The Small Stuff: Accessories for Your New iPad Mini
And with the 7.9-inch tablet comes a slew of new accessories. While typing on a mini accessory keyboard should be an interesting experiment in ergonomics, one accessory maker is even offering a finger-cramping keyboard in addition to the usual assortment of cases.
We haven’t tried and tested these add-ons, but here are some notable options plucked from the deluge of press releases that come with every new Apple product announcement:
In the case of cases, it can be especially tough to choose one from among the dozens of options. Apple is offering its standard iPad Smart Cover in mini sizes and in six different colors, for $39 (the same price as the larger iPad Smart Cover). This cover, for those not familiar, protects just the screen side of the tablet, hinging magnetically to the device.
But there are other, more protective cases out there, too. Otterbox, known for its durable iPhone cases, has created a Defender Series iPad mini case, though, at $69.95, it’s not cheap. The impact-resistant case includes a screen protector, and has a textured exterior for added grip. If you’re prone to dropping your device, the Otterbox has a foam-padded interior for extra shock absorption.
A less costly case is Targus’ Vuscape, a water-resistant, padded twill case that offers six landscape viewing positions. It’s available in black, red or indigo blue for $40.
Targus has also created a water-resistant twill case, called the Versavu, that boasts a 360-degree rotating axis. So, users can twist and turn the iPad mini for different viewing angles while it’s propped up in the case.
For a better idea of how this works, you might want to check out the quick video on the Targus Web page. The stand is available in red or black, and costs $50. For a less expensive option, there’s the simpler $30 Kickstand, also available in red or black.
Kensington also offers a nice blend of cover and stand with this $35 protective case, available in brown marble, black marble or “tan snake” (for those who really want to make an impression in business meetings, I suppose).
What is this, a keyboard for ants? Zagg doesn’t seem to think so. The company is selling a $90 seven-inch keyboard accessory that works with the iPad mini and “other 7-inch tablets.”
If you want to go larger, Zagg offers a nine-inch keyboard, also costing $90. This has the same spacing as Zagg’s traditional tablet keyboard, so your fingers won’t feel as cramped. Your tiny tablet can be nestled into the cover portion of the keyboard case.
Both are Bluetooth-compatible and come with a built-in rechargeable battery that the company claims will keep the keyboards powered for months at a time.
Tactile-typists might also want to check out Logitech’s selection of Bluetooth-equipped keyboards for iPad, which the company says should be fully compatible with the iPad mini. Logitech has made the point that consumers might still look primarily to the larger iPads for real productivity, and hasn’t said yet whether it plans to make devices specifically for the iPad mini.
Last, but certainly not least important, are Lightning adapters, which make your older iDevices compatible with new ones that use Apple’s new eight-pin connector.
On its Web site, Apple is selling the Lightning to 30-pin adapter for $29, and a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader for $29, which lets you transfer photos and videos from your digital camera to your iPad mini. That one is currently in stock, according to the site; the Lightning to 30-pin adapter should ship in about a week. The Lightning to VGA adapter, which works with VGA TVs, costs $49, and has an expected ship time of two weeks to three weeks.