Best Tablet Accessories

Your new tablet brings practical assistance and family fun to your busy mobile lifestyle. To get the most enjoyment and productivity from your investment, add essential accessories that leverage its functionality and express your style. Pick your add-ons carefully to get the best value and service from the extras you choose. You'll find options that multiply your enjoyment of your tablet and increase the ways you integrate it into every phase of daily life.

Staying Protected

Adding a cover to your tablet increases its odds of surviving the bumps and thumps of everyday life. Anson Liang, VP of Product and Technology at Jackery, points out the risks of toting your tablet around without protection. "No matter how capable your tablet is, one drop can completely shatter it," he says. "An investment in a quality hard cover case can be cheap insurance for your device and will help to avoid scratches or cracks. The only safe way to transport your tablet is with a cover that is designed specifically for the product model you own. Cases made of silicone, rubber, or other gel-like materials can provide scratch resistance and shock absorption."

Don't let the commonsense implications of protecting your investment deter your sense of style, however. You can find covers in every color of the rainbow and select a shade to suit your personality. Choose your case wisely and you won't need a stand to transform your tablet into a stand-up display. Liang says, "Don't invest in an accessory that solely functions as a stand for your tablet. Tons of accessories already have a fold-up stand built into them. It makes more sense to invest in something that has more than one usable feature."

Making Connections

If you haven't made your tablet the center of a larger digital universe, you're missing out on opportunities for entertainment, learning and device flexibility. A tablet with a Micro USB port accepts a world of standard USB accessories once you add an adapter to provide the necessary connections. That same Micro USB port can connect your tablet to your HDTV so you can share the photos you've taken, watch a family movie on your personal big screen or check out presentation files from work.

Getting on the Keys

With a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, your tablet can power through tasks you usually reserve for your notebook or desktop computer. Liang sees a keyboard accessory as an essential way to tap in to the full power of your portable device. "An external keyboard will help maximize your productivity so you can get your work done quicker and more easily," he says, "especially when writing a lengthy email or story outside of the office." If you select a keyboard that's designed especially for your make and model, it can include shortcut keys that give you one-touch access to important tablet features.

Keeping Powered Up

Tablets make ideal on-the-go accessories until they reach the end of a battery charge and need to take a breather. Liang suggests adding a battery as a way to avoid the down time while your tablet recharges. "An external battery can double the battery life and keep it running for the entirety of the day," he says. "If you have kids, the single most important tool to own is a portable charger with dual output ports, so you can power multiple devices at the same time. Kids tends to play fast-paced games and watch movies that quickly drain battery. When you are on a road trip or need to occupy your children, you don't want to be stuck without battery life in your tablet."

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