What Accessories do I Need for My Tablet?

by Robert Kingsley

    Tablet PCs are portable devices by design. They are made as slim and light as possible to facilitate easy carrying and storing. While they lack additional features that a laptop would consider standard such as an optical drive, USB ports and a full keyboard, these features are not out of reach. To get the most from your tablet, you'll need to purchase accessories.

    Protective Accessories

    Your tablet computer was likely an expensive piece of equipment and is certainly worth protecting. Before leaving the store, you should pick up protective accessories to keep it in great shape for as long as possible. A screen protector is a sheet of adhesive plastic that sticks to the touch screen to protect it from scratches. Some, such as the i-TEC T6020 for the iPad, also prevent glare on the screen. You'll also want to purchase a case for your tablet. Your case will fit your tablet snugly and provide additional grip to prevent drops and additional support should a drop happen anyway. Some cases, such as the Case Logic LNEO-10 Tablet Sleeve, are made to hold the tablet while not in use; others, such as the Trident Perseus Case for the Amazon Kindle, stay on the device at all times providing maximum protection.

    Productivity Accessories

    While a tablet's touch screen is great for gaming and light work, you'll find typing long reports with the on-screen keyboard a bit trying. If you need to use your tablet like a laptop for doing work, you'll want a few productivity add-ons. First, consider a docking station or stand. These add-ons allow you to set up your tablet on a tabletop with a convenient viewing angle as you would a monitor. You can then add additional accessories such as a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. If the tablet's screen isn't large enough for comfortable viewing in this position, there are adapters available that allow you to connect your device to an actual monitor.

    Business Accessories

    Productivity accessories are of use to many, but business workers will want to take the tablet's usefulness a bit farther. Purchasing a device such as the Square Credit Card Reader allows you to accept credit card payments anywhere you have connectivity. If you need to make business calls, you can find Bluetooth telephone handsets that work with Internet phone apps such as Skype. You can also find port replicators that provide all the ports you'd find on a standard computer including USB, VGA, Ethernet and others. This allows you to connect your standard office equipment to your tablet, which can save money for small businesses.

    Fun Accessories

    If your tablet usage leans more toward pleasure than business, you might consider a few enjoyable accessories. Music lovers are well represented in the tablet accessory market. DJs can find turntable attachments; musicians can find drum set and piano attachments; and audiophiles can find speaker attachments to improve their listening experience. Gamers might take interest in steering wheel attachments, Bluetooth controllers and -- in exceptional cases -- something such as the Ion iCADE Arcade cabinet, which turns an iPad into a desktop arcade machine.

    About the Author

    Robert Kingsley has been writing technical copy and procedural documents since 2007. He has years of experience with networking and hardware troubleshooting to help guide readers through their information technology-related issues. Kingsley received his associate's degree in computer networking systems from ITT Technical Institute in Woburn, Massachusetts.

    Photo Credits

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