The iPad is certainly one of the most versatile tablets in on the market and whether you are looking for one as a holiday gift this season, or simply looking to accesorize, here are a few handpicked ideas for you to help narrow down some of your choices.
iPad 4th Generation
First up, the iPad itself. While all eyes were on the iPad mini, Apple took the opportunity to unveil the 4th generation iPad with Retina Display. Very similar to the new iPad(3rd Gen.), the 4th generation features the new 2x faster A6X dual-core processor, faster graphics, higher resolution front facing camera with FaceTime HD, better Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Apple’s new Lightning docking connector.
The 4th Gen. iPad pricing and colour choices (Black or White) remain the same as the 3rd generation models which starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi model, up to $829 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular. You can get one at your favourite Apple Canada retailer or through the Apple on-line store.
A Whale of a Stand
Some folks like to have a whale of a time with their iPads, taking them where ever they go. Keeping along with that theme, Octa has created an innovative handle and stand combination appropriately called the Tablet Tail: Whale Kit. The stand, uniquely shaped like a whale’s tail and fins allows you to prop up your iPad on your knee or a table for example, allowing you to be hands-free. Alternately, you can use it like a handle for one-handed iPad use. To securely attach it to the back of your iPad, simply give the dual-chamber vacuum suction cup dock a pump or two. Then, remove the cap exposing the dock’s receiver, line up the dots and insert the whale’s tail at which ever position best suits your needs. The suction should stay attached for days.
Another option to carry around is the Pad Pivot NST. Newly redesigned, this gadget, comprised of a base and a grip plate, turns your lap into a tablet desk, allowing you to position your iPad, tablet, e-reader and smartphone even when you find yourself in the most inconvenient locations.
To use it, you apply the supplied adhesive decal to your iPad. The grip plate ports a sticky surface, which is not glue, but rather a series of microscopic suction cups made from patented material using NST (Nano Suction Technology), that holds whatever is on it in place.
It also has a safety strap so you can secure the Pad Pivot to your knee. It’s versatile so it can also be oriented simply as a prop up stand. It folds up neatly, so it’s ideal for travel.
The new PadPivot NST sells for $39.99 USD. It comes with a safety strap and three glossy decals and is available directly from PadPivot.com
Portable Solar Power
If you’re looking for a gift for a nature enthusiast, perhaps someone who likes to backpack or be out anywhere really where there’s sun, then they’ll enjoy the Goal Zero: Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit. Basically it’s a USB Solar Charging Kit that can keep you powered no matter where you go, so you never have to buy batteries again.
In the kit, you get the Nomad 7 Solar Panel, an ultra charge solar cord, a 12V cigarette adapter 4x AA rechargeable batteries and the Guide 10 battery pack. It also has a built-in flashlight.
The solar pack offers 7 Watts of charging power that will fully recharge your batteries in about 3-4 hours. Just attach it to your backpack or even leave it sitting on your vehicle’s dashboard. It folds up into a slim neat package about the size of a novel. Once charged you can use it to charge your iPad, cellphone, smartphone or virtually any handheld device.
It weighs less than a pound and has a rugged weather resistant design so it’s ideal for hiking and backpacking.
The Goal Zero: Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit retails for $189.95 in Canada. It’s available at many dealers, including Cabelas, Atmosphere in Sport Check and Wilderness Supply.
Pogo Connect Smart Pen
The iPad is designed to be used with your fingers, but sometimes, when you’re drawing, sketching or painting with your tablet, the index, pointer and thumb just won’t do. Enter the Pogo Connect by Ten One Design. It’s a pressure sensitive stylus that requires absolutely no calibration. It provides the artist with hundreds of levels of pressure to get that drawing just right. And with no moving parts, it less susceptible to breakage or damage.
It runs on Bluetooth 4.0 and pairs easily with the iPad, even intelligent enough to know if you’re simply resting your palm on the screen. Also, its cleverly integrated radio transmitter helps you track a misplaced or dropped pen.
Pogo Connect cones with a free Pogo Connect companion app and is compatible with a wide range of apps including Brushes, Zen Brush, PDFpen for iPad, Procreate, FlipBook HD, Sketch Club and others.
Pogo Connect by Ten One Design runs on a single AAA battery and will last for months on a single cell. It retails for $79.95 and is available directly from TenOneDesign.com.
Just iKlip it!
iPads are being integrated everywhere and if you are looking for a gift for that vocalist, performer, DJ, or future entertainer, IK Multimedia has a gadget for that. Designed and manufactured in Italy, the iKlip is a multi-angle lightweight iPad holder that adapts ad clips on to any microphone stand, keeping your hands free to perform your tasks at hand. This fits into the “I wish someone would have invented that sooner”, category.
It’s sturdy and durable, made from dense thermoplastic moulded components. It’s compatible with any iPad, even 1st Gen and all others with the included adapter.
It clips on quickly and can be oriented in both horizontal and vertical positions and on virtually any part of the mic stand.
Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.