Have an iPad Air or Samsung Tab? I feel your pain.
I have done it a dozen times. I go to Best Buy (my place of pilgrimage for devices), I buy the latest tablet or smartphone I saw in my Consumer Reports research (my Bible for devices) and after forking out the hundreds of dollars, I then have to get the Zagg screen protector, the Otterbox case, the Lifeproof case, a Lightning adapter, etc.
Buying a device isn’t just buying a device; it’s an investment. And that investment cost me thousands over the years until I wised up. Here’s how.
Zagg Screen Protector for Your Device
Stores carry dozens or hundreds of different screen protectors for your devices. Although Zagg is the best known brand, is it really worth the extra cost? Actually, yes, it is.
I have never used a protector that protects a screen as well as Zagg or goes on as easily, and I have tried. Cheap screen protectors fit and feel cheap. Stick with Zagg brand protectors.
That doesn’t mean you have to spend top dollar on them. When I purchase a new device, I first browse the screen protectors at Best Buy (it’s not a plug, I promise, I just like the store). There’s always a discount protector for a now-defunct device and, chances are, it will fit yours. The clearance sticker is your friend. All you need it a pair of scissors, a dry erase marker and some patience.
I put the device face down on the protector and use a dry erase marker to outline it. Then I cut around the line slowly. After that I do a little surgery, placing the cut film over the device and slicing off pieces here and there until they fit. Will you get an expert fit? No, but you’ll get a Zagg cover for a third of the price.
Discover Amazon for Tablet Cases, Power Adapters
I always use Amazon for cases, because those in-store are ridiculously overpriced. $30 for a piece of spongy plastic? Forget it!
Go to Amazon and type in your search, say “iPad mini case.” You’ll get hundreds of results. Don’t go for the cheapest. First, you don’t want a faux leather case, because they’ll crack and crumble within months. Don’t get a case from China or overseas, because it will take a month to arrive. Don’t get a case that costs $.99 with $8 shipping, even if it’s guaranteed. It’s only guaranteed to be a piece of junk. Look for cases with good reviews and based in the US. Personally, I am a huge fan of Poetic cases. Reasonably-priced, sturdy and stylish. You can get a nice Poetic case for under $20.
Power Adapters and Power Cords: Amazon Again
Do the same with replacement power adapters. One of the reasons I love Android is the USB connectors are the same on virtually all devices. Apple devices have changed over the years, but you can find a Lightning cord adapter on Amazon for less than $7. One warning though: if you want an extra long cord, be aware that the longer the cord, the longer it takes to charge, especially with Apple devices. I have also found long cords don’t do well with data transfer, and you’ll get a pile of error messages. I wouldn’t go longer than 6 feet.
Android Devices or Apple Products? Doesn’t Matter, Always Bargain Shop
It doesn’t matter which army of OS you belong to, there’s no reason to fork out top dollar for tablet accessories if you don’t have to. Some consumers fly by the seat of their pants and use no protection on their devices, but that’s risky considering the investment. Just like in other areas of life, it’s always best to use protection!