It's time to look at some of the best cases, screen protectors and accessories for Apple's next-generation tablets. Here are a few options already available for the 7.9-inch iPad mini 4 and larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro. As you probably already know, the iPad mini 4 is available now through apple.com or at Apple retail stores, and the iPad Pro will begin shipping in November.
iPad mini Accessories
Typo made a name for itself last year after the accessory company was sued by BlackBerry for patent infringement over its iPhone 5/5s keyboard case. After several lawsuits Typo has finally decided to move on and instead launch a keyboard case for the iPad. The Typo keyboard for the iPad Air/Air 2 is now available for $189 through typokeyboards.com.
Popular accessory maker ZAGG is holding a three day Father's Day sale for its iPhone and iPad accessories. You can save up to 70% on iPad and iPad mini keyboards, Bluetooth speakers and iPhone cases. The sale begins on June 4, 2014 and ends on June 6, 2014. Here are a few examples of what's on sale the next few days.
iPad mini Keyboard: Only $30 (normally $100) - While any external keyboard makes typing easier on your iPad mini, Zagg promises you will love its "unique hinge" system that allows you more viewing angles than the competition. The keyboard cover features a reversible reading option for when you're not typing, backlit keys and Bluetooth support. Zagg also claims that its mini keyboard is "one of the thinnest keyboards available" on the market.
MagBak, the creators of the MagStick, have resurfaced with a new Kickstarter campaign to fund a second "world's thinnest mount" for the iPad. The MagBack is an iPad mount that can adhere itself to "most metal surfaces". The mount features a minimalist and thin design that adds very little bulk to your iPad Air or iPad mini, and it also protects the back of your tablet while doubling as an easy to hold grip.
The MagBak iPad mount has already doubled its goal of $15,000 with 590 backers, but you can still get in on the action and pre-order either the MagBak Air or Mini with a $34 pledge. The "Basic Bundle" will nab you any color MagBak mount plus an additional MagStick mount.
The creators of the original Padcaster video case for the Apple iPad have launched another Kickstarter campaign to fund the Padcaster Mini. The Padcaster is an aluminum frame that allows users to attach video gear to their iPad making it easier to shoot, edit and distribute HD video on their tablet. The Padcaster is so popular that it was recently featured in Apple's "Your Verse" iPad Air commercial.
The iPad mini version features threaded holes for attaching video accessories, and a bracket for 72mm and 58mm lens adapters. The Padcaster has also been used as a DSLR cage, teleprompter, and as a "tool to help disabled children in the classroom," according to the Kickstarter description.
Third party iPad keyboards are not only a great way to free up space on your iPad or iPad mini's display, but most of them offer full-size keys and iOS shortcuts to make life much easier. And now with iOS 7, Apple has added the ability for developers to add these shortcuts to stock apps like Safari, Mail, and Pages. Not every OS X shortcut is available on iOS, but a few Apple bloggers have taken the time to sniff out what is available. Here is what they found using an iPad mini and a Logitech Tablet Keyboard.
Covering your thinner and lighter iPad mini in a bulky case defeats the point of having a smaller tablet. That's why Logitech has created the Ultrathin Keyboard Folio and Folio Protective Case for the iPad mini. Both folios are crafted with a lightweight water-resistant material that offers two-sided protection from bumps, scratches and spills.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio includes a Bluetooth keyboard that helps free up space on the iPad mini's 7.9-inch screen. The keyboard is Logitech's lightest iPad accessory to date, and it features iOS shortcut keys to take full advantage of its smaller form factor.
Logitech has expanded its tablet accessory lineup with two new keyboard folio cases for the iPad and iPad mini. The new cases both feature built-in Bluetooth keyboards, and are designed to protect both the front and back of your tablet. Logitech promises the keyboard provides a "traditional typing experience" on both the iPad and iPad mini. The Bluetooth keyboard also helps conserve screen space on the mini's smaller 7.9-inch display.
The Keyboard Folio for the iPad and iPad mini also offer two different viewing angles, and the same built-in wake/sleep magnets seen in most folio tablet cases. The hidden magnets not only keep the case securely closed, but they also help preserve battery life thanks to the automatic sleep function.
Rokform is known for making some of the toughest and most durable iPhone and iPad cases on the market, so it was only a matter of time before they added the iPad mini to their arsenal. The new RokShield v3 Case Kit offers full tablet protection with its high impact polycarbonate shell, rubber bumpers and integrated anti slip grips. The case also ships with an adjustable kickstand for convenient viewing, and a RokGard screen protector to keep your display scratch and fingerprint free.
ZAGG is offering 50% off the ZAGGfolio and ZAGGkeys MINI keyboard cases for the iPad 2-4 and iPad mini. The ZAGGfolio case is now $65 (normally $130) and the ZAGGkeys MINI case is only $45 (normally $90). The cases will be half-off for a limited time or while supplies last.
The ZAGGfolio case for the iPad 2, 3 and 4 is a hard-shell case wrapped in leather, with a microfiber interior lining. It features a built-in stand for reading, working or watching videos, and a rechargeable built-in keyboard with iPad specific keyboard shortcuts. The case is available in brown, black or alligator.