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Like many people who own a tablet, I love mine. I use it every day, often for hours at a time. And just as many of those other tablet fans do, I frequently find the experience can be improved with accessories. Just in time for last-minute holiday shopping, here are some suggestions for gifts that will help those on your list get the most from their tablets.

Stylus

A stylus may seem like a weird idea given that part of the appeal of tablets is their touchscreen interface. However, a stylus can be much more accurate than a fingertip and it doesn’t leave those greasy smudges on the tablet screen.

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A stylus is also great for note-taking or drawing apps.

Case.jpgProtective Case

A protective case may seem like a no-brainer, but manufacturers don’t usually include one with the tablet and not everyone picks one up. Anything that will save your tablet from dings and scratches —not to mention expensive screen replacement bills— is well worth using.

When it comes to tablets, a case is not always simply a case. There are different styles. For example:

  • Folio is a simple, notebook style case that offers basic protection and dresses the tablet up a little
  • Hardshell cases are meant to be like armour for a tablet, ensuring it survives a fall
  • Keyboard cases incorporate a QWERTY keyboard for text input that’s much better than a virtual keyboard
  • Sleeves are the simplest protective case —you just slip the tablet into the open end

Many cases have a stand of some sort included, for viewing media on the tablet. Of course there are combinations of the above as well. Take note of what the tablet owner does with their device and this will help you to choose which case style would serve them best. 

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Bluetooth Mouse

This one won’t do you much good if the tablet owner on your list has an iPad (Apple’s iOS doesn’t recognize mouse input), but if they use an Android or Windows tablet, a Bluetooth mouse can come in handy.

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Like with the stylus, the touch UI works just fine with a finger, but using a mouse instead is often more productive.

battery.jpgPortable Battery Pack

Tablets are great for travel —loading my kids’ iPads with games, comic books and movies has saved my sanity on many a lengthy road trip. However, sometimes even a 10-hour battery charge isn’t enough and there aren’t always power outlets available.

That’s what makes a portable battery pack such a good idea. No outlet is no need for panic. Just be sure to pick one with a high capacity battery, though. Many of these devices are made for smaller smartphone batteries and won’t have enough juice to fully charge a tablet.

For example, the popular Nexus 9 tablet has a 6,700mAh battery, so you’d need something like the PNY PowerPack 7800mAh portable battery for a full recharge.

tablet stand.jpgTablet Stand

While many tablet cases have a built-in stand, it’s usually an easel-style affair. Sometimes you need something more adjustable. You can find tablet stands that clamp onto tables, hold the tablet at eye height or even incorporate a built-in toilet paper roll —hey, no-one’s judging here…

There are many other tablet accessories you can choose from. No matter what you pick, you can find something that will let them get more out of their tablet than ever.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.