8 Best iPad Accessories for Makers & Doers [2020]

There are thousands of iPad accessories out there, and finding the right stylus or adapter can be a time-consuming process. Especially around the holidays, when everything is on sale, it can be hard to make the best decision.

That’s why the engineers and tech-heads here at Team Paperlike spent the last few weeks testing out some of the best iPad accessories for the iPad Pro and the new iPad Air.

Here are the 8 best iPad accessories we found on the market today.

If you want to watch our video accessory guide, we've included it below. Otherwise, read on!

 

 

Table of contents

Paperlike

01. Paperlike

(Shameless plug, we know.)

Even among our geeks and number crunchers, having a screen protector that makes it easier to write and draw on your Apple iPad is a dream come true.

Paperlike adds friction and resistance to your iPad glass so that it feels like paper. This makes writing and drawing more natural, which makes it a perfect gift for artists, note-takers, musicians, and more.

It’s why we say that Paperlike is the ideal screen protector for makers and doers!

Paperlike doesn’t conflict with any iPad case (including keyboard cases), so you never have to worry about compatibility issues after you apply it.

Order your Paperlike from now through November 30 and save 15% as part of our once-a-year holiday event!

Apple Pencil

02. Apple Pencil

Promoting Apple products as part of a holiday guide might feel like old news, but the Apple Pencil makes the list for one reason: It’s the best iPad stylus by a wide margin.

The original Apple Pencil was one of the must-have gadgets of 2015, and the 2nd generation is still a great stocking stuffer almost two years after it hit the market. 

Simply put, it’s one of those accessories that expands the capabilities of the iPad in unique and exciting ways. For college students, artists, and business professionals, the functionality that the Apple Pencil brings to the iPad is impossible to ignore.

The iPad just wouldn’t be the same without it.

The current iteration of the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad, one of the major differences between the first and second generations of the device. The Apple Pencil also offers excellent battery life and excellent performance on all iPad models.

Pick one up today and change the way you work with your iPad, but be sure to check device compatibility before you buy!

Magic Keyboard for iPad

03. Magic Keyboard for iPad

Released earlier this year, the Magic Keyboard for iPad practically transforms your iPad Pro or iPad Air (4th generation) into a touchscreen laptop.

The case comes with a backlit, full-sized Magic Keyboard built into the frame, along with a trackpad that you can use to move a cursor around your laptop screen.

The Magic Keyboard is different from the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio case, which doubles as a case and keyboard while lacking the trackpad. Instead, the Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to the back of the iPad via a hinge that lifts the iPad to an elevated position.

The hinge solution allows for a wide variety of viewing angles, and the case is equipped with a USB-C port for power delivery to both the case and the iPad.

It’s worth noting that, while this is an awesome accessory for the tablet workaholic in your life, it’s a pricey addition to any iPad setup. 

This iPad keyboard will set you back $299 if you’re purchasing the model that fits the 11-inch iPad Pro or the 4th gen iPad Air. For the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you’re looking at $349, plus tax.

Logitech Folio Touch

04. Logitech Folio Touch

If you aren’t looking to break the bank by picking up a Magic Keyboard for your iPad, the Logitech Folio Touch might be the perfect fit.

This device tries to strike a good balance between cost and functionality by adding the trackpad from the Magic Keyboard while closely resembling the design of the Smart Keyboard Folio.

But Logitech has added in a few features that set it apart from the Magic Keyboard. The Folio Touch comes equipped with a full row of shortcut keys above the keyboard. These keys allow you to adjust the screen brightness, show the on-screen keyboard, adjust the volume, and more.

While it lacks the magnetic hinge setup that Apple has designed, this case provides a variety of different viewing angles for added versatility. While it’s true that you have more granular control over the angle of your screen with the Magic Keyboard, the Folio Touch’s kickstand and foldable keyboard make for a few interesting options.

Just like the Magic Keyboard, the Logitech Folio Touch also connects via a smart connector, so you’ll never need batteries and the case will pair instantly with your device.

To top it all off, this device will run you $160 for the iPad Pro 11-inch or the iPad Air (4th gen). Currently, the Folio Touch isn’t available for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Note: Stock seems to be in tight supply when ordering from Logitech, but major retailers like Apple, Amazon, and Best Buy may carry it online. Be sure to shop around.

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

05. Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

The StayGo USB-C Hub by Twelve South aims to remove the clutter and frustration that comes with using hub-based connectivity devices.

If you’ve ever used a connection hub, you know exactly what we’re talking about. The hub usually comes with a short cable, so when you plug it into your laptop, it doesn’t sit well on the table. And then, when you add all the additional cables and dongles from your connected devices, the clutter quickly gets out of control.

The StayGo Hub helps by setting you up with a cord that is long enough to connect comfortably with your device while staying clear of your workspace.

And the StayGo Hub isn’t messing around. The connections for this device include:

  • - 4K HDMI
  • - Gigabit Ethernet
  • - USB-A 3.0 (x3)
  • - Independent SD + Micro-SD card slots
  • - 85W USB-C pass-thru power

So, clearly, this is a hub built for laptops. Why are we recommending it as one of our best iPad accessories?

It’s on the list because we know that iPads don’t exist in a bubble. If you have a laptop, it probably goes with you when you travel — just like your iPad and your iPhone.

With the StayGo hub, you can connect a drive and offload the photos on your iPad, or connect a TV and push your work from the iPad to a (much) larger screen. You can even use it as a portable charger or power bank for your mobile devices (including Android!).

Bottom line: The StayGo hub is portable, elegant, and can provide power to your iPad while allowing you to plug in traditional flash drives to your MacBook.

Did we mention that the StayGo’s cable actually packs into the hub itself so that you don’t even have to manage the cable when you aren’t using it?

Because that’s pretty cool.

Nomad Kevlar® Cables

06. Nomad Kevlar® Cables

If you’ve never heard of braided cables before, Team Paperlike is happy to introduce you to the last word in cable-based power delivery for your Apple devices.

Braided cables are usually created using some kind of tear-resistant fabric and are built with resistance to protect the fragile wiring inside the charger.

Nomad’s lineup of braided cables does all this using Kevlar® for maximum durability, so you can throw your cable in your bag (or a holiday stocking) without worrying that you might break it.

The company offers a wide selection of sturdy cables for iPad and iPhone, including connections to Lightning, USB-A, and USB-C.

Whether you have the latest iPad Pro or you’re sporting an iPad Mini from two years ago, you can find a cable that matches your charging port.

These cables can be a life-saver for the Apple aficionado in your life — including you! 

They’re a great combo gift to throw in with other charging cases or with other products like the Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro (both of which still need a Lightning cable if you aren’t using wireless charging).

Through December 1, enjoy a 30% discount on Nomad products.

Twelve South Compass Pro

07. Twelve South Compass Pro

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Twelve South is back with an iPad stand that stands a cut above the rest.

The Compass lineup has actually been around for about a decade, but it’s more important now than ever before for a few reasons, namely Sidecar and trackpad support for the iPad. By introducing these technologies as part of iPadOS, Apple has changed the way that the iPad can be used.

With Sidecar, the iPad can become a wireless, secondary display for Mac users — no additional cables or connectors required. With trackpad support, you don’t even have to touch your iPad anymore to interact with it.

In both scenarios, the Compass Pro shines. The Compass acts like an easel for your iPad. It uses a three-legged setup with rubberized feet to grip any surface that it sits on, as well as the iPad itself.

This ensures that your iPad won’t slide and that the iPad never comes into contact with the durable metal used to make the body of the Compass Pro. And speaking of the metal body: The Compass comes with a traveling bag so that you can add it to your pack without damaging your electronics.

The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The Compass Pro comes with three angle positions, and the iPad can sit vertically or horizontally in each for maximum flexibility.

It’s important to note that the Compass Pro doesn’t work well with other cases, but that’s not always a dealbreaker. In the case of the Magic Keyboard or Smart Folio — where it’s easy to separate your iPad from its case — the Compass Pro can provide a variety of new and exciting display options.

The Compass Pro is a great gift for iPad users who are interested in using the iPad as a secondary display or who prefer a case-free workstation.

08. Nomad Rugged Case

08. Nomad Rugged Case

A great case doesn’t always come down to utility. Sometimes, it’s all about rugged, good looks.

If that’s what you’re after, Nomad has you covered with a collection of iPad Pro cases that every technophile will love. 

Each case is made with Horween leather, which acquires a patina over time as the case is used. The result is a beautiful case with a unique design that is all your own.

Though each case ages gracefully, it doesn’t fall apart as it evolves. Like all of their other products, Nomad built the case with durability and heavy use in mind. They’ve added a bumper around the edge so that you don’t have to worry about damage from bumps, dings, and scratches.

The Rugged Case also takes advantage of the iPad Pro’s thin profile and uses a minimalist design to preserve that thinness.

If you’re looking for a case that doesn’t take over your iPad, and you don’t need a case with a smart cover or a built-in keyboard, the Rugged Case is a stylish contender for the special iOS user on your gift list.

 

Wrapping Up

And there you have it: The 8 best iPad accessories on the market today. From USB-C cables to Bluetooth keyboards and tablet stands, we tried to curate and review some of the best and finest quality products available for purchase today.

While Santa can’t bring back your headphone jack or your home button, these accessories are excellent options for the tablet power user in your life.

Happy shopping, and don’t forget: You can save 15% on a new Paperlike when you order before November 30.