We think the iPad is a beautiful device: elegant in its simplicity, fashioned from a single piece of aluminum, with just a single button up front, and the monochromatic color scheme. All reasons why we hate to see it cluttered by crazy stickers or massive cases. While much has been created in the name of personalization, our preference is like that of the Apple design team: unobtrusive simplicity. Here are several iPad accessories which add, rather than detract, from what we already love about our favorite tablet device...
1. TouchFire ($45)
The TouchFire is a clear plastic keyboard cover that magnetically sticks to your iPad for improved typing. The ability to feel the buttons and the springy response makes the touch keyboard much more enjoyable to use. And the portability (it attaches to the inside of the iPad cover and rolls away with it), translucence and weight make it unobtrusive. We like it compared to most iPad keyboards, which essentially make the device into a laptop.
2. Bluelounge Kicks ($11.95)
Handling the iPad took a little getting used to at first. One of the things that made us cringe was the noise of aluminum scraping along the edge of a table or worries that it might get scratched. The Kicks, easy-to-remove rubber strips, solve this problem by adding grip and a minimal buffer between the ipad and an surface. We like how inexpensive they are and how little they intrude on the experience while also doing their job.
3. Zagg Invisible Shield ($29.99)
You've already got the back protected with the Kicks, the Zagg invisible shield is a clear protector for the front. While Zagg sells clear protection for the entire iPad, we prefer the kicks mentioned above for the back and the Invisible Shield for the front. The Shield is made with nano-memory technology, meaning it's self healing, glare reducing and impressively protective. Once it's adhered you won't even notice it's on.
4. iPad Smart Cover ($39-69)
Of course Apple would make one of the most elegant and minimal covers for its own device. If you're interested in more protection than the Invisible Shield or perhaps want a stand as well, the Smart Cover is great multiple purpose cover that adheres by magnets. While it may not provide the personalization of many other covers (it only comes in a few colors), it does its job with little fuss.
5. SoundJaw ($20)
While the video and product shots for this accessory are strange at best, the product itself is thankfully not. The SoundJaw works as a scoop that redirects the sound of the iPad speaker toward you. It simply clips on and is ready to go. Certainly you could get better sound from headphones or an external speaker, but they definitely aren't as light or compact as this option.
What are your favorite minimalist accessories for the iPad? Share in the comments.