Have you purchased a tablet or are you looking to buy one this holiday season? From the widely popular Apple iPad to the Amazon Kindle to the dozens of Android tablets, it’s expected to be one of the most popular gifts under the tree this year. What accessories are worth buying and which should you avoid?
Cases: A case is a good investment, since most of these tablets include glass and either aluminum or plastic backs, which can easily scratch. Since the tablet is often moved around and used in your hand, find a case with a comfortable feel, along with a stand or a holder for other items you already carry. Avoid cases that weigh too much, though, as the combined weight of the tablet and case can get bothersome for your wrist.
Screen Protector/Cleaning Cloth: A screen protector film, such as those sold by InvisibleShield, are very popular because they provide a scratch-resistant, plastic-like coating to the screen. I’ve personally never used them, as I always find a case that offers screen protection when not in use, but if you’re going to go commando, then a screen protector film is a good idea. A cleaning cloth or other cleaning device is almost a must, because you’re going to get a lot of fingerprints and smudges on the screen. A good microfiber or pad-based cleaning device works best and will let you wipe the screen clean hundreds of times over.
Stylus: A stylus is a very useful product to have, especially if you plan to take any handwritten notes or draw on your screen. There are a host of note-taking applications available and a lot of coloring/drawing applications. Make sure you purchase a stylus that has a good tip and is designed especially for tablets with capacitive touchscreens, as they require special tips to work with.
App Store Gift Card: Applications are a great add-on to any tablet, and most retailers will offer gift cards to the store the tablet works with. For iPads, any iTunes gift card can be used. For Amazon Kindles, any Amazon.com or Kindle Gift Card can be used. For Google Android devices, any Google Play gift card works. During the holidays, some vendors offer discounts on bulk packages of gift cards, and this year, I purchased $100 of iTunes gift cards for $79.97 at a major retailer.
Extended Warranty: WATCH OUT! This can either be a good deal or a horrible waste of money, so get the specifics on terms, deductible (price you pay to make a claim), replacement rules, and period before agreeing to anything. Make sure you see it in writing, and don’t just take the salesman’s word for it. SquareTrade offers third-party warranties on most electronics, including tablets, and they have very fair prices and reasonable terms.
Enjoy your new tablet, and happy holidays!
P.S. WorldStart offers a pretty fantastic pen/stylus combo that I personally own, and you can purchase it by clicking here.