desktop PC, then the eKit dock is a good solution. Just plonk your iPad on this docking station and it conveniently charges and syncs with your computer. An added bonus is the audio output, allowing you to hear your iTunes music in full volume. Not a bad array of features at this price.
• From £10, more info at http://www.amazon.co.uk/eKit-Charge-Audio-connect-Hi-Fi/dp/B003XMVWF4
While touchscreen technology has revolutionised the way we use (or no longer use) computers, many of us still find our fumbling digits to be nowhere near as precise as we would like. That’s where a stylus can come in handy, especially if you’re going to be sketching out ideas, using drawing or painting apps or playing fast-paced games. There are countless different models available, but the AluPen is a chunky, well-built aluminum example which has already won several gadget awards.
• £13, more info at www.xtand.net/alupen.html
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