The Top Holiday Gift Ideas and Gift Guide for iPad Lovers

BY George Tinari

Published 13 Dec 2016

The holidays are just weeks away and if you’re still shopping for the Apple lover in your life, you’ve come to the right place. Not only do we lay out our recommendations for the best iPad and Apple accessories, but we have plenty of other top-choice accessories as well. Even if an iPad isn’t in the budget, you can’t go wrong getting a nice case. Check out these picks in our iPad holiday gift guide.

Recommended iPad: 9.7-inch iPad Pro ($599)

The iPad Pro is the best tablet money can buy right now. It’s lightning fast, has a gorgeous display, split-screen multitasking, four-speaker audio and is compatible with a wide range of accessories including the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. This enables content creation in a way not previously possible on an iPad. The Pencil is perfect for creative professionals while the keyboard improves typing speeds and accuracy. While these are separate purchases, the iPad Pro is the centerpiece that gives them purpose. At $599, it’s priced fairly too since an iPad can now more than ever can replace a full personal computer.

Buy Now

Recommended iPad Case: iPad Smart Case ($69-$79)

Apple makes terrific cases for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini line. They come with total front and back protection, plus the signature Smart Cover flap on the right that originated alongside the iPad 2 in 2011. The cover folds to act as either a typing or display stand, plus magnetically aligns to automatically wake up the iPad or put it to sleep.

If you’re using an iPad Pro, unfortunately you’ll have to buy the case and cover separately. Once you have both they work pretty much the same way as the full smart case — the combination just costs more money.

The cases and covers come in a wide range of premium colors.

Buy Now for iPad Air 2

Buy Now for iPad mini

Recommended Rugged iPad Case: Otterbox Defender ($45-$84)

Otterbox has created a name for itself as the go-to for extremely tough, durable cases. That remains true even for iPads. The Defender comes in sizes for the iPad Air, iPad mini and both iPad Pro models. The multi-layer protection handles dust and drops and includes a robust screen protector.

Buy Now for iPad Air 2

Buy Now for iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Buy Now for iPad Pro 12.9-inch

Recommended iPad Keyboard Case: Smart Keyboard ($149-$169)

When Apple debuted the iPad Pro, it took time on the keynote stage to also talk about the Smart Keyboard. You know Apple really feels passionate about an accessory’s integration into the product when the company sets aside time in a keynote for it. The keyboard doubles as an iPad cover when not in use and connects via the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector on the left side. It’s a terrific gift for anyone who uses a tablet as a professional or productive device.

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Recommended Stylus: Apple Pencil ($99)

The Apple Pencil is a must-have iPad accessory for artists, note-takers and the like. The Pencil lets you sketch your way around the iPad Pro, creating weight by adding pressure or shading by tilting the stylus. The iPad also has palm-rejection so you can rest your hand and draw to your heart’s desire. Plus, plenty of built-in apps include support for sketching with Pencil like Notes and Mail as do third-party options like Pixelmator and Paper. The Pencil gets 12 hours of battery life and charges directly from your iPad Pro. Just five minutes of charging gets an extra 30 minutes of usage.

Buy Now

Recommended iPad Dock: Twelve South HiRise 2 ($40)

Our pick for the best iPhone dock also works perfectly with all iPads except for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It’s Twelve South’s HiRise 2. It’s one of the most versatile docks out there, but still stable, inexpensive and looks good. The dock fits pretty much any Lightning device too from the Magic Mouse to Apple TV Remote and even the Magic Keyboard. The adjustable stand allows for virtually any case on your iPad.

Recommended External Battery Pack: Fibonic 20,800 mAh Cell Phone Charger (20% off for iPhoneHacks Readers)

There are plenty of great portable power banks out there, but Fibonic gets the edge for its LED display and price. The 20,800 mAh battery can charge a full-size iPad twice before needing a recharge. It features three USB ports to charge up to three devices at once and a clever LED display that tells you the exact battery percentage remaining instead of using indicator lights. Best of all, while it retails for $35, Fibonic is offering iPhoneHacks readers a 20% discount.

Buy Now

Recommended Headphones: Beats Solo3 ($250)

The iPad still has a headphone jack unlike the iPhone 7, but it’s still probably a good time to go wireless. Look no further than the Beats Solo3. They use Apple’s W1 chip to connect seamlessly with your iPad and any other Apple devices, plus get a whopping 40 hours of battery life. Plus, sound has improved quite a bit from the Solo2. These headphones make a great holiday gift.

Buy Now

That wraps up our iPad holiday gift guide. Now it’s time to wrap up those presents! Happy Holidays!

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