It wasn’t long after Apple announced the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros that I went to my local Apple Store to pick one up. The idea of a USB-C-powered Apple tablet fascinated me, and it wasn’t long before I started gathering accessories to augment the iPad Pro experience.
In this piece, I’ll discuss my favorite accessories for my 11-inch iPad Pro. They’re in no specific order, but you will find a mix of first-party and third-party accessories below.
1) Smart Keyboard Folio
The first and most obvious choice for the new iPad Pro is Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio, which expands upon the iPad Pro’s typing capabilities.
While the touchscreen keyboard is adequate for most typical typing scenarios, anyone who does excessive typing, like me, might find that a traditional keyboard results in fewer typing errors and faster input. It’s great for various things like document composition, instant messaging, and even web browsing.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio is one of the best keyboard options available for the 2018 iPad Pro because it’s designed to take full advantage of the tablet’s embedded neodymium magnet system. Furthermore, it’s designed for Apple’s tolerances, making it the most sought-after solution for external typing.
You can buy a Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple’s website from $179 to $199, depending on the size of iPad Pro you have.
2) Apple Pencil 2
Most people are fine with using just their fingertip for drawing, but the Apple Pencil 2 takes things to the next level with pressure sensitivity, tilt sensitivity, and integrated gestures that can help make the iPad Pro more approachable for power users.
Just like Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, the Apple Pencil 2 snaps against the iPad Pro with the guidance of specially-placed neodymium magnets, during which it charges wirelessly. Given how the iPad Pro targets creative professionals, the Apple Pencil 2 seems like a great accessory to own if you have or plan to have the new 2018 tablet.
You can buy an Apple Pencil 2 from Apple’s website for $129. Optional engravings are free.
3) Picaso Lab Leather Sleeve
The iPad Pro is impossibly thin, and given all the recent hubbub about the tablet’s apparent aptitude for bending, you’d best invest in something to protect it. Fortunately, Picaso Lab makes one of the cleanest protective sleeves I’ve ever seen.
Picaso Lab hand-crafts its leather sleeves right here in the U.S.A. out of premium Napa leather and stitches the seams together with high-quality polyester thread that holds up well to everyday abuse. The sleeve is specifically designed to fit Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil 2, providing you with the ultimate all-in-one travel experience.
If you do a lot of traveling to and from school or your work office and want to prevent your iPad from getting damaged along the way, then you might want to invest in an all-in-one sleeve like the one from Picaso Lab. After all, the iPad Pro isn’t cheap at $799+.
You can buy a Picaso Lab sleeve for your 2018 iPad Pro from Picaso Lab’s website for $92 to $108, depending on the size of iPad you have. You can also use the coupon code idownload15 to save 15% off your entire order.
4) Nomad 1M, 100W USB-C Cable
When I opened my iPad Pro for the first time, I didn’t even touch the stock USB-C cable. I’ve always hated Apple’s stock cables because they lack durability and quickly become discolored. Fortunately, USB-C is widely popular, and there’s no shortage of third-party manufacturers.
Nomad’s 1-meter USB-C cable was the clear choice for my charging and syncing needs. The cable is ready to provide Power Delivery charging at speeds of up to 100W, which makes it an ideal solution for carrying in my backpack with my iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.
Like with most of Nomad’s cables, this one is incredibly durable with its ballistic nylon braid and reinforced RF shielding. The extra protection goes a long way, helping the cable pass the 4k Mil-Spec flex test rating with ease. This cable is, in every way, an upgrade from the stock USB-C cable that comes in the iPad Pro’s box.
You can buy a Nomad 1M, 100W USB-C cable from Nomad’s website for $34.95.
5) Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL
One of my go-to Power Delivery-enabled USB-C battery packs is the Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL. It’s perfect for those inconvenient circumstances when you’re far away from a wall outlet and need a charge.
Packing a hefty 19,500 mAh under the hood and offering both USB-A and USB-C connections for your arsenal of mobile devices, this battery is as versatile as it is sexy. The soft, cloth-like exterior is comfortable in your hand and soft enough to hold against your handset while walking without the fear of scratching anything.
Mophie’s PowerStation USB-C XXL pairs beautifully with the iPad Pro and the Nomad cable mentioned above and can give you at least an entire day longer with your iPad Pro than you’d typically experience on a single charge.
You can buy a Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL from Amazon for $149.95 with free two-day Prime shipping.
6) Satechi Aluminum Type-C Mobile Pro Hub
Just like with the MacBook Pro, you can expect that the iPad Pro will require some dongles to connect all your favorite peripherals. Fortunately, the Satechi Aluminum Type-C Mobile Pro Hub offers an all-in-one solution for many popular connections.
This compact adapter brings 3.5mm headphone/speaker, HDMI (4K @ 30hz or 2K @ 60hz), USB 3.0 (5Gb/s), and USB-C passthrough to your iPad Pro in one sleek package. It’s ideal for connecting external speakers, your favorite headphones, an external display, or a USB flash drive while simultaneously charging the device.
The versatility of such a powerful all-in-one adapter can’t be underwritten, and I’d consider it one of the most essential iPad Pro accessories in my entire backpack for that reason. Like most of Satechi’s aluminum products, this adapter is available in both silver and space gray to match the aesthetic of Apple’s iPad Pro offerings.
You can buy a Satechi Aluminum Type-C Mobile Pro Hub from Amazon for $59.99.
7) Satechi Aluminum Type-C UHS-II Micro/SD Card Reader Adapter
While the adapter above tackles most of my needs, it doesn’t address them all. Satechi’s Aluminum Type-C UHS-II Micro/SD Card Reader Adapter fills an important niche for me – turning my iPad Pro into a mobile DSLR camera companion.
Indeed, the ability to view and edit my photographs on the big screen is essential to me, and Satechi’s Aluminum Type-C UHS-II Micro/SD Card Reader Adapter lets me see every picture I take and store on any of my SD cards or microSD cards.
From the moment you insert an SD card or microSD card, the iPad automatically launches the photo import interface to let you view and import the photos and videos you’ve taken. Most importantly, the adapter supports speeds of up to 312MB/s (depending on the card you have), which means you don’t have to wait long when importing stuff.
You can buy a Satechi Aluminum Type-C UHS-II Micro/SD Card Reader Adapter from Amazon for $34.99.
Like many of Apple’s products, there is a ton of aftermarket support for the new 2018 iPad Pro; these just happen to be some of my favorite accessories to use on a daily basis.
Everyone uses their devices differently, and so we encourage you to share your favorite iPad Pro accessories in the comments section below if you feel we missed any.