According to both Apple and Amazon‘s shipping deadlines, there are still a few shopping days left this holiday season. But time may not be your biggest challenge. Apple gadget-lovers can be hard to shop for, since they tend to satisfy their own needs when it comes to accessories. Still, there’s probably something for everyone among the following 12 suggestions.
Stylish MacBook bag. No Mac owner wants to carry around their machine in the drap bags given corporate employees by the IT department. The Switch Messenger Bag from Brenthaven for around $99 online strikes a good balance between being too small to accommodate your peripherals, and too large to just grab-and-go when you’re in a hurry.
Protective iPhone case. When it comes to protecting your iOS device with style, Otterbox takes the cake. The combination of soft silicone, hard plastic and a screen protector makes the Commuter series of cases stand-outs compared to the rest of the crowd. For $35, it’s a great, cheap alternative to their somewhat bulkier and more protective Defender series.
Smart stylus. While many stylus devices for the iPhone and the iPad have mimicked the look and feel of a ballpoint pen, I’ve found that the form factor of a piece of chalk lends itself better to iOS touch screens. The Logiix Stylus Pro Jr fits the bill. And for just $20, it has a price that matches its size.
Portable iOS keyboard. More and more people are choosing to forgo desktops and even laptops entirely, in favor of the iPad. The more real work that can be conducted on just the iPad, the more one wishes they had a portable keyboard to carry around with them to make the process even easier. For $50 on Amazon, the Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard is exactly what’s called for.
Affordable home headset. Everyone certainly has a favorite mobile headset. But some may want to have a second pair to leave either at the office or at home that offers both comfortable and economy. Amazon has a pair of Sennheiser HD 220 II Professional Headphones that are certainly hard to beat at a price of just $20. They’re lightweight, and provide decent isolation from surrounding noise. Most importantly, they’re comfortable even during long periods of use.
Desktop cable organizers. We all know how cumbersome a workspace can get when you have too many cables. That mess doesn’t mesh with Apple’s clean design lines. That’s where the Quirky Metal Cordies come in. For $15, you get a means of managing your cables that matches your Mac’s design aesthetics.
Bluetooth headset. It seems like wireless headsets have dropped in popularity since they first came out, but with Siri, there may just be a renaissance of wireless headsets on the horizon. There’s no reason to settle for less than the best, since the Jawbone ERA Bluetooth Headset is on sale through Amazon for just $88. The noise cancellation capabilities of the Jawbone are especially impressive.
AirPrint-enabled printer. Eventually, purchasing a new printer is just as cost-effective as buying more ink for your old one. And having an AirPrint capable printer on the network that does not require an intermediary solution like Printopia is always a good thing. Amazon has several AirPlay-capable printers on sale for less than $60 like the Epson Stylus NX430 Small-In-One Inkjet Printer.
Big screen game console. One of the most understated features of iOS 5 is the ability to broadcast to an HDTV connected to an Apple TV over the air. With the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, you can now mirror everything you do on your device wirelessly. This can really change the way you play certain iOS games. For just $99, the Apple TV is one of the best iOS accessories you’ll ever buy.
Tabletop game cabinet. Certainly something that stands out in any game room, the iCADE is available from ThinkGeek for $80. This is no April Fool’s Joke; there are a growing number if iOS titles like Atari’s Greatest Hits that support the Bluetooth integration offered by the arcade-style game controls available on the iCADE, and they’re sure to be a hit with the gamer on your list.
Compact iPad stand. TwelveSouth makes some amazing products for your Apple devices. One is the Compass Mobile Stand for the iPad. At $40, it isn’t one of the cheapest solutions for supporting your iPad, but it is certainly one of the most compact. The advantage is the fold away storage size of the stand when not in use, making it is a great travel accessory.
Portable document scanner. The VuPoint Solutions MagicWand is more like a digital camera than it is a scanner. Yes you do manually drag the scanning element across the item, but you access the scanned images as you would using a digital camera — via a microSD card, which is good news for Mac and iPad owners (so long as you have an SD card adapter and the iPad camera connection kit). For $99, this scanner provides a quick and convent means of scanning documents when you’re on the go.