Cool and Fun Accessories for the iPad

The iPad has a distinct advantage over competing tablets due to the massive third party accessory market. These accessories range from the simple case to things that turn the iPad into a full gaming console. This collection of useful accessories for the iPad will appeal to virtually everyone.
Topic: Hardware
1 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Turn your iPad into a real DJ system with the Numark iDJ. This system turns any iPad owner into a DJ, using the music installed on the iPad. The system is easy to learn, but sophisticated enough for the pros. You will be the life of the party with the iDJ and its dual turntables for mixing just the right sound.

Company web site  $88

Check out the full mobile coverage on ZDNet Mobile News

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There are no shortage of cases for the iPad, but this one is practical, fun, and stylish. The BookBook case looks like a real leather-bound book, providing complete protection for the iPad on the go. It also disguises the iPad as a simple book, which may fool the casual thief in public places.

The BookBook case is not cheap but has quality construction of aged leather.

Company web site $70

3 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

This unique stand is designed to hold the iPad in any position for largely hands-free usage. It can even be used to hold the tablet upside down over the head for reading in bed. The stylish design makes it an attractive addition to any room.

Company web site  $80


Full coverage of the iPad on ZDNet Mobile News

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The touch screen of the iPad is a good virtual canvas, but finger painting is no good for serious artists. This line of real artist brushes are designed to make "painting" on the iPad screen a reality, and a good one. There are different brushes to choose from depending on your needs, from short ones to longer brushes.

The company's web site has video to show the budding artist how to best use these brushes to create real masterpieces. There is even a set of brushes for kids to turn them into iPad artists.

Company web site $20 - $24 each

5 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

The iPad is a great gaming device but sometimes a simple joystick would make it a lot more enjoyable. This little joystick attaches to the screen via a suction cup and turns the iPad into an old-time controller for games.

Amazon $15

6 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

The iPad is durable but prone to scratches, and the Gelaskin appliques protect the bezel and back of the tablet with beautiful designs. The designs consist of skins that are easy to apply to the front and back of the iPad, and included downloadable wallpapers to make the iPad display match the skin.

There are dozens of designs to choose from, and it is easy to switch them out when the mood changes.

Company web site   $30 (Boombox design shown)

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The iSound is a stand for the iPad that handles charging duty, and includes stereo speakers to get the most of the iPad's sound capability while sitting on the desk. The iPad can be rotated into portrait or landscape orientation as preferred at just about any viewing angles.

The combination of active and passive speakers in the iSound deliver loud, quality playback.

Company web site   $130

8 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Miss the coin-operated games of your youth? Turn your iPad into a full arcade gaming system with the iCade. The system has a joystick and full set of buttons for that retro-gaming feel.

The iCade works with the Atari Greatest Hits app in the App Store to bring old favorites like Missile Command and Asteroids to the iPad, which slides right into the iCade cabinet. The app is $14.99 for 100 Atari favorites, or $1 for 3-game packs if you're on a budget.

In addition to the Atari classics, developers are releasing games available in the App Store compatible with the iCade. The full list of dozens of games is at the link below.

ThinkGeek site   $100 (games extra)

9 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Many iPad owners also own an iPhone or other smartphone, and would love to charge both devices at the same time with only one charger to keep track of. Enter the Macally dual charger which combines a slim unit with collapsing plug for easy transport with two USB ports to handle both a phone and iPad.

Sometimes simple really is the best.

Company web site  $30

10 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

The proprietary connector on the iPad means you need special cables to charge them. This retractable cable from Macally is designed for travel, and combines the special iPad connector on one end with a USB connector on the other. The two are connected by a retractable cable the collapses for travel into a tiny package. It works well with the dual device charger also featured in this collection.

Company web site   $25

11 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

This kit from Apple is a must-have for any iPad owner that uses a smartphone to take photos and video. The kit comes with two separate connectors: one with a USB port for directly connecting phones to the iPad (including the iPhone); and the other unit contains an SD slot for plugging camera memory cards into the iPad.

Both connectors make it easy to get photos and video into the iPad for editing, sharing and other tasks.

Apple store  $29

12 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Sometimes you need a physical keyboard to get stuff done, but most are less than full-sized which frustrates some typists. Enter the Logitech, which serves as a case for the iPad for transport, yet opens into a full-sized keyboard.

The Logitech uses a unique butterfly technique for transforming from case to keyboard, and is an outstanding keyboard.

Logitech site  $130

ZDNet Mobile News review of the keyboard

13 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

If a separate keyboard case is not your liking, turn your iPad into a full iOS laptop with the Clamcase. Available in black, white, or a special Storm Trooper Edition, the Clamcase is a protective case for transporting the iPad.

When it's time to work just open the lid as on any laptop, which exposes a full keyboard complete with special keys to control the iPad. The case can be used folded flat as a tablet, as a stand for watching video, in addition to full laptop operation.

Company web site  $150

14 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

The Piano Master combines a real electronic keyboard with an included iPad app to teach the piano to budding musicians. The keys light up on the keyboard during lessons, and the iPad screen shows exactly where the fingers should be playing.

This was unveiled at the CES 2012, and looks like a great method for learning the piano.

Company web site Price not provided at publication time

15 of 15 James Kendrick/ZDNet

So you want to be a rock star, but find not being able to play the guitar to be a hindrance? Enter the Guitar Apprentice, a guitar appliance that is designed to teach the guitar to anyone. The iPad actually plugs right into the body of the guitar, and becomes the strumming surface for playing and learning.

The Guitar Apprentice looks like a good way to learn the guitar, no strings attached.

Company web site  Price not provided at time of publication

Check out the full mobile coverage on ZDNet Mobile News

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