Feb 1, 2011
Like Apple’s other consumer devices, the iPad has a wide-ranging ecosystem of accessories from third-party manufacturers. However, as is often the case, Apple itself supplies some of the most important must-have iPad accessories that any iPad owner simply can’t do without. These are the first-party accessories that Apple supplies for the iPad. Ranging from cases to docks and adapters, these accessories can help any iPad owner get more out of their favorite device.
Click a link or photo to browse to the product page for that iPad accessory. Prices current as of May 2011.
The iPad is thin and light, and can do almost everything that a computer can. While you are on the go, there is little reason to take anything else with you. At home, though, you might want to set the iPad up in a semi-permanent location so you can type some longer emails or blog posts while you charge the unit up for another day of adventures. The extra port on the back of the dock allows you to sync the iPad with your computer to upload and download content, or connect the iPad to a camera and transfer photos. You can even use the line-out jack to connect the dock to a stereo or set of speakers and listen to music while you work.
Although cases and sleeves for Apple products are usually provided by third-party companies, Apple themselves sold the very first case for the iPad, and it remains one of the best. The Apple iPad case provides tough reinforcement on the outside to protect the iPad from bumps and scrapes, and has a soft microfiber interior to prevent the screen from scratches. If you would like to use the iPad on a desk, simply turn the iPad case inside-out. The case doubles as a stand, allowing you to type with both hands while the iPad rests at a comfortable angle. On its own, the Apple iPad Case weighs just over 1/2 pound.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit is a necessary part of owning an iPad if you want to edit and share photos on it without using your computer as an intermediary, and one of the top reasons why we believe Apple would not add a USB port or SD card slot to future iPad models. The Apple Camera Connection Kit works only with the iPad — not the iPhone or iPod Touch — and includes two separate adapters. One adapter has a slot for an SD card, and the other has a USB port. Pair the Camera Kit with the Adobe Photoshop Express iPad App (Free), and your iPad becomes a one stop shop for photo uploading, editing and sharing. The Camera Connection Kit works with nearly any camera.
The Apple iPad Dock allows you to keep the charging station for your iPad in a semi-permanent location on your desk rather than fumbling for a USB cable each time you need to charge the device. Although we prefer charging the iPad inside a closed case for maximum protection, the Apple iPad Dock does simplify the charging process a bit to the extent that charging the iPad becomes a matter of drop it, wait, and pick it back up. Additionally, the iPad Dock has an audio jack for external speakers, and can be connected directly to a power outlet, charging the iPad faster than a USB cable alone. We do recommend being careful not to knock the iPad over while it is on the dock.
The iPad has an exceptionally long-lived battery, and charging it with a USB connection from a computer can take upwards of eight hours to get the battery to 80%. While this might be fine if you only charge the iPad overnight while you sleep, it might not be acceptable in a time-sensitive situation such as a short layover at an airport between flights. The iPad Wall Charger charges a dead iPad battery to 80% in just over three hours, allowing you to use your iPad on the go with less downtime. Simply connect the charger to a wall outlet and connect your USB sync cable to the iPad and to the charger. The Apple iPad Wall Charger also works to supply power to the iPad Dock and iPad Keyboard Dock.
The extreme portability of the iPad makes it the perfect device on which to give a presentation in the boardroom and watch a film at home, all in the same day. In situations like these, wouldn’t it be nice to broadcast the video output of the iPad on a much larger screen? The Apple iPad VGA Adapter makes this possible. If you have a television or monitor that lacks a VGA connection, Apple has you covered with Composite ($44.00) and Component ($39.00) A/V cables, available separately. Although the iPad Composite and Component cables cost more than the iPad VGA adapter, they have the ability to transmit audio as well as video, while the VGA adapter only transmits video images.
If you want to type more quickly on the iPad without using the iPad Keyboard Dock, the Apple Wireless Keyboard might be the solution for you. Along with giving you the freedom to place the iPad and keyboard wherever you like while typing, the Apple Wireless Keyboard also works with other Apple computers such as the iMac and Mac Mini. The Apple Wireless Keyboard synchronizes with the iPad using Bluetooth.