16 November 2012

The Best iPad Accessories for Busy Students

Often imitated but never outdone, Apple has cornered the market on cool. Walk down the halls of any institution of higher learning across the United States, and you will find studious teenagers and young adults alike quietly tapping away at their iPads. They might not always be studying, but you can bet that each one of these tech-savvy young people would sooner leave home without their wallet, textbooks or even clothing, instead of their trusty iPad. If you’re a student, or a parent looking for the perfect gift, here are a few of the cannot-live-without, best iPad accessories for the busy student.

iPad Car Charger

Officially, an iPad’s battery life during regular use is around 10 hours, although if you’re running multiple applications, a student would be lucky to squeeze five to six hours out of a single charge. A busy, on-the-go student doesn’t always have time to stop and recharge his iPad, which is where a car charger comes into play. Many brands offer car charger for less than $30, but it’s worth it to spend a little more for a model that features an LED power indicator light and a second USB port, which allows a student to charge another device at the same time.

iPad Case or Cover

The minute the first iPad hit the shelves, manufacturers began creating cases and covers to suit almost anyone’s budget and taste. There might be many cases or covers to choose from, but remember that style must come secondary to safety. The SmartCover is an excellent choice, and worth the $70 price tag. Aside from protecting the screen, the SmartCover automatically wakes up your iPad when it’s removed, and puts the tablet back to sleep when it’s slipped on. Aside from this, the flexible cover can also be transformed into a video or keyboard stand.

Thunderbolt Drive

Your budding filmmaker or photography enthusiast needs a funky, yet cost-effective, way to store his data. If this is your dilemma, look no further than a thunderbolt drive. These high-speed storage drives allow users to safely store data faster than any traditional PC or laptop. There are several varieties of thunderbolt drives available on the market, so talk with your student about his storage needs before shopping around for the best price.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

The iPad is fun for playing a rousing game of “Fruit Ninja,” digitally reading your favorite magazine or surfing through the latest digital downloads on Amazon.  Unfortunately, when it comes time to get that research paper done, the touchscreen keyboard leaves something to be desired. Those ingenious individuals at Apple, though, have already solved that dilemma, by offering a wireless keyboard made specifically for the iPad. There are more modestly priced versions on the market, but when it comes to Apple products, it’s always best to go directly to the source.

iPad Dock

You’ve already invested in a dock for your student’s iPod, so it would only make sense that Apple and a handful of other gadget manufacturers would continue the trend by creating similar docks for the iPad.  The student can keep the dock at his bedside and turn his iPad into a makeshift alarm clock, or use it as an all-in-one, on-the-go entertainment system. Once again, there are several key players in this market, so you have the freedom to look for a dock that fits your student’s budget and tastes.

Apple Camera Connector Kit

Among its many applications, the iPad is also a handy video and photograph editor, but there’s always been one hitch: how do you affordably and quickly transfer pictures from your digital camera? The Apple Camera Connector Kit allows users to upload photos directly to the device, where they can then edit or display the pictures right on their iPad. For around $30, this is a fun, inexpensive gadget your student will probably use on a regular basis.
When it comes to purchasing the perfect iPad accessory, it’s all about the price and manufacturer’s reputation. Once again, it’s never a bad idea to purchase accessories directly from Apple, but the company’s inflated prices can, time and again, turn people away. If you cannot afford Apple brand products, do your homework to find gadgets and accessories that are reliable, as well as cost-effective.

About the Author:  Stuart Michaels is a guest blogger and self-proclaimed Apple accessory guru. Stuart is the owner of a small electronics store, although he spends the majority of his free time playing apps on his iPad.


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I got an iPad for Christmas and now I'm looking forward to using it in college all the time! As well as decorating it, you know.

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