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10 must-have accessories for your tablet

If you are one of the millions of tablet owners or plan to give one as a gift, don't miss these good accessories to get the most use out of it.
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By James Kendrick on
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1 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

10 must-have accessories for your tablet

Tablets, tablets everywhere! It seems everybody has one or plans to get one soon. No matter the brand or platform, having the right accessory can add lots of value to the tablet.

We've scoured the web for the best tablet accessories so you don't have to. This collection has cases, batteries, and wireless accessories to open your tablet right up.

Most of the gadgets in this collection will work with any tablet, with only a few specific to certain models. They are good purchases for self-owned tablets, and good gifts for tablet toting friends and family members. Father's Day is coming up so these might be just the ticket.

See also:

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Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB

Tablets aren't known for storage capacity, and this wireless drive from Seagate addresses that situation. There are various capacities available, and those carrying lots of movies to watch on the tablet will be well served by this model with a whopping 1TB. There's even a 2TB model available for those who fear the cloud.

This drive has a 10 hour battery and can stream not one, but three different HD movies to three different devices at the same time. It works with PC, Mac, Android, Kindle Fire HDX, and iPads/iPhones.

The MSRP is $180 from Seagate.

Seagate product page

See related:

 

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Bose SoundLink Mini

Audiophiles wanting a good speaker to play music on the tablet should look to Bose. The SounkLink Mini is a small speaker that packs a lot of sound. It streams music from the phone or tablet over Bluetooth, and sounds really nice as is typical for Bose audio products.

It's not cheap at $199, but the rechargable battery drives the speaker for 12 hours according to Bose. It comes with a charging cradle and there are covers available in a variety of colors.

Since it's Bluetooth, it should work with just about any tablet or phone.

Bose product page

Tablet coverage:

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4 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Kingston Digital MobileLite Wireless Flash Reader

Tablets are good for viewing photos, but getting them from the phone or camera to the tablet can be frustrating. This is especially true for the iPad as it lacks a card reader of any type. The Digital MobileLite from Kingston steps in to make this process, and any other file transfer, a breeze.

It accepts SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD cards in the tiny reader, and connects wirelessly over wi-fi to the tablet for accessing the files. It can work with PC, Mac, Android, Kindle Fire, and iOS devices.

The battery is rechargable via an included cable.

At only $35, this is a great value for the tablet owner.

Kingston product page

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New Trent iGeek Battery

Battery life is pretty good on current tablets, but sometimes you need as much as you can get. The iGeek battery from New Trent packs a whopping 11200mAh to charge almost any mobile device, some more than once.

The New Trent iGeek has two USB ports and thus will charge any tablet that has a USB charging cable.

It is $55 on Amazon and weighs a pound.

New Trent iGeek product page on Amazon.

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ZAGGkeys Auto-fit keyboard

Some folks like to use a keyboard with their tablet from time to time. There are quite a few available for iPads and some Samsung tablets but those who own another model are out of luck.

That used be the case but no longer, as this universal keyboard case from ZAGG will fit virtually any 7-inch tablet. It uses springs to secure the tablet in a folio case, with a nice keyboard on the other side.

It should fit almost any tablet from 7 to 7.9 inches, including the Kindle Fire HDX, Samsung Galaxy, and the Nexus 7. It is $80 from the vendor. The company has previously indicated it will make two larger sizes, but those product pages are no longer on the ZAGG web site.

ZAGG product page

 

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Jackery Giant Charger

Battery life on the go is so important we've included a second option in this collection. The Giant charger from Jackery is capable of a high output (2.1A) making it possible to rapidly charge even large tablets. 

It features two USB charging ports, an integrated flashlight, and charge indicator LEDs. It is available from Jackery for $40.

Jackery product page

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Waterfield Design Tablet Ultimate SleeveCase

Tablets are fragile in nature and a carrying case is a good investment. The sleeves from Waterfield Design are attractive and make it easy and safe to carry the tablet around.

The construction is durable, I have been using these sleeves for a decade and they still look brand new. They can be configured as a simple slip-in sleeve, with a protective flap, and with a shoulder strap. They are available in multiple sizes to fit most any tablet. There is a fitting guide on the company web site to ensure you get the proper size for your tablet.

The sleeves start at $59.

Waterfield Design product page

 

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AmazonBasics Portable Fold-Up Travel Stand

The new Surface Pro 3 tablet from Microsoft has an integrated stand to prop it up at the desired angle. Other tablets don't have this feature so a good mobile stand is a solid investment.

This folding stand from AmazonBasics will handle virtually any tablet no matter how big or heavy. It opens in seconds and supports working with tablets in both portrait and landscape orientations. I've used one for over two years and it is a great accessory to use on the desk or while traveling.

At only $9.49 you almost can't afford to not get one.

AmazonBasics product page

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Original Kitchen iPad Rack

I'm no chef but those who are find the tablet to be the perfect assistant for turning out great recipes. It's a messy process that can gum up the tablet screen unless it's properly situated.

Latest review

The Kitchen iPad Rack can be easily installed in the kitchen where needed. It presents the tablet screen in the best way possible for constant reference.

It's sold for the iPad but there's no reason it can't be used with most any tablet. It is available from the manufacturer for $26 and there's a swivel model for $36.

Product page

See related: 

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Kindle Fire HDX Origami Case

Smart covers for tablets are widely available for name brand tablets, but this one for the Kindle Fire HDX is outstanding. The origami inspired cover can securely prop the Kindle in either portrait or landscape orientation.

There is a polyurethane model for $45 (7-inch model) and a leather case for $55 (7-inch model). The same covers for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX are $55 and $70, respectively.

Amazon product page

Additional Kindle Fire HDX coverage:

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