Apple iPad is a mighty smooth device with its quality upgrades. So much that it could now easily outsmart a mid-range laptop. And while the iPad’s hardware and software are perfectly capable of handling a multitude of tasks, you may need some extra accessories to turn your iPad into a laptop for more productivity.
And whether you are a pro or beginner, a teacher or student, here are some neat & nifty accessories to make the most of your iPad.
With iPadOS 13, Apple expanded iPad’s support for keyboard shortcuts, further enhancing the device’s utility. Obviously, a keyboard is necessary to make the most of these features.
If budget is not a problem, you can go for Apple’s Magic/Smart Keyboard folio. If it is a concern, a keyboard case smartly offers both protection and utility in one neat package, making it a wise and worthy investment for almost all iPad users.
However, if you already have a decent case for your iPad, a Bluetooth keyboard would be a great option.
Below are our top picks for an iPad keyboard.
I. Logitech slim folio with a wireless keyboard: Best battery life
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy
- Battery: Up to 4 years* (*2-hours daily use)
- Other features:
- Function keys
- Apple Pencil storage
- Power-saving auto on/off
The completely foldable slim folio is a snug, form-fit case complete with front, back, and corner protection. A soft, wear and tear-resistant outer fabric lend a great hand-feel.
Its integrated keyboard boasts large, well-spaced, edge-to-edge scissor keys for a comfortable and accurate typing experience. Plus, the three sketch, read (10° angle), and type (58° angle) modes make it optimal for any task.
A power-saving mode auto switches on/off the keyboard when you open/close the folio. Further, an advanced Bluetooth LE connectivity allows an energy-efficient, reliable connection.
I love the well-thought design. From the Apple pencil holder to the smart shortcut keys on top, each feature helps you make the most of your laptop.
The Bottom line – A feature-packed lightweight keyboard case that will keep you productive while safeguarding the iPad.
- Complete 360° protection
- Shortcuts keys on top
- Power saving mode
- Good battery life
- No backlit keys
- Not easy to put on/ take off
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II. Logitech K380 multi-device Bluetooth keyboard: Most affordable choice
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0
- Operating range: Up to 10 meters
- Battery: 2-year life
- Other features:
- Pairs up to 3 devices
- Low-profile, circular scissor keys
- Compact, minimal layout
Logitech has nailed the art of making good keyboards. And everything from the key-spacing to key-travel is on point in K380, despite its compact and minimal footprint.
The circular keys not only look uber-cute but also enhance your typing experience. Plus, with an Apple-specific layout, i.e., Command key and more, it is a perfect match for your iPadOS, macOS, iOS, and even Apple TV.
What’s great is that you can easily switch between (up to) 3 devices with a tap. And thanks to an automated power-saving mode, the keyboard promises up to 2 years of usage.
However, I wish it boasted a rechargeable battery instead of the AAA one’s, as that would have been more convenient.
The Bottom line: A compact, lightweight, and colorful keyboard option ideal for people with multiple compatible devices.
- Great battery life
- HotKeys on the top
- Easy switch
- Available in multiple colors
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Battery isn’t rechargeable
2. Mouse or trackpad for iPad – To multitask with smooth gestures
Whether to open the doc, invoking App Switcher or Spotlight search, the iPad boasts some fantastic trackpad and mouse gestures quite like MacBooks.
These convenient gestures limit the need to touch the screen and save pro users plenty of time. You can either opt for a keyboard case with the trackpad or buy them separately.
Here’re some of the best mouse and trackpads currently available for your iPad.
I. Apple Magic Trackpad 2: The official choice
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Battery: 30 days (rechargeable)
- Other features:
- Auto-connects to iPad
- Force Touch and Multi-touch sensor
- 33 feet Bluetooth range
As with every Apple product, the Magic Trackpad 2 is designed to almost perfection; it is somewhat expensive but the perfect match for your iPad and MacBook.
The craziest thing, though, is that it features an edge-to-edge glass surface area. And four smartly placed force sensors on the inside. Thanks to it, you can click anywhere on the trackpad.
Plus, it is trained to recognize even the slightest difference in the pressure, allowing the seamless use of gestures, taps, and clicks. Trust me, I have gone through a fair few trackpads, and none is as smooth as this one.
The battery capacity is decent, with around a month of sustenance. And it takes about 2 hours for a full charge via the lightning port. The only thing lacking is a power-saving mode; you’ll have to manually turn it on/off.
The Bottom line: Great for pro users and multi-taskers as you almost negate the compulsion to touch the screen for tasks and break your rhythm.
- Recognize and support multi-touch
- Easy to connect and use
- Sleek & stylish profile
- A bit expensive
- Slightly delicate due to glass top
II. Satechi aluminum M1 Bluetooth mouse: Best budget mouse
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Battery: ~45 days (rechargeable)
- Other features:
- Ideal for left- and right-hand users
- Optical sensors for precise and fast-tracking
- 32 ft Bluetooth range
The sleek, aluminum Satechi mouse sports an elegant ergonomic design, curved profile, smooth scroll wheel, up to 32 ft wireless range, making it one of the best Bluetooth mouse options.
Designed to suit both right and left-handed users perfectly, it nicely fits your palm for comfortable usage. Additionally, an optical sensor and 1200 DPI resolution ensure precise tracking and fast scrolling.
The cute, adorable mouse boasts a convenient Type-C recharging port, so you can quickly charge it between usages.
While the LED light indicates charging status, there is no way to know the current charging status. This can be off-putting, especially when you have travel plans.
The Bottom line: When you are on the hunt for a compact mouse that does not compromise on functionality or all-day comfort, Satechi can be the one. However, it is only compatible with iPad running iPadOS 13 or above.
- Small yet ergonomic
- Precise and smooth tracking
- Metallic color options
- Doesn’t work well on shiny surfaces like granite
- Doesn’t show battery status
3. Smart desktop stand for iPad – Make your workspace ergonomic
Where there is a desk job, there is neck pain and backache. And if you work, play, or binge all day long on your iPad, a desktop stand will be the wisest investment you’ll ever make.
The great thing is that the market is brimming with tons of options. So, you can easily find the right match suiting your working needs, desk height, and other requirements.
If you are confused, here are some of my favorite iPad desk stands.
I. Twelve South Compass Pro: Best iPad stand in aesthetics
Thankfully, the all-metal folding stand Compass Pro carries the legacy ahead. The tripod-like design can easily take the weight of your iPad, placed either vertically or horizontally.
And the soft silicone pads protect both your iPad and desk from scratches. Interestingly, the second leg folds down or tilts to support three different viewing angles, 52°, 43°, and 15°.
So, whether hands-free viewing, typing, or sketching, Compass Pro ensures all your needs are accommodated. I admire how you can fold it down and stash it in your desk or bag until you need it next.
The Bottom line: This super-compact iPad stand gives you the flexibility of multi-angles and orientation, along with trustworthy stability.
- Compact yet super-strong
- Smooth, elegant finish
- Extended silicone foot to support iPad
- Slightly heavy
II. Anozer Adjustable Tablet Stand: Most flexible stand
The portable industrial-looking tablet stand can completely fold down to a pocket-friendly form factor. And despite that, it packs tons of features under its hoods.
For one, you can adjust the height from 4.3” to 6.3”, the support bar can be tiled from 0 to 90°and the clip can be set to a custom viewing angle between 0° to 135°. In all, you can make lots of permutations and combinations for the perfect setting.
Secondly, the sturdy metal-weighted base and premium aluminum rod ensure that the stand doesn’t buckle up under the weight of the iPad. A silicone covered pad and rubber hook secures the tablet and avoids slips or scratches.
Furthermore, the hook is designed in a manner that does not block your screen, maintaining seamless hands-free viewing at any angle/height.
The Bottom line: A budgeted, compact, adjustable, and good-looking option to bring laptop-like utility to your iPad.
- Completely foldable
- Multi-height and -angle settings
- Value for money
- Doesn’t have a robust locking mechanism
4. USB hubs – To truly complete the MacBook transformation
An intelligent USB hub can manifold the prospects of multitasking with an iPad, almost matching the skills of a MacBook. It opens up the doors to accessories like SD cards, pen drives, HDMI cable, camera, and more.
And though this may seem a small accessory, remember that the functionality of other accessories depends on this one. So, pay heed to the no. of ports, speed, and durability before selecting a hub.
Here’re the USB hubs that work really well for my iPad and me.
I. HyperDrive 6-in-1 USB-C hub adapter: Best data transfer speed
- USB-C 3.0, PD 60W, and 5Gbps data transfer
- USB-A 3.0, 5Gbps data transfer
- 3.5mm audio jack
- HDMI: 4K60Hz
- MicroSD Slot
- SD slot
HyperDrive’s precision-milled aluminum enclosure converts the single USB-C port on your iPad into six ports. And each one brings something special to the table.
Form pass-through, 60W Power Delivery(PD) charging to 5Gb/s transfer speed, from high-resolution 4K 60Hz video support to up to 104MB/s data transfer via the SD slots.
Moreover, a patented removable and replaceable grip design allows you to secure the hub onto the iPad. Thanks to it, you don’t have to wrestle with the screen protector or cover to insert/remove the hub.
And every time I hold or use HyperDrive hub, I understand why it has been named one of the most successful crowdfunded hubs on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
The Bottom line: An intelligent solution to manifold your iPad’s utility while maintaining quick data transfers and fast charging.
- Replaceable grip design
- Includes a USB-C extension cable
- The aluminum enclosure has a nice and smooth finish
- Slightly expensive
- Doesn’t include an instruction manual
5. Multi-port charging station – To keep every device fully juiced up
Whether at home, office, cafe, or hotel room, most of us do not have an endless supply of wall sockets. Due to this, we have to take turns charging our devices.
However, this complex situation has a very, very simple solution, a portable multi-port charger. Now, remember to choose a high-watt charger to ensure your iPad charges fast. Check our picks.
I. Anker PowerPort 6 Multi USB Charger: Best for fast charging
- Current Rating: 2.4 Amps
- Input Voltage: 240 Volts
- Ports: 6
The strength of any Anker charger is its world-famous PowerIQ technology. With it, the charger recognizes the connected devices and auto-adjusts the output for safe and optimized charging.
In addition to that, another advanced technology, VoltageBoost, ensures the fastest possible charge speed. Remarkably, PowerPort 6 can pump out up to 60 watts of power simultaneously up to 6 devices.
And to secure your connected devices, Anker employs its proprietary MultiProtect safety system for surge protection, temperature control, and more.
This may sound a bit small compared to other features, but the organizational freak in me simply loves that it comes with a 5ft detachable power cord and hook-and-loop adhesive strip.
The Bottom line: An intelligent mix of advanced technologies that enable safe, secure, and fast, multi-device charging.
- Charges up to 6 devices
- PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology
- 18-month warranty
- MultiProtect safety system
- Doesn’t support Qualcomm Quick Charge
6. Hard Drives – Backups are always a good idea
When converting your iPad into a MacBook, ample space and backups are a big part of the equation. And while cloud storage helps, using external hard drives with your tablet is more convenient and budget-friendly.
The great thing is you can comfortably share the drive between your iPad, iPhone, and MacBook. Plus, you get to access any file, anytime offline – a win-win situation.
Selecting the right hard disk is no small feat. You have to consider everything from storage space, security, longevity, and built. Here are my top two choices.
I. WD My Passport Ultra portable HDD: Best transfer speed and security
- Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB options
- Port: USB-C and USB 3.1 compatible
When it comes to external storage devices, Western Digital is a trustworthy market leader. Whether in terms of looks, product quality, or durability, WD takes care of it all.
My Passport Ultra fuses modern anodized metal to bring some textures and oomph into the mix. The latest USB-3.0 adapter ensures that you get quicker data transfer and storage options.
In addition, it accompanies a WD Backup software that enables auto-backup, social media and cloud storage import, and password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption.
This means that your data is securely encrypted from prying eyes until you enter the correct passcode.
The Bottom line: It’s stylish, compact, secure, durable, boasts high storage capacity, and supports cloud storage import; what more do we need from a perfect HDD?
- 3-year warranty
- High-speed transfer
- Strong encryption protocol
- Looks modern and sleek
- No USB-A or Lightning port
7. Power Banks – Keep your iPad alive even during travels or commute
On average iPad offers up to 10 hours of battery life, which is decent for a day’s work. But what if you are traveling and can’t charge the tablet as often as you would like?
However, your busy, hustling-bustling lifestyle shouldn’t stop you from using your iPad as a MacBook. A neat and straightforward solution is high-capacity portable chargers that can even charge your MacBooks, quite like these.
I. Anker PowerCore+ portable charger bundle: Best battery capacity
- Battery capacity: 26800mAh
- USB-C: 45W PD
- 2 USB-A – 15W
From the house of Anker comes another masterpiece for your iPad. Thanks to a colossal 26800mAh cell capacity, the PowerCore+ can charge your iPad on the go.
And that’s not all; the one high-power USB-C port pumps out up to 45W, enough to charge your laptop/tablet at full speed. Plus, two 15W USB ports well-suited for mobiles, earphones, and more.
It also includes a trickle charging mode, specially designed for devices with tiny power requirements, ensuring their safety at all times. The brand’s proprietary MultiProtect safety system offers temperature control, high-voltage protection, current regulation, and more.
The travel-ready portable charger also comes with a 60W USB-C wall charger and supports full-throttle recharging. So you can juice it up in less than three and a half hours.
The Bottom line: Anker PowerCore+ is a great companion for your MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and other related accessories.
- Simultaneously charges up to 3 devices
- Trickle charging for smaller devices
- Charges at full-throttle
- No night mode LEDs
- Slightly expensive
II. mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL: Smart charging circuitry
- Battery capacity: 19500 mAh
- USB-C: 30W PD
- 2 USB-A
As the ‘XX’ in the name suggests, the PowerStation gives your iPad an extra boost or around 20+ hours of extra battery life.
Moreover, the PD USB-C port fast charges your tablet with up to 30W output. And another USB-A port lends 2.4A quick-charge. And not just great speed, but mophie also offers a stylish and pocket-friendly profile.
The exterior is wrapped with a premium fabric wrap that looks amazing, feels comfortable, and keeps scuffs and scratches at bay. An intelligent digital power management system ensures the fastest possible charging speed without sacrificing safety.
And it also boasts a Charge Vault technology that allows PowerStation’s batteries to hold their charge for an extended period, avoiding power loss when idle.
The Bottom line: mophie’s PowerStation amalgamates modern looks and technologies to pump out a wholesome, secure, and fast charge every time.
- Premium fabrics lend a great hand-feel
- PD 30W USB-C port
- Self-charge is not fast
What are you planning to buy to turn your iPad into a laptop? Share it in the comments below.
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