If there’s one Apple product I enjoy ‘kitting out’ more than any other, it’s the iPad.
Although I’ve made no secret about my struggle to find a permanent home for the iPad in both my business and personal life, I am, ironically, a long-term supporter of it.
I want Apple to raise the iPad’s game constantly. I want it to become a genuinely professional device (for me – I know others have found a home for it in that regard). I want to leave home and, when I realise I’ve forgotten my iPad, head straight back to pick it up.
Until all of those dreams become a reality, I’m going to enjoy flirting with Apple’s tablet and, more importantly, finding the best accessories to make it as useable and interesting as possible.
This is my current iPad ‘tech stack’ – I reckon there’s something here for everyone.
I know I’m like a broken record about Paperlike, but this is for two very good reasons.
The first is because I couldn’t live without it on my iPad mini (although I have one on my iPad Air, too). It transforms a surface which is tricky for writing and sketching into – you guessed it – a display that genuinely feels like paper.
If you do any kind of Apple Pencil work on your iPad, I encourage you to give Paperlike a try. The 2.1 version is a significant update with an even better feel and little impact on the iPad’s screen (you can barely tell it’s on there).
The second reason I’m always batting on about Paperlike is that they’re a supporter of this business and they help me keep this content free for you guys!
NuPhy Air60 and NuFolio Classic
Buy Air60 here (grab 10% off with code ‘mark’)
Buy NuFolio Classic here (grab 10% off with code ‘mark’)
I love interesting accessories and the combination of the NuPhy Air60 keyboard and NuFolio Classic is the epitome of that.
The NuPhy Air60 is a fully mechanical keyboard, but easily one of the smallest you’ll encounter. As a result, it’s got plenty of key travel (although not too much) and a lovely clickety-clack sound.
Rest the Air60 neatly on the NuFolio Classic (which also acts as a case for the keyboard) and you suddenly gain a little stand for your iPad. I use this regularly for my iPad mini and it’s a brilliantly portable solution for mechanical keyboard-loving iPad users.
I just wish the right-hand shift key was larger, NuPhy!
NuPhy Halo65 and Magic Trackpad
Buy Halo65 here (grab 10% off with code ‘mark’)
I’m in the process of setting up a little iPad Pro station in my home office (which long-term viewers of the Mark Ellis Reviews YouTube channel will recognise as my first studio). More on that soon, but there are some interesting accessories I’m putting to use that are worthy of mention.
Firstly, there’s the brilliant CharJenPro MagFlött magnetic iPad stand, which offers a brilliant way to iMac-ify your iPad Pro in the neatest way possible (thanks to some ingenious cable management).
Secondly, there’s another NuPhy keyboard – this time, the Halo65. It’s a smidgen bigger than the Air60, but perfect for permanent desktop use if you want a mechanical keyboard that doesn’t take up too much room and which fits perfectly with the iPad aesthetic. It also boasts 240 hours of battery life and can connect to up to four different devices at once.
To round off this home office iPad setup, I’ve added a Magic Trackpad, which remains the best input device for iPadOS if you don’t have a Magic Keyboard.
Pitaka charging stand and case (iPad mini)
I’ve been using the combination of the MagEZ Case Pro and MagEZ charging stand from Pitaka for months with my iPad mini.
This solution has ‘stuck’ (excuse the pun) for two reasons. Firstly, the case is a great case in its own right and keeps my iPad mini nice and safe. Secondly, the ability to effortlessly attach the iPad to the stand and have it charge while docked makes a massive difference to the iPad ownership experience.
It means that my iPad mini is always charged. Trust me – if, like most iPad owners, you regularly run out of juice to the point where you barely see the point in using the damn thing (simply because you haven’t got into a charging habit) this little Pitaka setup will solve all of your problems.
Benks Wireless Charging Pen
No, it doesn’t have pressure sensitivity. Yes, you have to pair it via – shock-horror – Bluetooth. But the Benks Wireless Charging Pen is £40.
The official second-generation Apple Pencil is £139.
Bar the two differences noted above, the Benks version is nigh-on identical to its Apple counterpart. It has the same magnetic charging method for your iPad, identical dimensions, and a tip that is just as accurate.
It isn’t for everyone. For instance, if you’re an illustrator or someone who relies on pressure sensitivity, you need the Apple Pencil. But if you just use your iPad for written notes, it’s a total bargain.
Benks iPad Pro Infinity Stand
The Benks iPad Pro Infinity is a great, cost-effective alternative to the aforementioned MagFlött in my home office.
It’s available for both iPad Pro models but is also compatible with the iPad Air (4th and 5th generation). It swivels, tilts, and spins in an almost limitless number of ways, making it one of the most practical and usable iPad magnetic stands on the market.
It’s portable, too; you can flatten the Infinity Stand so that it fits in your rucksack or bag, making it a tempting proposition for anyone who wants to mount their iPad during their travels.
Apple Magic Keyboard Folio (iPad 10)
The 10th-generation iPad was a weird release by Apple last year. But while I still struggle to work out who that iPad is for, it also prompted the dawn of the Magic Keyboard Folio.
This is my favourite official keyboard case for the iPad so far. It features a trackpad that’s bigger than the one found on the Magic Keyboard, a practical kickstand, a detachable keyboard, and the much sought-after function key row.
At £279 it’s still ludicrously expensive and, at the time of writing, only compatible with the 10th-generation iPad. But if this is where Apple’s Magic Keyboards are headed, I’m all for it.
CAFELE USB C Cable 100W PD Super Fast Charging Cable 3-in-1
This isn’t the most exciting iPad accessory on this list, but I rely on it daily.
The £21.99 CAFELE 100w charging cable isn’t just used for my iPads, obviously, but I plug those devices into it as much as any other, which is why it makes this list.
The CAFELE cable offers three connections – USB-C, micro USB, and Lightning. That isn’t unique (although the choice of connections is perfect for yours truly) but the way in which the cable retracts into its hockey puck-like home is a stroke of genius.
If you like tidy cable management and want to charge more than your iPad while out and about, this is an absolute no-brainer.
AirPods Pro 2
Once again, this isn’t an accessory designed exclusively for the iPad, but I can’t finish this list of essential iPad accessories without mentioning the second-generation AirPods Pro.
They are, without question, one of the most impressive upgrades Apple has ever made to an existing product.
They sound is better. The noise-cancelling is now on par with over-ear headphones. The transparency mode is, somehow, even more useful. The new charging case with its speaker and lanyard loop is a joy.
Combine your iPad with a pair of second-generation AirPods Pro and you’ve got one hell of a media setup.
I hope you found something of use above. The great thing about the iPad is that you can add to it and iteratively build the perfect setup.
In my opinion, Apple’s tablet needs these extras and additions to make it as useful and personal as possible. It’s fun to build out your iPad tech stack, too – I’ll certainly never stop hunting for the next great accessory.
On that note, what have I missed? If there’s an iPad accessory you think is missing from this list, let me know in the comments section below, and I’ll check it out.
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