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Best iPad accessories for college students

Give yourself the best chance at success to wind down the school year or start the next one with our top picks for iPad accessories for students.

iPads are an everyday staple on college campuses, with many students preferring to use them on a daily basis over laptops.

By adding a few essential accessories, the iPad can help streamline your study setup, help you glide through group projects, and give you a great way to relax in your downtime.

Apple's Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard

While you may be able to type on the iPad's screen directly, there's something to be said about the ease and practicality of an actual keyboard. That's why we picked Apple's own Magic Keyboard.

It's comfortable to type on, it features a USB-C connector to keep your iPad charged, and its built-in trackpad is the best in the game.

You can grab your own Magic Keyboard for $299 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air, or $349 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

In the event that you don't have an iPad Pro or iPad Air, we suggest checking out the Brydge 10.2 MAX+, which fits the 10.2-inch iPad (7th, 8th, and 9th Gen,) or the Brydge 7.9 which fits the iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 5.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil 2 on glass tabletop
The Apple Pencil 2 helps with note-taking on compatible iPad models

The Apple Pencil is a must-have for students. It makes it easier to quickly jot down notes. It's also helpful in outlining projects, marking up first drafts of papers, and working in many art and design apps.

Of course, which Apple Pencil you get depends on which iPad you have. The second-generation Apple Pencil ($129) is compatible with the iPad lines that feature USB-C charging.

The first-generation Apple Pencil ($99) is available for select models of the iPad that feature a Lightning port. Of Apple's current lineup, that's exclusively the 10.2-inch iPad.

A good bag or backpack

Incase Commuter Backpack in blue opened with iPad and controller
The commuter backpack offers plenty of storage for all the items you use on a daily basis

Carting your iPad around should also be convenient. After all, if you're spending any amount of time on campus, you'll probably want to make sure that you have your charger and your charging cables with you. And a good bag should also have a place for your keys, pens and pencils, and whatever else you need for the day.

Whether or not you need a full-size backpack is another thing entirely. If you have a lot of books you'll need to carry from class to class, we suggest going with a heavy-duty backpack that offers a padded compartment for your iPad.

We like the Commuter Backpack by Incase, which costs $109.95. It features plenty of internal organization pockets to help keep your cords, pens, notebooks, chargers, keys, and wallet easily organized. The padded compartment can fit up to a 16-inch MacBook, which means it'll easily keep even the largest iPad Pro safe.

Solo New York Ludlow Tablet Bag for iPad
Solo New York's Ludlow Bag is an affordable way to tote around your iPad

Of course, if most of your books are digital, there's no reason you can't downsize, either. A smaller bag, like SoloNY's Ludlow Universal Tablet Sling, which comes in at a mere $19.99 in select colors, can hold up to a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a notebook, pens and pencils, keys, sunglasses, and your phone easily.

Portable SSD

CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus Portable SSD in blue next to a penny
CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus SSD is a compact way for students to gain extra storage

Even just a little extra storage can go a long way, especially if you're recording and editing video, storing pictures, or making backups of important projects.

We like the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus for students, as its small size lends itself to fitting in your bag or back pocket, and its silicone bumper makes it easy to identify from others you might purchase in the future.

These guys have an IPX8 water-resistant USB-C port protected from dust with a silicone dust cover. It sports a 1088 megabytes per second max transfer speed. CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus comes in a 2TB storage capacity.

You can snag a CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus for $319.99 from Amazon.